I don’t know why but every year that passes I reflect on those who are not here to see the new turn of the calender. Call me morbid, call me a sad sack, call me what you will but I always try to mention to anyone who will listen the great people who have died so that at least their spirit will be here to see 2008 arrive. Here are a few of the shocks of 2007 for me. I hope I can do them justice but if you read VeggieMacabre often enough you know I may be a little lowbrow.
Lady Bird Johnson: 1912 -2007. I don’t know too much about her life other than her thrust into First Lady status with her husband, the former President Lyndon Johnson. Every time a first lady passes I always think about the Secret Service guys/gals who have done something below standard in their career to have protection duty of a first lady. I imagine coming back to headquarters for reassignment maybe something like the pet detectives of the LAPD. It is an important job but it is still funny.
Coincidentally the dog on King Of The Hill, Ladybird, also passed away on the same day.
Evel Knievel: 1938 – 2007. I figured this guy was “circling the drain” but like any kid of the early eighties who had many Evel Knievel toys and t-shirts, it is always sad to see a legend die. They say he died of natural causes. I think it would have been fitting to see him do one more stunt and depart the Earth the way he should have done 1000 times before. They should have at least shot his casket over the Grand Canyon. (Now I am truly going to Hell.)
Calvert DeForest: 1921-2007. What a guy. He was a long time pop culture hero and a David Letterman favorite of mine. He always posed the question of gender to many people but to me it was always a question of teeth. First off did he have any and if he did, how small where they? Did he eat plankton? Well, at least this picture can clear up that question for me.
Joel Siegel: 1943-2007. This one turned me on my ear. Joel was always the voice of the cinema for me and by and large we agreed. Except he canned Beetlejuice and it was tough to talk dad into going after that review. Regardless, he was my favorite part of Good Morning America (sorry Lunden) and he left us much too early after losing the fight to colon cancer. I give cancer a thumbs down and a middle finger up.
Dick Wilson (Mr. Whipple): 1916-2007. “Can you squeeze it?” Another icon gone but not forgotten. He embodied the importance of sqeezey soft toilet paper that as a child, forced me to hug every package of Charmine to insure Mr. Whipple wasn’t full of shit. I was wondering how I would tie in toilet paper with shit and there you go.
Tom Poston: 1921-2007. This was unexpected too. I remember watching Newhart with dad in the livingroom while he did push-ups as I sat on his back. Besides of course “I’m Larry, this is my brother Daryle and this is my other brother Daryle” I only really remember Tom. He seemed like the one actor that was a really nice guy and possibly an ice fisherman. He just strikes me as one.
The Fabulous Moolah: 1923-2007. She was the female thunder of the WWE. Her thirty year career of semi-kicking ass led her to the longest title holder in any professional sport. Maybe it is the feminist in me but she could kick Sting’s ass any day of the week. When I was little I had Wrestling pals which were pillows with arms shaped like your favorite wrestler. The neighbors older sister was always Moolah and she repeatedly fucked us up to the point that I gave up any hopes as a career WWE wrestler. I just couldn’t get over that hump.
Brad Delp:1951-2007. Oh Brad, why did you have to leave us? Not like that! If you are not familiar with Brad Delp he was the master mind and beautiful vocalist for the band Boston. I will never forget listening to their first album and I was just blown away. That is really all I could say….blown away. If you don’t have that album go buy it. Go buy it right now and listen to it with headphones. It will change you.
Brad committed suicide. He left us with questions and no answers other than his talent not being recognized for what it was. I will admit when I heard of his tragic end I sat in my car and shed a few tears. He was my Lennon.
Robert Goulet:1933-2007. “Goulet!” I must admit that I was never a huge fan of Robert Goulet until Will Farrel’s SNL impersonation. Actually, anyone my age is probably in the same boat. I do remember him as the potential investor, Maxi Dean, in the movie Beetlejuice but other than that…nope. His legacy will live on through many elderly ladies who remember Robert on his Broadway hit, Hamlet. And of course many early 30 year olds who sing “The Thong Song” with Goulet vocals.
Yvonne De Carlo: 1922-2007. I know this picture doesn’t do her justice but this chick was beautiful. She (to me) was best known as her role on the TV series, The Munsters but her filmography stretches from here to Indonesia. She has been in more films including one of my favorite 1977 occult classics, Satan Cheerleaders. If you ever star in a movie with a title like that you will always be a star to me.
Tammy Faye *: 1942-2007. As far as TV evangelists Tammy was the most famous to me. I always thought of her as a pioneer in the plastic surgery field and there was something to be said for that because she was the most popular Halloween costume of the eighties. That maybe a stretch but in my neighborhood that costume didn’t lead to a bag full of raisins and pennies, I can promise you. I do feel bad because I saw her last interview and she looked so frail. I take everything I said back after that. I wonder where TV evangelists go when they die? They would kind of be old news up there, don’t you think?
Richard Jeni: 1957-2007. Another candle blown out too soon by his own accord. It always makes me especially sad when a comedian dies before their time. They spend most of their lives filling ours with laughter and joy and we never see it coming when they go. Apparently he was diagnosed with severe paranoia and depression and took his own life. I will miss this guy because his stand up is something to stand up for.
Dan Fogelberg: 1951-2007. Not a dude you can bang your head to but definitely a dude you could get laid to. That sounded bad. You know what I mean. His folk music was so melodic it would be instant death if you were driving through the night but in the right spot, nothing beats it. If the moon is right and if you hold your hand to your ear facing east, you will faintly hear me singing “Leader of the Band” on Karaoke night at Smith’s Old Bar. He passed from prostrate cancer just weeks ago. I hate cancer.
I know many others have been lost in 2007 but these few have impacted me in someway and I wanted to share. So in some conversation in the future, bring them up. Maybe they can still be with us in 2008 if nothing more than spirit and memories. I want to thank them all and send my deepest condolences to the families. You guys made life great before 2007 and will make it great for many years to come. That’s pretty cool when you think about it.