The main thing Ill miss the late Walter Cronkite for is his charming yearly New Years concert broadcasts from Vienna. Still, when I heard of Cronkites death it was the following two anecdotes that came to mind:
- Once when he was asked how hed like to die, creepy old man Cronkite said Id like to go out the way Errol Flynn did on a 60 foot yacht with a 16-year-old mistress. His wife, sitting beside him, quickly put a damper on this fantasy by adding, Youll be lucky to get a 16-foot yacht and a 60-year-old mistress. (Reports of his death have thus far not specified which it turned out to be.)
- A friend of mine for whom Cronkite recorded some historical narratives on tape once told me that Cronkite seemed to have surprisingly little idea of the meaning of anything he was reading; he also read King George III as King George Three, and had to be told that the preferred rendering was the Third.
Theres also a certain irony in the fact that just last month Cronkites people were informing the media: His condition is being grossly exaggerated. … It is not true that hes gravely ill.