What an emotional weekend! We lost one of the greatest journalists of all times, which, even though expected, was sad. Then we experienced the pure joy of watching Tom Watson show the world that winning isn't always reflected on a scoreboard.
Growing up, the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite was where this boomer turned to learn what was going on in the world. From the living room of our ranch home on the outskirts of a small Southern town, Cronkite made us feel protected somehow. We knew he'd tell us what we needed to know and why we needed to know it. His signature, "And that's the way it is" was oddly comforting and authoritative.
Cronkite was the epitome of integrity and class, and he inspired me to go to college and be a journalist in hopes of one day covering stories that mattered. From his emotional coverage of the assassination of President Kennedy to the first lunar landing, to his smart coverage of every political convention for over 20 years, he oozed authenticity and insight. My family of eight gathered around our Zenith black and white TV to see what he had to say, no matter the topic. Since he left his post as the first person ever to anchor an evening news show, I've never been as devoted to a particular anchor (though I was quite fond of Peter Jennings for years and was actually a bit angry with him for cutting his life short through his cigarette addiction).
I like to think if Cronkite were covering today's news, he would take delight in reporting the amazing accomplishment of Tom Watson at the British Open this weekend. Another true original, Tom is a nice guy with a devoted fan base that appreciates the fact he gave his very best. And even though he didn't win, for a couple of days, we brought together people of all ages around the world who pulled for the 59-year-old boomer to become the oldest person to win a major golf tournament.
Watson made boomers everywhere feel a little prouder, a little younger and little more confident in our belief that we can't be counted out on anything just yet, including a game that is increasingly dominated by young people (including 16-year-olds like Matteo Manassero). But most of all, like Cronkite, Watson exudes pure class and that's something we just don't see enough of any more.
Truthfully, I feel a little sorry for Stewart Cink, another classy guy whose first major win is being overshadowed by Tom Watson's loss. And yet, it seems like a perfect demonstration of just how news coverage has changed over the years. Cronkite could never have imagined that one day it would be tweets, blogs and ireports that would inform the news. (In fact, Cink himself tweeted as he golfed.)
So in one weekend, we've celebrated the accomplishments of a Gen-Y prodigy (Manassero), a Gen X-er (Cink) and a Boomer (Watson), and a senior (Cronkite). And as a result, at least for today, I feel a little better about the world. And that's the way it is.