19th April 2012, 05:20 PM
Dick Clark Was Times Square 'Icon,' Visitors Say
New Year's Eve 'will never be the same,' one fan says.
By Tami Katzoff
Dick Clark in 1980
Photo: Getty Images
After hearing about the passing of legendary radio and television personality Dick Clark, who died on Wednesday after suffering a massive heart attack, New Yorkers and tourists in Manhattan's Times Square reminisced and reflected on an iconic broadcasting career.
Alana Greene remembered Clark as the eternally youthful TV fixture."He was just such a part of American culture," she said. "I was shocked to see that he was actually 82, because he seemed so much younger and vibrant. He was an icon, and all of us grew up with him being in our lives."
As a kid, A.J. Ballard watched Clark host game shows. "The memories that I have are really good," Ballard said. "He was a pioneer of TV to me."
Skyler Dobin found out about Clark's death when he saw posts on Facebook and Twitter. "I associate Dick Clark with ringing in the new year," he said. "That's the one time everyone's watching the same event happen here in New York."
Dobin was referring to "New Year's Rockin' Eve," the show that Clark hosted for decades; it featured the annual countdown to the Times Square ball drop at midnight.
Stephanie Butcher and Crystal Christain talked about their yearly ritual of watching the show. "It's a family tradition — that's what we do," Butcher said.
"We party in our living room in the state of West Virginia to Dick Clark," Christain explained. "New Year's Eve, Times Square, belonged to Dick Clark, straight up. No one else. It will never be the same,"she added.
Cori Lorenzon echoed that sentiment. "He was a tremendous icon. He was a part of a legacy here," she said. "We're standing in Times Square. I mean, this is where it all happened. ... It's just not going to be the same without him."
Nathan Hoang also grew up watching Clark's New Year's Eve show. "Dick Clark's going to be hard to replace," Hoang said. "He had this kind of charisma. Ryan Seacrest — he's cool and everything, but he's no Dick Clark. He's not an icon."
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