On Monday, Robin Williams died. On Tuesday, Lauren Bacall died. This has left me numb. By a couple degrees of separation, I had writing influences/connections running back to both celebs. In a roundabout way, they helped shape my writing and so their passing away back-to-back has left me shell-shocked.
Bacall was a great actress tied to a glamorous period in Hollywood. She was nicknamed ‘The Look’ which you get a glimpse of in the photo above. She was famous for the line in To Have Or Have Not that went “You know how to whistle don’t you, Steve? Just put your lips together and blow.”
She would have been scandalous in today’s world because she fell in love with Bogart when she was 19, he was twice married and in his 40’s, and yet the love was real, it lasted until Bogart’s death. It just goes to show that age has very little to do with love and maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to judge because someone else has different standards than us.
I wondered today who else from Bacall’s generation is left that has shaped my work and life. I can’t think of anyone. Maybe I have missed someone but I think she is the last. The only person left in my life that ties back to Bacall is in a nursing home and I’ve wondered all day if it has registered with the person that Betty – as Lauren liked to be called – has passed away. As you can imagine, age has taken a toll the past few years.
With the death of Williams and Bacall I have suddenly become acutely aware that the peripheral edges of my universe are crumbling into the dusty remains of history and like a plague it is creeping in my direction. Someday it will reach me – without the fanfare.
I tip my hat to the ever classy Lauren Bacall. All we can do is put our lips together and blow – she was some lady.