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“So long, Burt. We’re all going to miss you. That’s me speaking for the whole world. (At least the whole world of a certain age.)
You don’t mind my going by your first name, right? I mean: We never met in person, and if we had, I’d have minded my manners at the start and addressed you as “Mr. Reynolds.” That’s how my late mother raised me — and, by the way, she loved watching you at work, too.
But even as I’m imagining it, that seems wrong somehow. Because for as long as I’ve known you — and that’s practically my whole life, albeit only through screens of various sizes — I’ve felt as though we’d be such good friends from the start and I could call you “Burt” without flinching.
From there, I always guessed we could kick back and I’d start asking you about your long, roller coaster of a career. No matter what room we were in, we’d be there for days as I got your takes on people as varied as Jim Brown, Johnny Carson, Raquel Welch, Roger Moore, Quentin Tarantino, Jackie Gleason, Clint Eastwood, Dean Martin, Elizabeth Taylor, Howard Cosell, Tammy Wynette, Jon Voight and many, many more.”
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