Tag Archives: Art Linkletter

This old house

1912. It was a very good year.

Well, maybe not for the passengers of the Titanic.

So far this year we’ve commemorated the 100th anniversaries of the Oreo cookie, the Girl Scouts (and eventually their cookies), the state of Arizona and the arrival of cherry blossoms in our nation’s capital. And the sinking of the Titanic. Nineteen-twelve also saw the International Opium Convention. No, not a precursor to Woodstock, but a drug control treaty. Too bad; it might have paired nicely with the Oreo.

Julia Child was born in 1912. So was Art Linkletter. And Gene Kelly. Helen Travolta, John’s mother, was a nineteen-twelver. (Did you know she was also in Saturday Night Fever? She portrayed “Lady in Paint Store.”).

As we turn in to the home stretch of 2012, I pause to appreciate the most important 100-year-old thing in the life of my family — our house.

We bought Old Yeller in 1990 with grand visions of renovation, many of which remain today only in our imaginations. We’ve lived happily here ever since, with only one full bathroom, two tiny parking spaces and, until last year, no central air. Most of our renovations came thanks to a tree falling on our house in 1996.

After 22 years, we are blind to the holes in our walls and our nicked Formica countertops. We jiggle each door uniquely to get it to open or close, and we still must open our dishwasher to access the utensil drawer. Our furniture is cat-clawed and our basement leaks. The Derecho of 2012 ripped several shutters off the back. But that’s okay. We have thousands of good memories, including more than 20 Christmas mornings and, in the old days, countless margarita parties. I’d be happy to hang out here indefinitely.

I suppose we should honor this old house in its centennial year in some meaningful manner. Any suggestions?

(Don’t tell anyone, but I wish we could register at Pottery Barn.)


Filed under Hearth and Home

Heaven’s house party

I woke up yesterday to the news of the passing of Art Linkletter and suddenly the world felt a little less good.

It’s hard to think of someone who gave so much to so many just by being himself, a bit reserved in the background, while spotlighting the world’s funniest entertainers—young children.

Those of my generation grew up watching House Party but we didn’t entirely get what was so funny until we were grown.   What a treat it was to watch Art Linkletter with my son when in 1998 CBS introduced Kids Say the Darndest Things, hosted by Bill Cosby, on which Linkletter made occasional appearances.

Art Linkletter lived to be 97, was married 74 years and outlived three out of five of his children. 

There is plenty to read about his interesting life, much of which was news to me.  So pick up yesterday’s paper or go online and you’ll surely be as warmed—yet sad—as I.

What I especially loved was something he wrote in a reprint of one of his books:  “Children under ten and women over seventy give the best interviews for the identical reason: they speak the plain unvarnished truth.”

Now if Bill Cosby lives to 97, I’ll feel better.


Filed under In Memoriam, Movies, Television and Radio, Reading