When I was in college in the early 1970’s, Shirley Temple films aired weekly on TV and I never missed one. I placed my portable cassette tape recorder next to the TV and taped all of her songs so that I could listen to them later and sing along with Curly Top.
Shirley was uniquely adorable with those 56 golden ringlets, carefully fashioned by her mother, atop her head. She was supremely talented — she could sing; she could effortlessly, or at least it seemed that way, tap dance up and down stairs with professional adult dancers. She could cry on cue. But mostly, she could charm us all with her guileless smile.
Indeed, she helped to lift American spirits during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. President Roosevelt recognized her contribution to the country’s collective mood and said, “as long as our country has Shirley Temple, we will be all right.”
Thank you, Shirley, for enriching the lives of generations of Americans with your indomitable, sunny spirit. There will never, ever be anyone even remotely like you.