Walter Cronkite

It’s funny, what we remember, and what we don’t.

My family will throw names around left and right of people who were in our lives.  And I have no idea who they are talking about.  Neighbors, school mates, friends of the family.  I just can’t recall most of who they mention.

I’ll be listening to stories about things we did.  Or things we experienced as a family or as kids in our neighborhood.  No bells ringing in recognition of those either.

I do remember some things, random things.  Things that others don’t recall at all.

What I find most interesting though, is that I think often of Walter Cronkite.

I remember watching Walter Cronkite on the CBS News.  Maybe because he was a constant staple for the first seventeen years of my life.  He was there through every thing.  Even if I didn’t understand what he was talking about, he was there explaining it.  I remember his voice and feeling lulled by it.   I don’t necessarily want to say ‘comforted’ because I probably didn’t understand half of what he was talking about.  But I felt safe in a different way.

I could almost bet that he is who my parents were watching when they watched the news of the assassination of John F. Kennedy as they held me, just a newborn.  I might know the other news casters of that time if they would be named to me.  Or they might go the way of the names my family throw around and I can’t recall.  But his is the name I think of when I think of news.  Back when news wasn’t for entertainment or ‘show’.  But for us to be provided with information and facts.  We knew when he told us “and that’s the way it is”, that that’s the way it was.  I think that’s the safety I felt.  The trust.

I’ve thought of Mr. Cronkite an awful lot these past few years.

I miss him.

52 thoughts on “Walter Cronkite

  1. i recall him very well and do remember my parents having the tv on when he told us about jfk. i was young, but i remember my parents being so sad and i remember him being kind of like a parent figure to them, always told them the truth and what was really going on. a straight shooter who also offered some measure of comfort. like a wise grandfather who has seen the world. yes, we could use him right now

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  2. Over on NBC, we could find comfort from David Huntley and Chet Brinkley, MBC. Of course the channel was switched to CBS and dear Walter as well (I was the one my father would summon to the set to actually turn the dial in those remote-less days). I can’t recall the ABC anchor way back off the top of my head, though.

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  3. We were just talking about him the other day, about the times when television journalism wasn’t about sensationalism and more about factual reporting of the news. He was a beacon of calm sanity, especially in the worst of times. Thank you for this great post, an homage to a great man.

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    • Thank you Paulette. I’ve had this discussion with others as well. I don’t want my news to entertain me, I want it, and need it, to inform me. I also don’t need it to persuade me. I need it to give me facts and let me process it.

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  4. His name meant “the News” to us, at a time when journalists reported events, without bias or judgment. We never knew his politics. We didn’t need to know. We trusted him. I miss that. Thanks, Colleen.

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  5. He was a wonderful reporter and from all I’ve ever read, a good man. He was “the voice” for me from my earliest awareness of televised news. I was in grade school when JFK was assassinated and you’re right, we all huddled around our televisions and listened to him deliver the news. There have been a few reporters over the years I’ve really admired, but I think Walter Cronkite is right there at the top!

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    • He would have been the first national news caster of my life. I literally grew up from birth until my high school graduation with him as the voice of information. I don’t know that I ever ‘trusted’ anyone like I did him.

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  6. I liked Walter Cronkite and once he stepped down, I admired David Brinkley. There are times I wonder if Mr. Cronkite would know what to say when the unthinkable and unspeakable events happened. Thanks for reminding us of the scholar and gentleman known as Walter Cronkite, Colleen.

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    • You’re welcome Robin. I have liked other anchors. There were local anchors I really liked and trusted. I think Mr. Cronkite set a standard, with others of his era, that has not been met of recent…..

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      • Recent anchors aren’t too bad but their skills are not including pensive nor fine written thoughts. I loved this post and wonder if Walter Cronkite had a family member who could have taken up his “mantle?” xo hugs to you and yours, Colleen!

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