When Art Linkletter passed away last week at the age of 97 I like I suspect many baby boomers had a flood of memories. My Mom told me that when my Dad was transferred to Los Angeles from Detroit they had a hard time convincing me to go. I was an avid fan of westerns at the time and thought the west was full of Indians, and well, I didn't want to be attacked and die. Then my Mom told me that it was really safe, that Art Linkletter lived and worked out there and he wouldn't live in a dangerous place. So I agreed to give it a try and we moved to L.A. in April of 1960 with very little trouble or drama from me.
Art Linkletter had the rare gift of being able to bring out the best and funniest things in people. He did not fight for the spotlight when he interviewed adults and children. Like Johnny Carson he was not from Hollywood and had a genuine air about himself. Both were masters at bringing out the humor in people.
When I was younger I used to worship talent and intelligence. As I have gotten older I realize those traits are common and usually not used to their best end. What impresses me now are good people. People who try to be happy and make the world a better place in small and large ways. Art Linkletter was one of those people.
If baby Boomers have a Mount Rushmore it might include Art Linkletter, along with Walt Disney, John F. Kennedy and who else I can't think of at the moment. When good public people die their lives should be celebrated a little more than they are.