And I have, of course, rang in just about every new year with him since...well, since as far back as I can remember, missing only a handful for going out. I'm not a big New Year's Eve party-er. I'd much rather sit on the couch in my pajamas and ring in the new year with an orange juice or sparkling grape juice toast.
So this December 31st and each one after will just not be the same for me. Ryan Seacrest is alright but he's no Dick Clark. It pained me a bit to see Mr. Clark after his stroke, struggling to speak clearly and then getting a little off on the countdown, but by gosh, he wasn't going to miss it and I was grateful for his continued appearance each year and the fact that he seemed to be making a remarkable recovery.
I can't say I knew that much about his personal life or his beliefs. He was just this ever-present person in my t.v. who evoked all sorts of memories for me each time I saw his cheerful face appear on my screen so I was saddened when I opened my homepage on my birthday last week and read that he'd passed the day before.
Then yesterday a Dachshund blog I like to read wrote a post about how much he loved Dachshunds and had ever since he was a boy and his uncle gave him a ceramic one. He had a few of them over the years, including one named Bernardo he rescued as a stray off the streets of San Bernardino.
I knew there was a reason I was so fond of him. He was a fellow wiener dog lover! And I like to imagine him surrounded by not just the wieners but all the four-legged friends (he apparently had quite a few) he loved and cared for throughout his life.
You'll be greatly missed, Mr. Clark. Hope you enjoyed the ride...