Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dick Clark

When people become icons of their persona their individuality dims and the desire to be what people think you are surfaces as the norm. I think that happened to Dick Clark as he entered old age. Dick Clark died yesterday at the age of 82. The reports say it was a massive heart attack. In his later years Clark did everything he could to maintain the youthful image of his Bandstand days.

Clark has been billed as America's oldest teenager. He certainly worked hard to keep that image through the years and successfully parlayed that moniker into a long-standing career as a host and producer of successful television programs.

American Bandstand was his first and certainly the longest lasting.

If you are of a certain age today and someone mentions, "dance party," Dick Clark's name flashes on the mind screen of memory. There were others, of course, like Wink Martindale and Rolland Smith (did I mention that I once hosted a television dance party programfortunately that's forgotten by all, but me,) but Clark was the national headliner.

Many of us who watched him host New Years Eve television celebrations in recent years were saddened at his performances and tried to understand why he couldn't let go of the iconic persona and retire. He did suffer the effects of what is called a mild stroke in 1994.

Perhaps his attempt at youthful immortality is a lesson for all of us.

Requiescat in Pace Dick Clark you are now forever youthful and you shared your earthly enthusiasm of that with so many that you are respectfully remembered with youthful memories.

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