Dear Mr. Drummond: What you talking ‘bout?
A tribute to the life of Conrad Bain by Susan Sassi
Dear Mr. Drummond,
It indeed takes different strokes to move the world. And it amazes me how different we are. Mr. Drummond, you were like a father to me while I was growing up. You recently passed away and while I don’t want to disrespect the dead, I am upset. Not about the racist implications of your most well known peace of work, Different Strokes. Honestly, I never saw any racial implications, that’s someone else’s point of view. It’s their own different stroke to follow, if you will. I’m upset because I spent so much time watching you, and yet it wasn’t until now that I found out you have a brother named “Bonar”. That. Is. Awesome. (pronounced like “Boner” right?) AWESOME!
As one of America’s beloved television fathers, I’m sure you have had to deal with a lot of anger from stupid people. I’m sure they said stuff like, “How could you let your children grow up to be thieves, whores, drug addicts and delinquents? You even let one of your children have a debilitating disease that left him looking like a child forever. You were a millionaire and famous the world over, which means you can do anything! So, how could you let this happen?” I guess money really can’t buy happiness and perfection. But watching how well you raised two orphans while still being a good father to your Kimberly, I have to agree with the world, I don’t get what happened. You were such a good father to us all. Please don’t let my questions make you feel bad. This isn’t meant to be an attack, just questions from one of your confused other daughters you never met, but still learned just as much, if not more then the children that were allowed to live with you in your penthouse. And I learned so much indeed:
Having a chubby cheeks and an adorable catch phrase makes you beloved of the world.
It really does take different strokes to move the world.
Don’t go home with strangers. They will molest you.
There are people in this world who really binge eat food and then throw it up. This is a real disease. I love food and still have trouble believing this is possible!
If you are a child who comes into money and or fame at an early age, you will grow up to be a thief, whore, drug addict, and either die of suicide or a drug overdose.
If there is a bully at school beating you up and taking all of your lunch money, get a tape recorder trick them into saying something illegal, and have them put in jail (I never had the guts to try this one but oh boy did I ever want to!)
Being rich and living in a penthouse is super cool.
Television characters are real, they are friends and surrogate family.
Living your life for the whole world on television has more value and worth to our society but spending a lifetime crafting your art and being classically trained is better for ones sanity.
If you play too many video games you’ll neglect your homework and get grounded
If you drop water balloons off the balcony you will get a spanking
If you run away from home, hide in your own house, they’ll never think to look for you there.
This is just a short list. I’m sure there is so much more that is escaping me at the moment. After all, it was over 20 years ago since last I saw you and the Drummonds up to your wacky antics. While I don’t know what happened to your children, I want you to know I don’t blame you but am happy you are now reunited with them. I mean, I’m not happy you had to die but they need you, much more then I. I have my problems, sure who doesn’t am I right? But I definitely have my shit together a bit more then your children did. So fly back home to your children who need you in your wonderful penthouse in the sky. Thank you Mr. Drummond. Thank you indeed.