Wednesday, October 20, 2010

In Search of...blasts from the past

I've been meaning to blog for the past few days because it seems that each new day this week has brought with it some sort of news that made me just shake my head in disbelief.

Let's start with Justice Clarence Thomas's wife ringing up Anita Hill and asking her for an apology...and then telling the press it was her way of extending an olive branch. That's an olive branch? Why couldn't she just leave well enough alone? To this day I still believe Anita Hill and am appalled that they confirmed Clarence Thomas. But nevertheless, I thought we all moved on twenty years ago.

Then Tom Bosley, who played Mr. C. on Happy Days died. While I know nothing about the man personally, professionally he was a presence for most of my growing up years. Like my own father, Mr. C. was attentive and loving and a hard working man who tried to instill the finer qualities in his children. So whomever Tom Bosley was in real life, I hope he knew how much he contributed to an entire generation's perception of the ideal father. And I hope he relished the role.

Then, for reasons I don't really understand, Good Morning America did a sort of a "where are they now?" piece about Leif Garrett. Anyone my age or in the vicinity of it will never forget his mane of blond hair and the spandex...and if prodded, I think we can all easily break into "I Was Made for Dancing." Leif covered all the Tiger Beat magazines, along with my personal 70's heartthrob - Vince Van Patten, but what we all didn't know was that Leif's ensuing years would be spent battling booze, heroin, and the most gut wrenching thing of all - living with the knowledge that he paralyzed his closest friend in an automobile accident. Leif looked unrecognizable from the boy whose music I bopped around to as an adolescent, and not just because he was balding and wore glasses, but because he seems like he's in a permanent state of self-destruction and it was heartbreaking to watch. Like seeing Eve Plumb last week in the basement of a restaurant doing off-Broadway, it was a bubble bursting moment in which I realized that everything I enjoyed in my youth came with a high price that someone had to pay in order to bring it to me. It's been a sobering realization that everyone suffers, and everyone struggles, and no one escapes unscathed from life's journey. But Leif, seeing him unsuccessfully fighting demons too big for most of us to imagine, and still trying to make music and find some sense of identity, well, it broke my heart. Thanks GMA for perking me right up there first thing in the morning.

I'm glad the week is almost over. I'm not sure I could take another breaking news bulletin. So here's hoping for some good news - an end to this election cycle, some beautiful fall days, and untarnished memories of TV icons and teen idols. Rest in peace, Mr. C. And here's saying a prayer for you, Leif Garrett.

Thanks for stopping by. Please tell your friends.

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