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(53,795 posts)
Mon Nov 12, 2018, 04:01 PM Nov 2018

My 4 amazing 80-something friends became my 4 amazing 90-something friends. Now there is one left [View all]

Nothing lasts forever. Nothing like losing Stan Lee to bring that one home (again).

I was privileged to have four incredible friends in their 80s ten years ago. All were well-known in some circles, unknown in others. Most people in Hollywood had no idea who Helen Thomas was. Most people in Washington didn't know who Theo Bikel was. Some people in both knew who Ruth Westheimer and Stan Lee were. Plenty of Americans had no clue who any of them were.

In the last five years, I have lost three friends in Helen Thomas, Theodore Bikel and now Stanley Lieber (Stan Lee). Ruth ("Dr. Ruth" ) Westheimer, the youngest of the bunch is still going strong at 90 (she just turned 90 this year).

But basically, I hear the voice loud and clear: you're next. It's your turn now to do start making a difference (if you aren't already) or not. Time WILL pass you by, but with the car door open, and slow enough for you to hop in for the ride. I know I will never come anywhere near leaving as lasting an impact on history as Helen, Stan, Theo or Ruth. I'm not even going to try.

But I don't want to feel I stayed completely on the sidelines, either. Harry Truman used to quote an epitaph he saw on a gravestone in Tombstone, Arizona: "Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damndest." Helen, Theo and Stan certainly "did their damndest." If I can convince myself I did, too, then it will do. It will have to.

I usually don't get this sentimental. Sorry about that. Losing Stan hit home, even if I knew it was coming.

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You've had some marvelous friends... I bet they passed on their strength and longevity to you... hlthe2b Nov 2018 #1
You're right, I do treasure the memories DFW Nov 2018 #2
Ah, my dear DFW, I feel your loss keenly. CaliforniaPeggy Nov 2018 #3
Well you certainly DID get carried away! LOL!! DFW Nov 2018 #5
Thank you for sharing your perspective and story of your friendships... Moostache Nov 2018 #4
When I saw the news about Stan Lee I thought of you. panader0 Nov 2018 #6
The problem is that they're all just as mortal as the rest of us. DFW Nov 2018 #7
How Mr. Lieber became Stan Lee Lionel Mandrake Nov 2018 #8
What qualified as "slumming" changed even more. DFW Nov 2018 #9
I wouldn't dare to speculate on that. nt Lionel Mandrake Nov 2018 #10
No sane person would, these days. DFW Nov 2018 #11
So very interesting, your friends IRL have enriched us all bigbrother05 Nov 2018 #12
Except for Helen Thomas, whom I had known since my age was in single digits DFW Nov 2018 #13
The Great Equalizer...remembers all of us equally pbmus Nov 2018 #14
Truer words were never spoken DFW Nov 2018 #15
You already made a small difference in my life! steve2470 Nov 2018 #16
Thanks, Steve! DFW Nov 2018 #17
No apologies needed, DFW... we know how tough it is to lose friends ailsagirl Nov 2018 #18
My dad loved to listen to his Theo Bikel album, an early memory for me. JudyM Nov 2018 #19
I miss Theo, too DFW Nov 2018 #20
My dad had a fabulous voice, and loved to sing and listen to Russian folk songs JudyM Nov 2018 #21
Many old cultures have a wealth of wonderful old folk songs DFW Nov 2018 #22
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