The nation has mourned the death of Mary Tyler Moore as if she were a head of state. Perhaps she was the head of a state of mind. I thought we should take time to recognize her. We honor both the character she portrayed and the incredibly philanthropic person she was in real life, raising money and advocating for Juvenile Diabetes and humane care of animals. This quote comes from a friend I’ve known for about 62 years. Two Brooklyn transplants to Long Island, NY, we were nearly adjacent neighbors in the same school grade. I’ve also included a link to a MTM show episode about death and grieving. If you are at the point where bereavement humor would not distress you, try clicking this Chuckles Bites the Dust or the image at the bottom of this page.
Back in the 90’s, I was the vp marketing for a home video company that was doing a lot of the celebrity driven fitness videos and we contracted Mary Tyler Moore to do a series for women 35+. We had a first meeting with her and although she was very professional, there weren’t a lot of laughs in the room and I thought it odd that someone who was so accomplished as a comedic actress wasn’t a bit more…. well, humorous.. In the second meeting, we were discussing an event to promote the video and we pointed out that perhaps she would consider leading a group of senior walkers who met in the morning at the Mall of America to exercise indoors. She said she liked that idea. Trying to inject a little levity into the proceedings, I then piped up and said, ” if we do that, perhaps you should change your name?” She looked doubtfully at me and said, “change my name?” ” Sure, how about Mary Tyler Mall?.” Her laugh was a literal explosion. From that day on, there were lots of laughs on both sides. We met often in her apartment on 5th Avenue overlooking Central Park, possibly the most elegant home I’ve ever seen. Museum quality art everywhere including a Picasso oil in the guest washroom. She was true pro, did a ton of good work in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and it was an honor to know her. Alav a Shalom MTM.