Sunday Morning Coffee — January 28, 2024 — Guest Essay

January 27, 2024 Observations 11 Comments

(Note: This is a bye-week for SMC. Too much to contemplate: will today’s Chiefs-Ravens game go over or under 44 points; why does the Nevada Republican Party have both a presidential primary and a caucus but you can’t run in both and only the caucus counts; and who would pay the outrageous prices for Super Bowl week here in Vegas? More on that next week. In the interim I found the piece below on Facebook a couple of days ago. Most of our readers remember Roy Firestone. He was an integral part of ESPN back in the heyday of the 80s and 90s and for 14 years hosted ESPN’s daily Emmy Award winning interview show called Up Close. Roy and I went to college together at the University of Miami in the early 1970s. For about a year we hosted a Sunday call-in radio show together on WVUM radio in Coral Gables, Fla. cleverly called the Roy & Roy Show. We still disagree on which Roy had the top billing. He left the U and embarked on a stellar career in sports broadcasting; I didn’t. We remained in touch all these years. Today, in-between dabbling in television in his home market of LA, Roy is also a touring entertainer with his “One Man Show” of story telling, singing and impersonating. It’s good. He also writes multiple times a week on his Facebook platform— always interesting and quality stuff. His ditty on Friday struck me as really poignant and with Roy’s permission I wanted to share it this morning. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. RB):

 

The other night I went searching for my old girlfriend on Facebook to check up on how she was doing these days.

To my shock and sadness, I found out she died.

Her name was Kim, and she was my first girlfriend in Los Angeles. I met Kim at CBS when I was 22 years old.

We both dreamed of a broadcasting career, and both of us saw our dreams come true.

At first, she was reluctant to date me, because I was goofy and disheveled at 22. I still am.

But, she relented and we had a sweet, little romance.

We were cute together.

But the romance was short, and we remained friends.

I re-connected a few years ago, but lost touch again and then I found that she tragically passed from Parkinson’s.

I wanted to remember her and so many I knew, and many I didn’t know with this piece about missing people and things.

I will miss you Kim. And I’ll always love you.

And I miss my folks.

And I miss George Carlin, and Robin Williams, and Richard Pryor.

I miss Don Rickles.

I miss Brooks Robinson.

I miss Prince, and David Bowie, and Natalie Cole, and Jimmy Buffett and Glenn Frey.

I miss John Lennon and George Harrison.

I miss Alan Rickman and Maurice White.

I miss Jimmy Stewart, and Jack Lemmon, and Henry Fonda.

I miss Heath Ledger, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

I miss Chick Hearn, and Harry Caray, and Ted Williams. Vin Scully.

I miss Ali.

I miss Garry Shandling and Carrie Fisher.

I miss Sammy Davis Jr.and Michael Jackson, and George Michael.

I miss Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn, and Karen Carpenter.

I miss Linda Ronstadt’s voice.

I miss Sinatra.

That’s people I miss.

But I miss concepts too.

I miss justice, and goodness, and propriety.

I miss intelligence and curiosity.

I miss kindness, gentleness, and compassion and wonder.

I miss cheerfulness to strangers.

I miss a regard for one another.

I miss America’s “goodness”.

I miss good news.

I miss Mr. Rogers and how he respected and honored the dignity of children.

I miss honor and integrity anywhere.

I miss the good guys and women who inspired the world with empathy and generosity and vision.

I miss wisdom.

I miss Stan Musial and Gordie Howe.

I miss America as I remember it…the America that made me (us)proud, the America that EARNED respect and admiration all over the world.

We can’t replace those we’ve lost easily….yet someone will take their place, somehow.

It won’t be the same… it never is.

What we CAN do though, is consider, and work towards replacing our lost values, our sense of moral backbone and character.

We can stand for fairness and honor, and unselfishness.

We can stand up for the marginalized, the downtrodden, the powerless.

We can love better.

We can’t bring people back who left us..but we can reimagine and rededicate ourselves into being better ourselves.

Better Americans, better human beings.

That, we do have control over.

We don’t have to miss it anymore.

We can get it back….but we first must demand it of ourselves and the people who lead us.

It takes work.

The hardest thing in life is losing someone…or something you love.

But if we lead with love…some things can return.

Let’s lead with love.

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