I was sorry to hear about Dick Clark’s death this week and wasn’t surprised by the outpouring of sympathy and respect that followed. Dick was as big a part of my Saturday morning routine as pancakes and bacon. I remember lazy days, lounging around in my Holly Hobbie nightgown, watching “American Bandstand” with my brother while my dad read the paper and my mom cleaned the kitchen.
I loved seeing the kids dancing with their fancy disco clothes and toothy TV smiles. I was listening to Donna Summer and Bee Gees LP’s on our stereo and making up dance moves to “Grease” back then so “American Bandstand” had everything a preteen girl could want.
And who didn’t watch Dick every New Year’s Rockin Eve? There was something comforting about seeing the ball drop with him, whether I was stuck home with my parents, making a fool of myself after too many cocktails in my 20’s, or– in recent years– gathered with a bunch of friends and our kids in front of the TV.
He was a pop culture icon that I might have taken for granted, especially in the post stroke years when I wondered why he still chose to be on TV. Now that he’s gone, I realize that his enduring presence in music and TV was the backdrop and soundtrack for many memories, all of them fond.
I love Ryan Seacrest, but there was only one Dick Clark. I’ll miss him.