Generally speaking, I’m pretty indifferent to the struggles of the glitterati, but the news that Debbie Reynolds died less than a day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, was pronounced dead is heartening. Carrie Fisher is an icon of my generation because she was, for a lot of us, their first crush. Even if it was irrational, you remember that. Carrie Fisher in the role of Princess Leia didn’t really do it for the young me, but Kathy Coleman in the role of Holly Marshall of Land of the Lost fame certainly did. I don’t want to jinx her. Please, Kathy Coleman, If you see 2016, RUN… just like you did from Grumpy and Alice. Don’t let it get you!
My paternal grandparents were sweethearts from childhood. They lived right around the block from each other in their South Philly neighborhood. My grandmother used to tell me stories of sitting on top of hidden liquor crates with my grandfather that her father was smuggling to Atlantic City on behalf of his employers (ever see Boardwalk Empire? My great-grandfather worked for Nucky). No one would ever suspect a family man traveling to the Jersey Shore for the weekend with the kids.
My paternal grandparents had known each other their whole lives. My grandfather had a couple of strokes in 1996, and a big one killed him that same year. My grandmother went very quickly downhill. She completely lost the will to live. I’ve come to think you get to a certain age, you can actually will yourself to die, or at least give up fighting the inevitable. Whatever cause of death she had on her death certificate, she died of a broken heart. So I can sympathize. I can’t imagine that kind of thing being in the public eye. Such is the price of celebrity.