Thursday, May 27, 2010

The darndest thing

Art Linkletter has died, at the age of 97. He was a gentle, charming man who loved listening to children. When I was seven I appeared on his television show "House Party," with some other kids from my school. Unlike most grownups, Art knew how to talk to kids. He had a knack for asking ordinary questions that elicited unexpected answers. I remember sitting on the set in my little chair, rattled by the bright lights and the audience's gaze, worried that I would give the wrong answer. Then Art sat down next to me and smiled, and I realized there was no wrong answer.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog by following a link from another, and am so impressed with it. Your posts are brilliant, and I'll continue to read the blog frequently.

Art Linkletter: What memories I have of watching his show during my childhood. He seemed to be such a sweet person; I wonder if he was in real life.

Thanks for your hard work on this blog!

Best,
Ellen

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Aw, what a wonderful memory for you. How cool it would be to have a picture of YOU in that chair with him next to you!
wow - 97 years old. What an incredible span of time to be gifted with.

Believe it or not, the first time I ever heard the word "suicide" as a child was when I overheard my parents talking about Art Linkletter's daughter. Now that's a weird memory to have, huh?

Anonymous said...

art linkletter = innocence. thank you for sharing that memory of meeting him. i remember watching him talk to children with that uncanny way of his, not treating them like adults, but not like children, either.

when i heard on the radio he had died, the announcer said the family did not disclose the cause of death but said, "he was 97 years old." i guess that explains it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Tai. What a great memory. I'm so glad you're still coming up with these little gems long after many of us have fled into blog oblivion. Coop

Tai said...

Oh, Coop, I'm still hoping you'll come back to the fold one day. I miss your blog.

Anon., that's so true -- I think his gift was that he treated kids like they were his equals. And as causes of death go, 97 isn't too bad.

Farmgirl, isn't it funny how a word's history becomes inseparable from our own personal history? I remember that incident too...and the controversy afterward.

Ellen, welcome! I'm so glad you found Aerophant. I think Art was one of those rare people (rare these days) who was exactly how he appeared to be...he didn't have that phony persona so common with celebrities today.

smartz said...

I remember him from his radio show. I'm so pleased to know of a real person who was actually on his show.

Apifera Farm said...

What a special, loving memory, and a tribute he would have liked.