One of my friends has created a twitter hashtag #summerofdeath because of the number of people we've lost since the weather got warm. Think about it. Ted Kennedy, of course, and Walter Cronkite, and 60 Minutes creator Don Hewitt. New York Magazine published a list late in August declaring 2009 "officially" the summer of death. Here's their list:
May: Dom DeLuise, Chuck Daly.
June: Ed McMahon, Ed Thomas, Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Billy Mays, David Carradine.*
July: Karl Malden, Steve McNair, Robert McNamara, Dash Snow, Walter Cronkite, Frank McCourt, Merce Cunningham, Gidget the Chihuahua.
August: John Hughes, Les Paul, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Robert Novak, Don Hewitt.
There are a few of those you probably haven't heard of and many of them were quite old, which mutes the public reaction somewhat. Of course, this list preceded the death of Senator Kennedy, and one other person of particular importance to me.
When our kids were little, we used to sing. All the time. And early on, many of the songs they loved were written by Ellie Greenwich. She was a tough cookie I think. She was also one of the great song writers of her generation. Ever heard Be My Baby? ("Bee my, bee my bay bee, my one and only baybee...") Chapel of Love? ("Goin' to the Cha pull and we're gonna' get ma a a reed") River Deep, Mountain High ?("Do I love you my oh my, river deep, mountain high" that was Tina Turner.) Ever hear of girl groups? Then you've heard of Ellie Greenwich. There's a reason she's in the Song Writers Hall of Fame. She died August 26, the same day as Senator Kennedy, so I'm a little late, but I have a lot to thank her for.