We were in Milwaukee as the surprise guests at a New Year’s Eve party. At 10 to midnight, the hostess turned on Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve.  This was a party of musicians, so even though the t.v. was on the sound was off, allowing the host and hostess to choose the night’s soundtrack.

When Mr. Clark appeared I heard all sorts of comments: “ewww. Dick!” “What’s wrong with him?” “What happened to his teeth?” “Do you think his lip isn’t moving because he’s used botox?” “Time to move on Mr. Clark!” As I look online, I see many similar comments, ala: Dick Clark needs to be gently eased to sidelines.

I really like this response from Marianne:

Grow Up and realize that the elderly and feeble are still alive along side us. They need to be recognized, NOT marginalized. You should feel pride at seeing Dick make his appearance, in light of the place that man holds in American Culture. And it should be a reminder for every old feeble person you see that s/he was once possibly a mover and shaker in some decade past and deserving of respect. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to that ripe old age and have your life celebrated; and not told to quietly occupy the out-of-the-way lazyboy in the corner.

In 2006, after Mr. Clark’s first new year’s appearance since his stroke, CNN ran the story Clark outing cheers stroke survivors which included the following:

Hendrix, a former Miss Arizona who lives in Phoenix, echoed a hope common among stroke survivors interviewed: that the public might begin to treat them with the respect and admiration given those who’ve overcome cancer or heart attacks.

“Survivors of those other diseases seem to wear a badge of honor,” said Hendrix. But a stroke, with its obvious impairment, “maybe isn’t a pretty thing to look at. It’s definitely not a sexy disease.”

“So for him to get up on national TV and say: “This is what I am now” — I have nothing but respect for him,” she said.

Keep on rockin’ in the New Year, Mr. Clark!!

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