Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A sense of passing time

It is with sadness that I witnessed the passing of CBS news long-time newscaster Mike Wallace. Though it is always a notable event when someone of his stature and history passes, it caught me a little different.

He was a fixture of 60 Minutes. He was the one who drew the heaviest hitters and newsmakers of the day. He didn't pull punches and seemed to me to ask the direct questions. He put people in uncomfortable situations they had to answer for. Like all of us, I'm sure he had his demons to some extent. At least he seemed to keep whatever they were mostly out of the public limelight.

What gave me pause was when I think of the years he spanned. He was a multi-generational newsman. Most tend to think of generations as being separate. My father had his generation and I have mine and my children and grandchildren will have theirs. But generations overlap. Beloved Father would have been the same age as Mike Wallace; 93. How is that multi-generational you say? My father watched 60 Minutes religiously and it became a fixture on Sunday night in our home. He in effect handed Mr. Wallace off to me and my siblings. As a group we have always kept up with national and current events of substance. (None of us to my knowledge are much of the celebrity watching genre).

In that way I can relate to one who began his career in my father's time and ended his career in 'my time'. Although Walter Cronkite walked into my living room nightly in my formative years, he would still resonate with my father's generation more than mine, although he sticks in my memory to this day.

There aren't many national figures left I can think of that will cross that line as I move on in life. To that end my father's generation in passing by. I will miss them as I miss him.

1 comment:

  1. Although I have not watched 60 Minutes in a very long time, mainly because I disagreed with their viewpoint on their stories, I do feel the passing of Mike Wallace seems almost to be the passing of an Age.

    With everyone seemingly a "celebrity" for 15 minutes or so, and most celebs are "famous for being famous", I have often wondered who will be considered among the truly great, as in, is there a famous person whose passing I will someday mourn (albeit briefly) who is not my age or older?