Thank You Robin

Written By: Tipsy Table - Aug• 30•14

Watching the 2013 Emmy award show, we were taken with the banality of the acceptance speeches. Most of those honored with the gold statuette seemed unprepared, needing words from an accomplished script writer. Their gushing and stuttering was to us insincere, sometimes incoherent, and almost uniformly too long. The ending music and thoughts of a cane around the neck were highlights. This interested us to no end at a gala where everyone is beautiful, comfortable, well-dressed and adequately fortified with alcohol or their drug of choice. We developed a simple grading system we call S3 for the acceptance remarks: Sincere, Smart, Short. Few awardees came close to meeting this simple standard. Most were neither sincere nor smart, but if the remarks were at least short they were redeemed. From this experience, we wrote a rant that we intended to post prior to the next Emmy show, the recent 2014 event.

What happened to chill us is that the preview listed Billy Crystal as offering the tribute to recently deceased Robin Williams. As most of the viewing public, we are great fans of Williams’ comic genius. His death came as such a surprise, believing him a cosmic force that would go on forever. Just the previous year, Robin had delivered a touching tribute to another comic genius, Jonathan Winters. Though so fitting, it was particularly sad to have another brilliant comic pay respects to Robin and we knew that Billy Crystal would be special. In no way could we post something now seeming trivial, so we just watched.

Billy Crystal was sincere, smart, and short, too short. He held himself together, though it was obvious he was sick with grief. He reiterated what other entertainers have said of Robin, that he was the brightest star in the galaxy. Hearing Crystal say that, one could understand the full meaning of the tribute to a “light that burns so brightly it warms us.” Crystal also told of Robin’s loyal friendship and his unusual generosity to so many.

We did know how popular Robin was in our Sun Valley area where he spent time skiing. We once came across Robin and his pal Arnold Schwarzenegger at Lookout. We tried to follow them down the hill but they blew us away as they were both exceptional skiers. Chris Millspaugh, reporter for The Weekly Sun of the Wood River Valley, wrote this in the August 20, 2014 issue:

Williams was a frequent visitor to the Sun Valley area and the slopes of Baldy. Locals had been touched by his presence many times and always with his impromptu sense of humor. Once, dressed in all white snow gear, Williams ended his run at the bottom of the mountain laughing because he thought he was invisible, and then jumped up on a log and entertained fellow skiers for about 20 minutes. The 17 or 18 lucky ones that day received their own Robin Williams ad lib concert with delight and awe. Several times over the years that Williams spent up here, he would try out new material at The Liberty Theater and invite members of the ski patrol and Sun Valley workers to come judge his new act for free.

You can read the rest of Mr. Millspaugh’s comments here:  http://issuu.com/theweeklypaper/docs/14_08_20_weeklysun_pg_bundled/7?e=0

(Thinking of Robin and his connection to the Wood River Valley, we realize he also shares a birthday , July 21st, with one of Ketchum’s favorite sons, Ernest Hemingway. Papa also fell into depression taking his own life in the valley just 19 days shy of his 63rd birthday. Robin succumbed a mere 21 days after celebrating his 63rd.)

All in all, the tribute was special and it gave such credibility to the award ceremony. It caused us to reflect, as we are sure so many did around the world, on a man who is uniquely talented and who shared with so many. What a legacy of work he left behind.

What can we possibly add? Nothing more than “Thank you, Robin. You are great. And you are good.”

Robin Star

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