Ever heard that celebrity deaths come in threes?
I don’t know if that is scientifically true, but lately famous people from my childhood are passing away left and right. And the more I think about, the more distressing it is. I grew up with these people. They were on television entertaining my great aunts, my mom, and a very young me. Or they were making history or teaching me skills like counting. I felt like I knew them.
Not to mention that their deaths remind me of that old adage – Life. No one gets out alive.
Case in Point (and this is not an all-inclusive list, just from the past week or two):
Ernest Borgnine: Actor
Younger Son: “Isn’t he Mermaid Man?”
Me: “Well, yes, but he’s was famous for so much more. I remember him from McHale’s Navy. I used to watch it when I was kid.”
Younger Son: “But he was Mermaid Man too.”
Me: “Yes. And he won an Oscar in the 1950s for Marty.”
Younger Son: “Do you remember that? Did you see that movie when it first came out?”
Me: I think, how old does this kid think I am? My out loud answer: “No. How old do you think I am? Call your grandmother and ask her.”
Younger Son: “He was in Red, wasn’t he? That old guy in the vault.”
Phyllis Diller: Comedian
Younger Son: “She seems familiar.”
Me: “You know her because she’s the voice of Peter Griffin’s mom on Family Guy. Oh, she was the Ant Queen in A Bug’s Life.”
Younger Son: “Do remember her from when her career started?”
Me: “She was 92 when she died. Do the math!”
Ron Palillo – Arnold Horshack, Welcome Back Kotter.
Younger Son (in mock girlie voice): “Oh no, not him too.”
Yes, he was making fun of me because by this point, I was whining.
Jerry Nelson: The Count from Sesame Street
Younger Son: “Oh, that’s too bad.”
I wait for him to ask me the inevitable question.
Younger Son: “Do you remember him on Sesame Street, Mom?”
Me: “Yes!” Now, I need to add that Younger Son hated puppets so he never watched Sesame Street or anything with people in costumes. He was totally scared of them. We went to Disney World when he was about three and he freaked out. It was not a happy time for him. That place is infested with giant costumed characters!
Neil Armstrong: First man on the Moon
Younger Son, ever the comedian: “So Mom, do you remember the moon landing?”
Me (after an aggravated sigh), “Not really. I was a toddler at the time.”
So this leaves to me wonder – how will I really feel when my contemporaries pass on (from old age)? I shudder at the thought!
I can already imagine the conversation, hopefully in the far, far distant future.
Younger Son: “Oh no!” said in a mock girlie voice. “Not Brad Pitt!”
Then I really will feel old.
How about you? Anyone else feeling the same way?