Like most Americans the memories of Jerry Lewis runs through my mind today. From the old movies that I from time to time saw on my grandparents television when I was boy, the caring humanitarian that made Labor Days more than just a time to picnic with the family, to his wildly hilarious live show I attended at the Madison Civic Center the memories are crisp and meaningful. I truly had tears in my eyes from laughing when Lewis took the stage in the 1990’s and count that night as one where I saw living legend.
Today the man who gave the gift of humor to folks worldwide died at the age of 91.
Over the recent years I have noted, each Labor Day how I missed Lewis on his telethon where he had given his heart and soul to each year. Last year I penned the following.
If you are like me than perhaps you too opened up the Sunday newspaper and noticed the Parade section did not have the face of a sweet child on its cover. For so many years of my life the poster child for the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon was front and center as a way to call attention to the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual telethon to raise money and awareness of the disease. Watching the telethon was always a part of the Labor Day weekend as much as picnics and frolicking in the sunshine.
My deep respect for Jerry Lewis as a humanitarian is as strong now as ever. His compassion and strong sense of making sure the world can be a better place tomorrow by the actions we take today remains his legacy.
That is how I wish to sum up the life of this man who will forever remain a part of our smiles. The very ones he has created.
Godspeed, Jerry. We love you.