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Newsman Mike Wallace and Artist Thomas Kinkade: Two Icons Gone

Both died within the past week, leaving behind their own unique mark in the world.

As I kid, Sunday nights were reserved for camping out in front of the television to watch the Wonderful World of Walt Disney, but as I got older, my tastes turned to 60 Minutes. I used to get a kick out of the stopwatch that would start the hour off and return right before a station break.

I made it my goal to beat that clock for a popcorn run or bathroom break. Usually, I got back just in time to watch Mike Wallace start a story that I found fascinating. Wallace, famed for his tough interviews on 60 Minutes, died Saturday, April 7, he was 93. 

Like many, I thought he was a great newsman, along with Peter Jennings and Walter Cronkite. Known as the grand inquisitor of the CBS news show he once declared there was "no such thing as an indiscreet question."

I'm not sure anyone has been able to replace these guys on TV now that I think about it. Nope, now we have reality shows that have taken front and center that do nothing more than showcase crass people.

I'll miss Wallace’s style of old news reporting, but I will continue to watch 60 Minutes on Sunday evenings.

Thomas Kinkade

Another icon that died unexpectedly on Friday, April 6, was Thomas Kinkade the artist who was best known for his fairytale-ish paintings. His family has said that he died of natural causes. An L.A. Times story says, "Kinkade -- a devout Christian who spoke of God's influence in his life and work -- called himself the "Painter of Light." While often criticized in the art world, his works were beloved by many.

"When he first started out, he sold his paintings at supermarket parking lots in his hometown of Placerville, Calif. He and his wife spent their life savings to start making his prints.

"That move ultimately attracted buyers who paid anywhere from a few hundred dollars for paper prints to $10,000 or more for canvas editions signed and retouched by Kinkade."

Growing up I was surrounded by his works of art that would be showcased in malls and available as posters for those who could not afford the real deal. The paintings seemed be staples in the homes of the senior set as well as hanging in doctors’ offices. While I was never a fan of his type of art, I did respect his talent.

These are both two men who will be missed, each for their own unique talent. One a true newshound, the other an artist with a special gift for capturing his imagination on canvas.

Tracy Buck April 11, 2012 at 05:34 AM
I read Don Hewitt's autobiography, and he felt like Mike Wallace was the correspondent who put "60 Minutes" on the map - although DH had many run-ins with him. His style and no-nonsense approach made "60 Minutes" a no-miss show for me from high school on. I agree with Larry King - there will never be another like him. Good article.
Debbie L. Sklar April 11, 2012 at 05:00 PM
@Natalie: I think you are right, we now live in the world of TMZ and tabloid journalism, even on the network stations. I love when they say breaking news and it's about a celeb headed to rehab.
Debbie L. Sklar April 11, 2012 at 05:02 PM
@Tracy: I'd have to agree, as Cheryl suggested there are no really hard-hitting journalists around anymore like Wallace. We will in a world where celebrity news and car chases are the news. A real joke.
rob April 11, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Wallace was a great newsman who dug deep and delivered. The show will be different without him, but I will still watch it. There aren't many news shows left like this. Good perspective. I never owned a Kinkade, not my style.
angela barneby April 11, 2012 at 05:22 PM
I loved Mike Wallace, he was a great newsman and one of the last real journalists in my opinion. I grew up watching him and will miss his stories and finesse.

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