WWD.com/fashion-blogs/and_thats_the_way_it_was-09-07

the Insiders

Archives

July 22, 2009 4:03 PM

Media

And That's The Way It Was

Betsy and Walter Cronkite in 1992.Photo: WWD Archives Sometimes a once-in-a-lifetime experience can leave a lasting impression. When journalistic icon Walter Cronkite died last week, the first thing that came into my mind was a brief encounter WWD had...

Betsy and Walter Cronkite in 1992.
Betsy and Walter Cronkite in 1992.
Photo: WWD Archives

Sometimes a once-in-a-lifetime experience can leave a lasting impression. When journalistic icon Walter Cronkite died last week, the first thing that came into my mind was a brief encounter WWD had with him in 1992.

I was covering the memorial service for fashion designer Mollie Parnis, who beside dressing first ladies and society women, had befriended many of the top newsmen and women of her time during Sunday night dinners and election night parties. Speaking and attending her memorial were the likes of Cronkite, Mike Wallace, Barbara Walters and Charlie Gibson.

During a cocktail reception prior to the service at Lincoln Center, where a memorial for Cronkite will also be held, I was wide-eyed at the media stars in the room, but was somehow drawn to introduce myself to Cronkite. I, like many others, had grown up watching him anchor the CBS Evening News, narrating events such as President John F. Kennedy's assassination, the first men on the moon and the Vietnam War.

So I introduced myself and told him he was one of my heroes. He thanked me, and then graciously introduced me to his wife, Betsy.

In his eulogy of Parnis, Cronkite expressed why he cared so much for her, and his words also expressed why I and millions of Americans admired him so much, when he said: "Most of all, we loved Mollie for her truthfulness and her absolute candor and courage of her convictions."

He then added, "Maybe that's why we newspeople loved Mollie as much as she seemed to favor us. She loved the inside story. She also believed dresses should not go out of style after one season and we husbands loved her for that."

And that's the way it was, Sept. 15, 1992.

load comments

ADD A COMMENT

Sign in using your Facebook or Twitter account, or simply type your comment below as a guest by entering your email and name. Your email address will not be shared. Please note that WWD reserves the right to remove profane, distasteful or otherwise inappropriate language.

Ads by Google