It seems like there has been an unusually high number of celebrity deaths the last few weeks. Each one reminds me about my own impending mortality -- and a day I do not look forward to.
Other than watching them on TV as a child, I admit I do not have many memories to tell about them. My brothers had posters of David Carradine (as Caine in "Kung Fu") and Farah Fawcett. Karl Malden filmed a scene for "The Streets of San Francisco" in front of the building where my father worked. My grandmother used to order books and magazines while dreaming of the day Ed McMahon would knock on her door and present her with a big check from Publisher's Clearing House.
I had to fly half-way around the world to almost have something in common with one celebrity. I was standing on the balcony of The People's Palace in Bucharest, Romania and pretended to wave to an imaginary crowd while enjoying the scenery.
At that point, the tour guide pointed out that Michael Jackson was one of the first people to stand in the same spot I had been. He had a large audience of real people, of course. But apparently while waving, he yelled out, "I love Budapest!" Fortunately, I did not make the same mistake about the city name.
I imagine one benefit famous people have is that they will always be remembered, and in that sense they are immortal.
The Bully Party
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