Is there such a thing as Hero anymore?
I was thinking about writing tomato vines and realized that besides Tattoo faced girl, who I generously loaned my bag to, and a “smokin’ in the boys” room Obama, all the news this week focused around celebrity deaths. So I didn’t have much news to make fun of, but these deaths brought back quite a few memories, as I’m sure they have for you as well.
Not that I don’t respect Ed McMahon, I just really don’t remember him in his heyday, even though my Mom says that I was the only kid in first grade who would stay up late to watch the Tonight Show. See, I’m still a cherry tomato, so my real Ed McMahon memory is of him being the Publisher’s Clearing House guy. Now I did “work” there briefly, if you consider it work, as an envelope stuffer. I think I got paid about $6 an hour to stuff envelopes with magazine subscriptions in them to send out to America. To tell you the truth, I was really too lazy back then to even do that. I was about 16 and my Grandma lived with us and would stuff them for me. And my best friend from across the street would help too. She used to also clean my room and mow the lawn for me, but that’s another story. She’s my daughter’s godmother. Anyway, I digress.
in my memory bank, Ed was the guy handing out million dollar checks.
In 1976 BG (Before the Bag), I was 8 and loved Charlie’s Angels. It was really the first “grown up” show I remember loving. It made me think of things like “Girl Power” and inspired my friends and me to play in our neighborhood as Angels. I was always Kate Jackson’s character- I think it was because all the other girls wanted to be Jaclyn Smith or Farrah Fawcett. I dug being a smart chick even back then and somehow managed to find the girlie part of me later in life. I did admire Farrah Fawcett and even had her poster on my wall right next to Shaun Cassidy. And I looked up to her, even though she wasn’t “the smart one.” I equate it to my 6 year daughter having a Hannah Montana poster in her room, but also thank god it’s not the Vanity Fair shot, or else then I’d be worried.
When I was about 5 or 6 we went to visit family in Richmond, Virginia. There was a group of really loud boys sitting next to us on the plane. Everyone was making a big deal of them and they were actually super obnoxious, except one. It was the Jackson 5. I remember staring at young Michael and humming the ABC song in my head. That was a cool moment. He was calm as the others bossed around the stewardesses (yes, I know they are FLIGHT ATTENDANTS now). I’m not sure how much of that I really remember of that I just remember my family telling me the story. Anyway, flash forward to the early eighties and my Mom took me to see the Jackson Victory Tour at Giants Stadium. It was my first real concert and Michael was well into his red leather jacket, one glove, and white socks with penny loafer shoe wearing days. We had great seats from my Tomato Aunt who worked for Pepsi who sponsored the tour. I vividly remember wearing my concert t-shirt to school that Monday. I thought I was the coolest kid in school.
Now besides Ed McMahon, I looked up both Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. And despite all the weirdness in both of their adult lives, they really were two people who brought out my inner “girl” and taught the world not to see in color. So I wondered, do I still believe in heros?
Now, I know I have to say my Mom is my hero, and she really is, but I’ll leave that for another story. I was thinking celebrity hero and who I really admire as an adult. I thought, despite all the morning “hello, hello’s”, Ann Curry is that woman.
I recently attended a conference on twitter called, the 140 conference. Ann Curry was on a panel with Rick Sanchez, from CNN, there was a guy from Fox News, whose name I never got and another Today show producer. The segment was about the effects of twitter on news gathering. Rather than bore you with the details of the panel, the reason I admire Ann Curry so much was her enthusiasm. At one point she slammed her first on the table and said “Here’s what’s pissing me off!” She was just as frustrated as we were at the way the news is reported on today and uses twitter to get things out that the Today show won’t let her do. Now granted she is beautiful and didn’t have one flyaway hair, and could very easily not be taken seriously due to her good looks. Now, I always knew she was the one the Today Show sent trekking the world, but it was really her passion to undercover the truth and deliver honest information to the public that impressed me. Combine being “the smart one” with also being sexy and a fist pounder, and that’s what we’d call a “hot tomato”.
So I raise my martini glass to remembering your heroes and making sure you still have them. And I hope no one dies next week, I can’t stand this serious side of PTA Mom.