Uncle Walter

I miss Walter Cronkite. But there’s a part of me that’s glad he’s not having to witness the presidential election of 2016.

Today’s Google Doodle is Walter Cronkite. Today is the 100th anniversary of his birth. (I wrote about him in 2009 when he passed away.)

It’s difficult to explain the influence of the trusted Uncle Walter to someone too young to remember Walter Cronkite’s tenure as the CBS Evening News’ anchor. In my memory, the two most historic events of my childhood–the assassination of JFK and the moon landing–are as much about Watler Cronkite as they are about the events themselves. In my home, he narrated the Vietnam War each evening right before supper. I don’t know why we didn’t turn the TV off.

The local newspaper, Time magazine and Walter Cronkite, were my family’s consistent news media staple through the 1960s and early 70s.

When we were in our late twenties, my wife and I spent a couple of nights on Martha’s Vineyard. Knowing that Cronkite spent the month of August there, we joked constantly about what we’d say if we ran into him. I recall we agreed that it wouldn’t be anything related to the comment, “and that’s the way it is,” his nightly signoff phrase.

I’ve forgotten what we agreed it would be, but on our last night there, we were walking down a narrow alley to a restaurant and had to squeeze up against a cottage wall to let an approaching car by. As the car crept by in order not to hit us, we looked at the driver and recognized immediately it was Cronkite. Instead of having something pithy to say, all my wife and I could do was laugh at our actual encounter with the icon. I think we said something dumb like, “hey, you’re Walter Cronkite.”

I miss Walter Cronkite. But there’s a part of me that’s glad he’s not having to witness the presidential election of 2016. I’ve done all I can to ignore it.

Yogi RIPsum

I have long thought that “dummy text” didn’t need to be boring and unreadable. It’s just needs to be dummy.

(NYTimes.com): Yogi Berra, one of baseball’s greatest catchers and characters, who as a player was a mainstay of 10 Yankee championship teams and as a manager led both the Yankees and Mets to the World Series — but who may be more widely known as an ungainly but lovable cultural figure, inspiring a cartoon character and issuing a seemingly limitless supply of unwittingly witty epigrams known as Yogi-isms — died on Tuesday. He was 90.

As the 12 readers of this blog already know, “Lorem Ipsum” is dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Basically, it is gibberish that sort of looks like Latin. That makes sense, because creative types in the design and publishing field often refer to these latin-looking words as “greeking.” And by, “that makes sense,” of course I mean, “that makes no sense.”

As I have learned from a lifetime of presenting concepts to clients, if you don’t greek copy, the client will read the copy and say, “I don’t understand the copy.” By using Lorem Ipsum dummy text, the client will know it’s just represents a place where copy will be.

That said, I have long thought that “dummy text” didn’t need to be boring and unreadable. It’s just needs to be dummy.

So I decided to entertain myself by putting together Yogi Ipsum: Dummy text for the easily amused. It is comprised of quotes made by or attributed to Yogi Berra, the legendary New York Yankees catcher and noted wordsmith.

In honor of Yogi (who I learned this morning was in the U.S. Navy during WW II and at age 19, participated in the Normandy invasion), I’ve decided to share Yogi Ipsum with the 12 people who read this blog:

Yogi Ipsum Cut-and-Past Content Generator

As you will note, each block of the following Yogi Ipsum gets longer. Don’t feel like you’re over using them until you’re over. Also, some of these are Yogi-isms and are attributed to him, but can’t be sourced. However, about those he said, “I really didn’t say everything I said. Then again, I might have said ’em, but you never know.”


Always go to other people’s funerals; otherwise they won’t go to yours.

I knew the record would stand until it was broken. I looked like this when I was young, and I still do.

I really didn’t say everything I said. Then again, I might have said ’em, but you never know. If people don’t want to come to the ballpark how are you going to stop them? If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be. When you come to a fork in the road, take it!

If you ask me a question I don’t know, I’m not going to answer. What Time Is It? You Mean Now? If you don’t know where you’re going, you might not get there. It gets late early out there. It’s déjà vu all over again. Little things are big. Ninety percent of this game is mental, and the other half is physical. Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded. I really didn’t say everything I said! We made too many wrong mistakes. You can observe a lot by watching. He was on a passenger jet at the time, so he was not sure in which time zone he was.

David Carr, Appreciation from a Blogger and Fan

It was not until 2009, however, when I read his memoir, The Night of the Gun, that I began to understand and appreciate Carr for more than his gifts as a reporter and columnist. It’s amazing how much can be revealed about a person’s humanity in a memoir about hitting rock-bottom from crack addiction.

This morning, there are countless remembrances of New York Times columnist David Carr, who died suddenly last night in Manhattan. Most are from the journalists with whom he worked, befriended and inspired.

While David Carr and I share a few professional friends and acquaintances, besides a couple of brief chats at SXSW functions or media conferences in New York (the kind that all blur together), I never knew him, knew him.

But this morning, I find myself feeling like I did know him in a way that long-ago bloggers (before we were told by experts that blogs were supposed to have a business model or fit into some SEO scheme) used to know one-another, especially if we blogged about overlapping topics.

Read more “David Carr, Appreciation from a Blogger and Fan”

Robin Williams, RIP

Six years ago, I wrote a blog post about “Why I’m Mourning Michael Jackson’s Death” in which I said this:

“I think we all get crazy in our obsession with the deaths of someone like Michael Jackson because he was there, singing in the background, when we experienced so many things we hold dear. The music is still there. The memories are still there. But if Michael Jackson can die, does that mean a part of us dies with him? I think that’s what we mourn.

Read more “Robin Williams, RIP”