Mewsings from Lowecat (aka Indianacat)

My rants, ravings, and overall 'mewsings' on life, the universe, and everything.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's Over Now. . .

Well, I'd intended to do a little writin' on my fanfic, and may still do so tonight before my meds for the arthritis in my shoulder kick in.
This little blog seemed a lil more important at the moment. Who says I don't know how to prioritize, eh?
Earlier this year, one of the men who brightened my early tween and teenaged Saturdays - Don Cornelius - passed away. He was the host of the nationally syndicated black (now African American) program called 'Soul Train'. Like the white bread 'American Bandstand' that aired on ABC around noontime each Sautrday back in the day, 'Soul Train' had flashing lights, funky sets, the newest dances, and the hippest R & B music. It introduced me not only to James Brown and the Jackson 5, but to Lattimore, Ohio Players, Kool and the Gang, and other black singers and songwriters I might not've heard on midwestern top 40 radio.
Additionally, 'Soul Train' introduced one to the fashions of the urban black community - funky caps, interesting hairdos, platform shoes, and very fasicinating dances.
Today, we learned of the passing of Don Cornelius alter ego, the eternal teenager Dick Clark. Mr. Clark had brought 'American Bandstand' from a local dance program to a national spotlight. He taught us to rate a record (it's got a beat and I can dance to it), singers and groups from all nations, from Abba to everyone else, eventually played 'AB'. It didn't matter if you were black, white, male, female, a single performer or a group. If you had a song to sing, chances were good you got to sing it on 'AB'. And through it all, Mr. Clark ruled with a velvet glove. He was kind, he was decent, he didn't swear, reminded a lot of people of a dark haired Pat Boone back in the day. He had a good sense of business, and he dealt honestly in a world that doesn't always appreciate honesty.
Two very different men on the outside, but very similar in circumstance that brought them to our homes every week. They made their mark on our society, that's for sure.
While checking out my twitter time line earlier this morning, I learned of another passing that affected me more deeply than the passing of these two media icons.
On 14 April, 2012, Mr. Jonathan Frid left this life for the next one. I don't have a lot of particulars, only what Ms. Kathryn Leigh Scott had posted. Mr. Frid was 'only' in his eighties, for cripe's sake!
One of my fondest memories of childhood was running home from the school bus stop to watch 'Dark Shadows' with me birth mum. I was mesmerized by Barnabas Collins. OK, he was decades older than my little elementary school self, but he made my little child's heart go 'pitty - pat'. His voice was one of those tools, and the way he portrayed Barnabas as a lonely soul in a crowd seemed to speak to me. OK, I'll admit that this man who was my father's age was nice on the eyes, too. I was definitely smitten.
I never got to see his personal appearances in his 'Frid's Fiends', where he would do readings for those gathered to see and hear him. More's the pity. But I do remember seeing him and Ms. Scott on the stage at the daytime Emmys, giving a tongue in cheek (or was it tooth in neck) tribute to Dark Shadows. Granted, he was much older than, but he was still, in my mind, quite dashing.
I remember reading in one of the Dark Shadows related books that came out in the sixties, that Mr. Frid had done some Shakesperian work on stage, and there were photos to prove it. He was also born in Canada, as was another of my favorite actors. Maybe it's the climate up there in the Great White North that produces such a fine calibre of actors?
Learning this early morning of this wonderful man's death hurt me deeply. More so than the loss of the 'eternal teenager'. I grew up with both men, but it seemed like Dick Clark was always gonna be around the airwaves, even after the stroke he suffered that made his New Year's Rockin' Eve duties more difficult for him to perform. Yet, he would still do the countdown and be the first to wish our household a Happy New Year.
Mr. Frid led a quieter life once Dark Shadows ended. Not because he was stereotyped as Barnabas, but out of choice. He toured and spoke as he saw fit. He wrote, and he lived his life. He had friends of many years standing, and he used his talent as he wished, when he wished. How many can say that?
It seems that I'm at that stage of my life where the things of my youth that gave me joy and comfort, and those memories of that time are fading away. The players age, weaken, and eventually die. Is this how my parents felt when their icons - Jimmy Durante, Bing Crosby, Bogie, Errol Flynn, and other icons of their day withered away to return to the dust that begat them? The overwhelming saddness that something you cherised was gone for good?
It's a rite of passage I think we could all do without if we could choose to do so.
Godspeed to Mr. Cornelius, Mr. Clark, and to Mr. Frid. I never knew you personally, but you each brought certain gifts to my formative years. You brought knowledge, you widened my interests, and you entertained me with your talents.
You will all be missed. And a small part of my childhood goes with y'all.