A Birthday Thank You

Howard with Sonny
Howard with Sonny

  Once again, it’s Howard’s birthday.  He would be 65 years old today.

Which means he’d be eligible for all sorts of goodies by now.  His AARP membership would be in good standing, Medicare and Social Security would have kicked in and then there are those discounts on Metro-North trains, movie tickets and early bird specials.

I can’t reconcile it.  I can’t reconcile the young and vibrant brother I remember…  the boy wonder, with a senior citizen.

Even at the worst.  Even when his body had been so thoroughly ravaged, Howard was a too young man dying at too young an age.  He was never old.

I, on the other hand, have marched on with the winds of time – or something like that.  Grey hair, aging parent, irritation at youthful fashions – I’m all in.  And I really, really wish Howard were here to share it with me.  Because his eye was always more jaundiced than mine, his wit sharper, his laugh louder.

I have no idea what Howard would have thought about social media.  I know he loved the idea of computers and was an early user of a portable computer to go back and forth to LA for his Disney work (it was the size of a carry-on suitcase – the ones that are really too big to be carried on).  He clearly loved to communicate and to amuse – I have a funny feeling he’d be of the Stephen Fry school of Twitter.  Or  maybe not.  I try not to answer questions that begin, “what do you think Howard would say…” but it’s always tempting.

So I don’t know if Howard would be a user of social media.  But I do know that I’m thankful it exists.  Because without it, I would never have learned about Howard’s fans.  The ones who grew up on Mermaid and Beauty, who did Little Shop in High School and who stay loyal and in awe of Howard and his work to this day.

Thank you all for reading, for listening, for caring.  Happy May 17th.