18
Jul
09

A legend of news passes on

CBS news legend Walter Cronkite died on Friday. He was 92 years old.

Like most families of the 1960s and 1970s, my family spent a lot of time watching television. We ate dinner to the local and national news, wiled away evenings with sitcoms and variety shows, and learned about the world through various National Geographic specials. Most of it slipped from my memory since then (probably on the same night that I originally watched it), but some things remain.

Among those memories, I distinctly remember watching Walter Cronkite.

Dad called him “Walter Crankcase” sometimes, for reasons I never knew. As a child, he was like the grandfather I never had, telling me things that I needed to know and reassuring me that, despite everything, the world was fundamentally okay. I remember him reviewing the casualty rates during Vietnam, telling me about the moon landing, and sharing all kinds of other stories, from fun to sad to dramatic.

He did it all with a calm power. I knew that I could trust him. I just knew.

Those nights listening to Walter’s newscasts probably impacted my desire to go into journalism, although I didn’t know it at the time.

Even thought I turned off the TV many years ago, I’ll miss you, Mr. Cronkite. For me, you were the grand gentleman of the news.

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