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Memories of Childhood Icons

September 08, 1998

Mary McNamara's tender tribute to Buffalo Bob, Roy Rogers and Shari Lewis ("Say, Kids, What Time Is It?" Life & Style, Aug. 12) tugged at my heart. How privileged those of us are who grew up with these three as part of our childhood and young adulthood landscape.

The memories will never leave:

* Our family walking across Eastern Avenue to the (rich) neighbor's house on the hill overlooking City Terrace, to watch "Howdy Doody" on one of the first TV sets, in a front room crowded with so many chairs that it reminded us of a movie theater.

* My brother and I taking the Red Car downtown to the old Paramount each time a new Roy and Dale movie was released in that marvelously strange, mysterious color process that only Republic Pictures seemed to know how to come up with.

* Rushing to teach our grandnieces and grandnephew "This Is the Song That Never Ends," minutes after being mesmerized as Shari Lewis sang it to Lamb Chop.

Theirs truly will be a song that never ends. Many of us will sing that song "on and on and on . . . ," just for them. Thanks for honoring these three.

LEAH SCHWEITZER

Los Angeles

*

Your insight into the psyche of our generation is right on, but how could you leave out the deaths of Robert Young (the father we all wanted) and Alan Shepard (the icon for adventure, whose milestone first trip into space marked the first time that a television was brought into our nation's classrooms)?

The death toll for boomers' icons in the past few weeks is greater than first reported.

JUAN PEREZ

Pacific Palisades

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