Matthews: ‘Best to you, Mr. Clark’


Let me finish tonight with this.

I was thinking back on my paperboy days, back when I spent all those slow summer afternoons delivering the Philadelphia Bulletin along the border between Montgomery County and Bucks County. 

It was a long, lonely route (about five miles) and I had to ride my bike a mile just to get to it, but there was something idyllic about it given all that’s happened since.

I was thinking late today about standing at some doorway on a Friday afternoon–that was collection day–waiting for the customer to go get the 30 cents for that week of newspapers and listening to Bandstand on the TV set.

Bandstand was a big deal back then, especially for teenagers. It was a place each afternoon that was our place, where kids a little older than me became celebrities just for showing up after school to dance to the latest music, with celebrities with names like “Mary!!! South Philly.”

The host of that show was, of course, Dick Clark, who died today.

I wonder where all those kids were when they got the news. Probably over in Jersey most of them, some of them still hanging on, now in their seventies, in the old, narrow streets of South Philadelphia.

Dick Clark had a wonderful way of connecting to those kids…us kids. He cared about our music, about our fun…he actually cared about us. He was a little older, but not a day less hip.  

So tonight I want to say how much I share in all this. We Philly people were very proud, really proud, that Bandstand started in our own neighborhood.  

Best to you, Mr. Clark and also to you “Mary,” wherever you are, who made South Philly such a famous part of our great country, long before Rocky, long before even cheesesteaks.

Hardball Let Me Finish

Matthews: 'Best to you, Mr. Clark'