The Summer Of The "Disappearing Icon"?

Reflecting on who we've lost this summer.

Some people will remember this as the "summer that wasn't", because of the lack of sweltering heat.  I have to say I didn't mind that, and neither did my air conditioner.

But this might eventually be remembered as the summer we lost a lot of famous people who, for better or for worse, impacted our lives.

Ed McMahon.  Farrah Fawcett. Walter Cronkite.  Don Hewitt. Ted Kennedy. And of course, Michael Jackson.

You might not have liked all of them.  One person, talking about Kennedy this past weekend, said "he's in a place that is very hot right now". (Don't ask me who he is; I didn't get his name, and didn't want to.)

But they all had an impact of some kind.  McMahon is, of course, best remembered as Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show" sidekick, but he always had a career of his own, even after Carson called it quits.

I thought Fawcett was crazy when she left "Charlie's Angels", or at least acquired a head that was bigger than the hair on it at the time.  But it turns out she knew what she was doing.  She didn't want to be rememered solely for a "jiggle" show and a cheesecake poster.

I can't say much about Cronkite that hasn't already been said.  Hewitt worked both with Cronkite and the even-more-legendary Edward R. Murrow, and was the creator of "60 Minutes" as well as its producer for more than 35 years.

No matter what happens with the health care reform movement, Kennedy will be remembered as its champion, and not just recently. He was talking about it three decades ago.

To me, Michael Jackson WAS the 1980's, or at least its musical voice.

Because of all of these losses, the summer of 2009 will be one to look back on.  But, maybe I'm writing this a bit prematurely.

It technically isn't over yet.

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