The Discovery Channel started re-running the eight-part series, Cronkite Remembers, on Sunday, July 26, 2009. The series was originally produced in 1997 and the cable network re-released it in honor of the newsman's recent death.
Walter Cronkite was a son of the middle border — he grew up in St. Joseph and Kansas City, Missouri and started his broadcasting career in KC.
My main memory of Cronkite as a kid and young adult is this old guy with a brass balls set of pipes who gave us the Holy News from atop Mt. CBS. He was the news soundtrack to my life — the space program, assassinations, Vietnam, political conventions, and basically anything that happened from 1960 to 1984. But in Cronkite Remembers, that's exactly what Uncle Walter does — he remembers — telling stories like a favorite uncle who lived an incredible life.
If Cronkite stopped being a newsman after World War II, his life to that point would have been epic. He was there at the birth of radio news. He was an ink-stained wretch from the old newspaper days. He reported the major battles of the European theatre of WWII. He had announced football games via teletype. He read live commercials.
The series essentially consists of Cronkite in his living room, talking over B-roll of the various aspects of his life and times. It is story telling at its best, as he says at the start, gathering around the fire to hear some tales.
It also humanizes Cronkite in light of all the recent tributes to a fallen Titan. He made up sports broadcasts. He stole a photo of the wrong women from a house for his newspaper. The Pendergast gang made him vote as some Italian guy in Kansas City. Uncle Walter was in the hurly-burly of his time, not afraid to get his hands dirty for a good story.
Uncle Walter comes down from the mountain and like a wise elder with a twinkle in his eyes, weaves some marvelous yarns about himself and his times. Cronkite Remembers is must watch TV.