I am sitting here heartbroken this morning, after hearing that Peter Jennings has died. Now I know not everyone is an evening news kind of person. Especially with the internet these days, you don’t need to wait around until 6:30 to find out what happened that day. But I grew up in a house where my parents watched the news just about every night, after dinner, without fail. When I was little, we looked to Walter Cronkite to tell us what was going on, and when he retired, they stuck with his replacement, Dan Rather, for awhile. But my mom soon convinced my dad to switch over to ABC and Peter Jennings, because she liked him more, and they never went back. Neither have I.
My husband and I have World News Tonight on our Tivo season pass, and it tapes every night it’s on. When Peter (and you felt like you could call him that, just Peter, because you spent so much of your life with him, it seemed) announced in April that he had lung cancer and was leaving to begin treatment, I was just in shock. Could not believe it. And since then, I kept wondering if he was going to come back. Every couple of weeks, my husband or I would say, “I wonder how Peter is.” We didn’t forget about him, because while the replacement anchors were good, it just wasn’t the same.
There was some certain kind of comfort there. Like on September 11th, when I finally got back to my own house, the coverage was of course on every single station. But I kept flipping, flipping, straight to ABC because I was so freaked and scared and it just seemed like if anyone could make sense of it, Peter could. He stayed on the air for AGES. I don’t think he slept. It got to the point where it was distracting, where I was actually worried about him, he looked so haggard and tired. But I was still glad to see him. And all these months, I guess I was just really hoping we’d see him again.
I know I didn’t really know Peter Jennings, that to some of you this might seem silly. But it’s amazing how you can feel so strongly for a stranger, who isn’t really a stranger at all. All those half hours, 6:30-7, night after night, from when I was younger up until just a few months ago. It’s just really, really sad.
Sorry to be a downer, here on a Monday. The regular hijinks I am sure will return tomorrow.
have a good day, everyone. And if you smoke: please quit. Please?