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Perspective: The Virtue Of Being Remembered

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Dorothy Kilgallen, fellow panelists, and "What's My Line?" host John Daly, 1952.


My wife likes to keep the light on and read every night, so my daughter, ever thoughtful, bought me a sleeping mask. My wife, she who will not turn out the lamp, finds this amusing and calls me “Miss Dorothy Kilgallen.” To what is my wife referring?  


Well, Miss Kilgallen was once a famous columnist who also appeared on a once-famed TV quiz show called “What’s My Line.” This required her to wear an eye mask once a week. It’s a long story, and I don’t have time to tell it. That’s why the Good Lord made Google.  


At least my wife and I REMEMBER Miss Dorothy Kilgallen and her mask. Few others do. Miss Kilgallen died young, and her funeral was attended by thousands, including such celebrities as Bob Considine. And who was he? Well, he too was once a famous columnist. He too is forgotten.  


So, if your typical American were sitting in a restaurant and overheard someone in the next booth say, “Bob Considine was at Dorothy Kilgallen’s funeral,” your average American today would think they were talking about a couple of local people, not once-upon-a-time celebrities.  


This is what happens in the accumulating footsteps of time. Glory passes. Still, I love those TV biographies of the 90s, which detail the lives of Linda Darnell, Arthur Godfrey, and Durward Kirby. Who? There are always a few commentators on those shows who ought to get a life but have devoted their lives to maintaining the memory of some faded star. Why, with any luck at all, they’ll even know that Bob Considine attended Dorothy Kilgallen’s funeral. That, by the way, was only 55 years ago.  


This is Tom McBride, faded celebrity, and that’s my Perspective.  

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