Who Can Replace You?
I loved this guy ...
Well, Johnny Carson is dead. I didn't even know he was ill.
I normally don't pay much attention to celebrity deaths. But, this one really has hit me and left me very sad.
I'm old enough to remember The Tonight Show. Anyone could get a kick out of that show! I remember watching it as a teenager with my parents; we all enjoyed it even though each of us had (and still have) a different sense of humor. In fact, I used to look forward to his show on nights when I had the time or schedule to watch it.
None of the current late night shows and hosts quite match Johnny Carson. I enjoy them once in a while, but I never seek them out and definitely don't look forward to them the way I did The Tonight Show. As David Letterman said, they are all "just pretenders" compared to Carson.
Johnny died of emphysema. A person close to me, named Al, died of the same disease in recent months. They both smoked most of their lives, starting back in the 40's. (Al started smoking Lucky Strikes, which the US Army gave away, when fighting in the Italian Campaign of WWII). I sympathize with these older guys that started smoking at such a young age and before it was stigmatized. They didn't know what they were doing to themselves.
Emphysema is a horrible way to die. Al was conscious until the last day, had horrible chest pain, and felt like he was being slowly suffocated. He spent the last 10 days of his life without food and the last week without fluids because he couldn't swallow and did not want a feeding tube just to prolong the agony.
It would have been merciful if Al's heart had given out so that the agony could have ended sooner. But, Al was a tough guy who never had it easy in his life. He nevertheless had a heart of gold. Johnny Carson was a man with a gift who earned a life of luxury. He also gave so much to so many of us. These things do not need to be evened out by events on earth, so I hope that Johnny Carson's death was faster than Al's once it was clear that it was inevitable.
Both of these guys came from a different era. People from that era did not complain, did not seek to blame others for their mistakes, and took responsibility for themselves and for their country.
So long Al and Johnny.