To those of you who are my age or older (50-Something….) the words “oh my goodness” – spoken so often by a young, curly topped Shirley Temple – might conjure up memories of childhood. Of a time when you may have spent a Sunday afternoon with your family or friends gathered around a big black and white console television. That was the day that Family Classics, hosted by Frazier Thomas, aired.
Each week, Thomas would come into our lives from the set of his show. It was staged and arranged to resemble a family room. Or maybe it was a living room. I remember book shelves, filled with hard bound, leather books sitting on them, in the background.
We’d gather around the tv and the show’s theme would start to play, Then he’d walk onto the set and into our family rooms. He’d sit down on a big wing chair and tell us about the movie we were about to see. Sometimes holding the leather bound book in his hand. He’d choose a different classic film each week. Treasure Island, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Lassie Come Home, My Friend Flicka, Old Yeller…..Just to name a few.
And of course all the wonderful Shirley Temple movies. Bright Eyes, The Little Colonel, Heidi. She sang and danced her way into our hearts. Watching her movies and falling in love with them are some of my earliest memories.
It was so bittersweet waking up this morning to the news of the death of Shirley Temple. Memories of this iconic child star instantly take so many of us back to a simpler time. An age of wholesome innocence. She was a wonderful, and quite possibly, the best example of a child star who came out the other side sane and used her fame for a great 2nd act. Leaving behind a permanent footprint on this world. She was a true Hollywood legend. A legend who will be missed and forever loved.
R.I P. Shirley Temple Black.