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Dudley Wooten

PDT Contributor

As we say good bye to the year 2012, we also reflect on those lost during the year.

We said good bye to several greats in several walks of life. In the entertainment world, we lost eleven that I will name.

Kitty Wells left behind a vast country music legacy, Donna Sommers was well known from songs of the 80s and of course, the passing of Whitney Houston was tragic and premature.

When we think of New Year’s celebration, we have to think of the ball dropping at Times Square in New York City. Who could come to mind other than Dick Clark? Between this annual event and The American Bandstand longevity, who amongst us didn’t think he would perpetuate right on through time forever?

Other entertainers lost in the field of acting were Ernest Borgnine and Charles Durning. Ernest Borgnine, with Mchale’s Navy, was probably more of a household name than Durning.

Durning came into acting like many — poor. He also came into acting like Audie Murphy, Ronald Reagan, Clint Eastwood, and Gene Hackman — from the military.

Durning was raised in poverty with nine siblings, taken prisoner in the Battle of the Bulge, survived “D-Day” at Normandy, received the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts. We came to know Durning from his acting career, but maybe his finest performance was in service to his country.

I thought Gary Carter was a good catcher and that’s what made him the best of commentators in baseball broadcasting. He had lived it and could think it and talk it.

Mike Wallace, of course, was an icon in the news media. We knew him well through print and video with his coverage of the major events of decades past.

We remember George McGovern as a key figure in politics for several decades and then there’s the guy from Ohio, who took the huge step for mankind by the name of Neil Armstrong. Armstrong, like his Buckeye/astronaut buddy John Glenn both have given Ohio a rich legacy in the space race.

Last, but certainly not least, we focus on that chap from Mayberry. Speaking of a rich legacy, what memories did he leave you?

Didn’t Andy Griffith portray life in Smalltown, U.S.A. in the slow lane, as the American Dream? Didn’t he make us all want to go back in time to a more simple and wholesome way of life?

Wasn’t his message about the values and morals in life that we were raised on and a ray of hope in today’s format?

A little known fact would be Andy’s knowledge in landscaping. In his 1960s rendition of Romeo and Juliet, the fair maiden speaks her classic line, “Romeo, Romeo, where fore art thou?”

Andy, being the good ol’ boy that he is, jumps right-up-a-straddle of the courtyard wall and commences, “Why, I’m right ‘cher in the booshes.” Well, you know right then you’re dealing with a landscape guru and I’ll let you ponder that thought as you whistle “Down to the fishin’ hole.”

Dudley Wooten can be reached at 740-820-8210 or by visiting wootenslandscaping.com.

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