Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dick Clark--he will be missed

Wow. Dick Clark died. I know he is one of the people who  made you ask, "Did he die--or was that Walter Matthau?" for the last ten years and who surprised you every year by making an appearance on New Year's Eve, prompting sympathetic words and tones (and head nods) while reminding others, "Oh--he looks so great--I thought he died" and "Oh--poor guy--he looks awful--I can't believe he is still doing this" and even, "Good for him for doing this--Ryan Seacrest and Jennie McCarthy can only take it so far--New Years IS Dick Clark!" And now he really died. Such a sad thing to hear.

Why is it that when we find out that celebrities actually died, we feel sad, yet for years up to the demise of that person we are perfectly comfortable talking about them like they already died? Confused? I don't blame you. Let me TRY to work this out in words--my brain is getting MUCH more difficult to translate these days. So I know that most of you have heard of the Dead Pool, right? People pick celebrities who they think will die and get a certain number of points each time that they are right. So essentially, YOU win if your celebrity loses. The thing about Dick Clark is, I am pretty sure that he was a popular pick given his last few debilitating years. That doesn't make it any less sad. The fact that he lived a long and blessed life--doesn't make it feel better. Death is sad for the living--it is plain and simple--and even though we don't "know" celebrities, we feel as if we do--especially an icon like Dick Clark. I've welcomed in more new years with him than I have with any other friend or family member.

One year, my husband, my college roommate and our friend (we will leave it at that because if I discuss how that other friend was an ex-boyfriend of mine who introduced me to my husband and a few years later started "dating" my college roommate, that would be weird and borderline incestuous, right?) had the hardest time trying to find something to do on New Year's Eve in Manassas, Virginia. All of the restaurants and bars were virtually empty--I guess everyone went to DC or Alexandria or somewhere fun that wasn't Manassas, Virginia for the night...anyway, we found ourselves at the pool hall with about seven others (including the busboy and bartender). There was a television on in the bar area, but no one was paying attention to it (except for me as I whined about the fact that WE should have gone to NYC to spend the new year with Dick Clark). Suddenly, all seven of the patrons started yelling, "Ten, nine, eight..." and we joined in to yell, "HAPPY NEW YEAR!", only when I looked at my watch it was only eleven fifty. Five minutes later, they counted down again. The third time was definitely the charm in this case and we all [finally] counted down to the new year with Dick Clark. I couldn't believe that we could just "call" it a new year much like you call first dibs on the ice cream or "call" shotgun in the car, but I decided that it was evidently a new thing  to randomly call "Happy New Year" whenever we want, and I decided to do it throughout that year. I remember how much FUN it was for everyone in my life when I would yell, "Happy New Year" in the middle of  giving an English test in May or while buying produce at the Farmer's Market in August. The only thing missing during these random periods was Dick Clark. I remember saying, "It's not New Year's without Dick Clark!" to which others replied, "Well, it's NOT New Year's...."

2013 will not be the same without Dick Clark counting us in, but I am pretty sure that he will be counting with us in spirit. The good news is, he will be brought to life every New Year's eve when we count down and think fondly of all the years he gave us.


  1. You are so right! How will anyone watch a TV NYE count down and not think of him! I loved watching American Bandstand when I was a kid. I remember dancing in front the of the TV as a kid. Such good memories!

    1. I KNOW! I can't believe I didn't mention American Bandstand--he really just brings a warm fuzzy feeling to your heart, doesn't he?


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