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It was nine years ago today (at about this exact moment) that my incredible father, Howard Morris, passed away.

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him. Nine years seems like a long time. I suppose it is. When time is attached to such a special person, the pain of loss hits a level where it seems to more or less stabilize as one big emotional chunk. I now know what I will carry for the rest of my life.

He was like my brother. Everything that goes with that type of relationship was there. I don’t want to bore you with the details because I’ve written a lot about our relationship in posts over the years. But what I will say is that I woke up today recalling what I think were some fascinating situations he and I shared, and ultimately conquered. Our relationship was good, no, actually, it was GREAT! Why? Many reasons. One being that we could and would say practically anything to each other. We trusted that neither of us was going to run off crying in a corner, burning about it for days, weeks. We did have times like that, but 9 times out of 10 it was something revolving around a crazy, friend, ex-wife or girlfriend. Each of us had bad relationships at one time or another, not all that unique. Point being that our issues didn’t last long because we had mastered a process of conquering the junk in our lives, and moving on.

My father would sometimes go to therapists. Sometimes I would join. I would say the vast majority of therapists tried, but were out of their league. They didn’t really understand my father. He was not textbook. Among other things they never truly considered the performer elements in him. He was always on stage. Most folks in show business have this issue. Some stronger than others. I understood it well, so I knew how to ride those waves. This dynamic was a common thread. Those who knew him got the message quickly that Howard was a powerful, but honest man who, ultimately, tried for attention, but just wanted to be loved. Ernest T. Bass, for lack of a better way of saying it, is what Howard Morris was all about. This is why we started this site, as opposed to a “Howard Morris” site. My father truly lives within ETB.

But getting back to time. Nine years. I suppose it does help in terms of healing, but not really. The waves of a huge loss remain fully in tact. At times I catch myself looking directly into the massive space that my father once occupied. Why? Because he was AMAZING.

I’ll always love you, dad 🙂

David

P.S. Thank you kindly to everyone for your thoughtful messages and loving posts. I do read all of them.

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Sid Caesar passed away today.

He was a genius.

He was funnier than funny.

Hands down one of the most brilliant comedic talents ever. His face alone could destroy. Add to that the clockwork-like timing and amazing multi-national gibberish dialects, Sid was nothing less than a comedic supernova.

Sid is the reason why Howard Morris came to be in entertainment. Sid picked Howard to be a star on one of the most brilliant TV shows ever. Without Sid and his keen eye, Ernest T. Bass and numerous other Howie Morris characters may never have been born.

Sid spread funny out to all of his cast members and writers to be funny, funnier than they had ever been before. Sid set the bar for funny very high, and in my view it remains the high watermark for comedic TV.

I suggest taking a few minutes to watch this clip in it’s entirety. It is a true comedy clinic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNbT9Lf9xZo

Thank you, Sid, for everything you did for my father, and the entire world.

David

 

 

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It was eight years ago today, almost to the exact minute as I post this message, when my  great father passed away. I’ll never forget that moment. Everything he was, everything he cared for, everything his fans and friends loved, everything we had as friends, everything as father and son, it was all gone. Finality.

Before he died, we spent decades with each other. He would call me numerous times a day. In the years before his passing he even moved just blocks away from my office so we could be closer. He was my rock, my anchor, my buddy. I was his sounding board, and he was mine. We protected each other.
Last week, I was visiting with one of my best friends. He and I grew up together. He mentioned that he was heading out of the country on a trip with his father, for a major event. His father is a well known actor. I’ll leave his name out but you’d know him from television over the years. I said to my friend “become the biggest sponge you can while you can. Once that line is crossed, there’s no going back.”   My friend still has both of his parents, yet he understood my point. As we continued to talk, I flashed back over the years when my father and I would travel to various appearances. He would do shows. I was, for lack of a better term, his tour manager. We really had a blast. Like two kids running loose on an airplane, we played together. These times were great, but for my pop it was more than that, it was also the chance to ignite and let loose his unstoppable talents. This was more fun than anything to him. He was soooo good on stage.
I always thought Ernest T. Bass was a pretty smart guy. Crazy, silly, yes, but smart at his core. Why? Because the lines between Howie Morris and his characters would often blur. This was my pops formula to building solid characters.
Even though we were close and spent a ton of time together, looking back, there was still room for more with him. I would give anything to have another hour or two together. I do get brief moments with him in dreams. Suddenly, he’ll just be there. We’ll talk, or he’ll just smile.
Sometimes it’s as though he never died.
Become a sponge with those you love.
Dad, I’ll always love you.
David
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My father, Howard, was born on this day in 1919.

We’ll never stop thinking about you, Dad.

Happy Birthday!

David

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Ernest T. Bass aside, what would you consider to be your favorite Andy Griffith Show episode, and why?

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-David

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