There's something I'm starting to realize as I grow older. You don't lose your childhood when you turn sweet 16, or 21. It doesn't happen when you start to shave, or your voice changes. No, your childhood disappears when all of your boyhood idols are gone. For me, Walter Cronkite was one of those. Oh sure, I miss John Wayne and Bob Hope and countless others I wanted to be like. But I was never going to be an actor, or an astronaut, or a war hero. An announcer was always the path for me and with the passing of Paul Harvey first, and now Walter Cronkite, the two men whose careers I most wanted to mirror have gone, and my childhood heroes with them.
Walter Cronkite was the man who told me what was right, and was wrong with the world. He showed you could have emotion as a newsman, as long as it was controlled, and he gave you all the news, not just a :30 second cover version. You felt smarter for having spent a half-hour with him. And as I watched the clips last night of his Apollo newscast and others, I found myself comforted by hearing his voice, like I had been so many times before. I don't expect there'll be a big concert in his honor, and Walter Cronkite newscasts probably won't make the Top 10 downloads on I-Tunes. But I do hope people will reflect on the passing of the man who was the historian of generations and know we've moved a little further down the road from our childhood. Rest in peace Walter Cronkite.