Turn it off

On Monday in the fall of 1972, oddly enough on September 11th, CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite decided to end his nightly broadcast with bad news.

“Professor Hubert Lamb says a new Ice Age is creeping over the northern hemisphere,” Cronkite began.

This could have been a joke, or deadly serious. Nothing in his delivery gave the slightest hint. Cronkite’s face was an advanced messaging machine , a broadcasting Ferrari.

He went on: “It won’t be as bad as the last Ice Age 60,000 years ago. Then, New York, Cincinnati and St. Louis were under five thousand feet of ice. Presumably, no traffic moved, and school was let out for the day.”

He paused. Again, not a single revealing twitch in that face. 

“And that’s the way it is, Monday, September 11th, 1972.”

I was just old enough to groan over the hoopla when Walter Cronkite said And that’s the way it is for the last time on March 6th, 1981. I understood this was a national ritual, and Walter had been with us for so many crucial moments in history, f…

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