That whole six degrees of separation thing kicked in Thursday, when my column on Walter Cronkite revealed a link between Cronkite and Review-Journal political cartoonist Jim Day, who grew up in St. Joseph, Mo., Cronkite’s birthplace.
“I, too, have many memories, memories of Dorothy — not Walter,” Day wrote me.
“Most of the things now being said about the broadcaster would apply exactly to his late aunt, Miss Dorothy Cronkite. She was my grade school principal. I recall that she'd asked for pictures I'd draw of Lincoln and then treat them as if she'd just been given an original Rembrandt. I also remember being reduced to tears after being called out into the hallway by Miss Cronkite because I really never understood the reasons for doing homework. Behind her back we called her Miss Concrete and there was some truth in that; at times she was gray and hard -- and when deserved, she would burn a hole in you with her unblinking flame-blue eyes.
“On my 8th grade report card, littered with the usual Cs and Ds, in the parent's comment section to the principal my mother wrote that she was at "wit's end," that she was "so very disappointed" with my grades and was there anything she could do "to motivate" me.”
Miss Cronkite's reply: "Just love him."
“I still have that card,” wrote Day.