On A High Note

Dick Clark: saying goodbye

Dick Clark

Dick Clark

Dick Clark

Saying goodbye to Dick Clark is as sad as having to say goodbye to Elvis. I remember what a big shock it was when Elvis passed away, but who ever thought Dick Clark would die? I mean, seriously? We’ve become so attached to him, it’s almost like losing a dear friend — and for many, it is.

From the time I was a kid, I remember my mom talking about how he had changed everyone’s life by his presence on American Bandstand, and how he was all the rage. He was the primary force in legitimizing rock-n-roll to both teenagers and their America’s adult population (the parents).

Dick Clark – Times Square and New Year’s Eve
Years later, I watched Dick Clark every year on New Year’s Eve, as he – along with thousands in Times Square and millions in the studio audience, watched the ball drop to mark a new year, new dreams and resolutions.

At some point, I’ve even heard a line in a song (about superstars being “Just People”) that says: ‘the glamorous life is only out there on the stage; we have ups and downs and troubles too… and unless you’re Dick Clark, we even age.” 😉 Often referred to as “America’s oldest teenager” due to his youthful appearance, Paul Anka once said that Clark had created a “youth culture” with his show.

For many years, Dick Clark graced the camera and the stage with his kind, enthusiastic personality. He was nearly a trademark, and most definitely a household name. Everyone in the nation (and many around the world) knew Dick Clark.

And of everyone who knew him – or knew of him – none ever seemed to have a harsh word to say about him. If you say the words: “Dick Clark”, you think of an All-American Icon, who reminds you of the guy-next-door or someone you’d like to get to know, but who just happens to be famous.

Dick Clark – His stroke and controversy
There was a lot of controversy around Dick Clark when he made his “come-back” after having a stroke. But regardless of which side of that controversy you are on, surely the lesson is one that can be appreciated by all. For Dick Clark proved that despite having a little different appearance or less-than-perfect speech, it is still OKAY to keep pursuing your dreams… that which you know best.

All Dick Clark had ever done was entertain the public, and offer grace and kindness – even within his very mannerisms – that brought comfort to an entire nation every time he hit the screen. He was an advocate to musicians, artists, actors and friends… many who were one in the same.

He indeed was the kind of person who could be called: “the whole package.” He was kind, considerate, a friend, a star, and a true professional.

Many times I have read about great people giving their all to help others. And no doubt returning to the spotlight was not an easy thing for Clark to do. He too would have known that he had set a very specific precedent, and that he had been known for his very clear and unadulterated speaking voice, and his handsome, non-aging good looks.

Still, because of his love for people, he returned to us. It was all he had ever done – all he had ever wanted to do.