Shirley in Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, via
Late last night, I was sitting on the couch talking to Jonathan and randomly noticed A Little Princess (the book) sitting on my bookshelf, buried amongst the other books I've saved from my young years. I got so excited suddenly, and burst out to Jonathan that, "Oh my god, in the doctor's office waiting room last week, they were playing Shirley Temple's A Little Princess and I was so upset that I couldn't stay and watch it -- it's been years, and it was always one of my favorite versions of the story, and one of her best films." I even pulled Heidi (again, the book) off the shelf, another great adaptation of Shirley's, and then started talking more about how I adored her films as a kid, and how much watching them shaped my childhood.
And then, this morning, he woke me up with the news that she had passed away.
I don't think it's a coincidence that she came up in my mind so vividly last night. I grew up watching Shirley Temple; her films are some of my earliest memories, and I have my parents to thank for recognizing the value of old movies, and trusting that Generation Y minds would have the patience to sit and watch movies that we could never get our young friends to watch with us, but that Kim and I cherished and have continued to cherish as we've grown up.
With her passing, I will celebrate by forcing Jonathan to watch whatever movie of hers I can get my hands on. (Incidentally, I've just discovered, a bunch of her movies are on YouTube in full: A Little Princess, Dimples, Bright Eyes, The Little Colonel, and Heidi... ones off the top of my head that I can assuredly recommend as fantastic -- in case you're looking to remember her, or delve into her work for the first time.)
We'll also be drinking some Shirley Temple Blacks, because we're grown ups now, and rum makes most things more enjoyable.
To Shirley: You won us over with your curls and dimples, but kept us watching because of your talent and charisma. You've done amazing work for film and the world, as a diplomat, and we have a better Earth because you lived on it.