Mesa Musings: 'Peter Pan' image doesn't fly

February 13, 2012|By Jim Carnett

How would you like to be remembered?

Each of us enters our Golden Years with that question in mind.

What's my legacy?

If you had a choice, would you prefer to be remembered as: a generous philanthropist; connoisseur of the arts; devoted spouse, parent and grandparent; raconteur; dedicated worker; or compassionate citizen of the world?

You doubtless can provide many other equally endearing labels.

Or, maybe you'd just be content to be remembered as Peter Pan.

That apparently is how I'm remembered by one soul. Call me kooky, but I find that disturbing! I do, however, take consolation in the fact that it's better to be remembered as Peter Pan than not to be remembered at all.


It makes sense to me that Babe Ruth's memory evokes "The Sultan of Swat"; or that Charlton Heston calls to mind "Moses"; or that Frank Sinatra is "The Voice."

There's logic behind those appellations.

But, Peter Pan? Really?

Even Mary Martin is bigger than the boy who wouldn't grow up. She survived about a zillion performances in green tights — attached by a wire to a flying contraption.

But she's not remembered as Peter Pan. She's Mary Martin, for heaven's sake, "Distinguished Actress" (and, by the way, mother to Larry Hagman, who played J.R. Ewing on "Dallas").

In addition to playing Peter Pan, Martin originated two celebrated and enduring Broadway roles: Nellie Forbush of "South Pacific" and Maria of "The Sound of Music." She possessed true gravitas!

I'm such a lightweight I have to stuff rocks into my pockets.

Costa Mesa High School's first graduating class — my class! — will conduct its 50th anniversary reunion in September. The Class of '62 was highly unique in that it was the lead class all the way through its four years on campus.

I'm convinced that that circumstance dramatically impacted our lives. We, "The Favored 400," learned to be leaders. I was sports editor of the school newspaper as a freshman. That would never have happened had we upperclassmen.

I've agreed to serve on the 50th reunion planning committee. I attended my first meeting a few nights ago.

I entered the meeting with my friend Mike Parks, a former CMHS football player. Mike and I encountered a room filled with 15 of our fellow classmates, each of whom were unknown to me at first.

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