By Salli Frattini Hess
While growing up in a small, predominately Irish and Italian male town in Connecticut, young girls saw minimal opportunities for college education, personal growth, and travel. I watched The Mary Tyler Moore Show and beheld this beautiful, single, woman working in an all-male environment in the news business. I said to myself, “That’s who I want to be and I can do that.” A modern woman in the 70s, she gave hope to young girls like me to pursue a college education and to get a job in TV. She inspired me and 20 years later when I became a VP at MTV I thanked Mary and continued to watch her programming with laughter and personal insight. I even kept one of her hats that was a promotional item given away when she aired on TV Land. I love that hat!
As we continue to lose these meaningful icons of our lifetime, I wish that the next generation will remember Mary and treat women with respect and admiration. Love your mothers and thank them for the unconditional love they provide.
This past weekend, I marched along with millions in Washington, D.C., with my daughter and my son’s girlfriend, both who are in their early 20s. Waves of emotion and tears overcame me as I experienced the speeches, signage, spirit, and unity of my fellow Americans. We must never lose hope, and—like MTM—I will persevere with faith and enjoy every moment that God gives me. I am so thankful. RIP Mary!