1st US reality TV star

A few years ago (2003), I watched a show on PBS and must have been moved by it---at least enough to write this poem. I found it the other day and finished it for you.

Lance Loud
Wild confused child of the seventies
Product-of-the-fifties parents
Pranced off to NYC
Looking for adventure
Searching for himself
Dying from the day he was born
His dark-window-eyed mother
Seventies sunglasses
Hiding behind her cigarette and her drink
Hiding from what she knew to be true
The day that he came out
He didn’t know that he had been out
For years.
Did she know as she watched him
That he was starting his thirty-year death rattle?
Her concern dripped out from behind those shades
Trailed out in the smoke blown absently from her cigarette
Did she sense that the bell began to toll for her little boy?
Flash forward 30 years
A little-grown boy asking his mom to snuggle him
(My thoughts run to my own little boy—wanting to run and snuggle him as he sleeps now)
The man-boy-man thought that family was something outgrown
Until he realized
That what he needed was his family
Father condemning, misunderstanding
Understood only too well by his son
Life in the spotlight
Life in the shadows
Lance lived and died out loud. jkb 2009

Related articles:

"Lance Loud's Last Testament", Los Angeles Times

Lance Loud , First U.S. Reality Star, Died 7 Years Ago Today

Lance Loud Quotes from Brainy Quote