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I’m going to miss Ralph Waite

It will probably go by without much notice. A few will post about it on Facebook, and some from my generation will feel a slight sorrow at his passing, but nothing like the way it went when Philip Seymour Hoffman died or Paul Walker or Heath Ledger . . .

. . . or John Belushi

. . . or Marilyn Monroe

The list of tragic deaths in Hollywood is quite lengthy – and covered ad nauseam by the media.

But when a man like Ralph Waite dies at 85, a few notice and the rest just wonder who he was – or maybe they don’t even wonder at all. They may remember the recent cameo roles – but not The Waltons and not Cool Hand Luke. Not the stuff that stands any test of time.

The passing of The Walton’s patriarch will have about as much attention as the passing of Shirley Temple Black. In a couple of days, it will be over. Practically forgotten.

We glamorize the terrible. We gloss over the wonderful.

So, I’m writing about Ralph Waite. And I’m doing it with much gratitude. His show was good. And it was about good things – like family. Like marriage. Like making ends meet. Like redemption.

And sacrifice.

And faith.

These are the things we should praise. These are the lives we should remember – those things that fit into the category of whatsoever is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable. We should think on these things.

Thank you, Ralph Waite and Shirley Temple Black.

Thank you to all those who give the noble, the lovely, the admirable gifts to the world.

If there are things of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, let us think on these things. Philippians 4:8

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