She is a still-living personality that I seldom consider. This makes her image all the more vivid, lit in front of a David Lynchian purple velvet curtain in the spotlight of the mind's eye.
I assumed there must be some such aura surrounding Sandy Duncan, one of the first one-eyed celebrities I became aware of. Well I remember the fascination, within the knotty-pined and cane-covered TV world of childhood family rooms, when my mother related to me the story of Duncan's cyclopia. Doubtless Duncan was performing in a variety show, full of sugar-sequined curtains, when mom explained that the actress had had a brain tumor, requiring the removal of her eye, to be replaced by a glass eye. It was astonishing; there must be a divine feminine force that propelled her glass eye into a field of high performance, looking so real. Unlike the expressions of her male counterparts, (think of the glare of Sammy Davis Jr., or Peter Falk's inscrutable, swart pebble under his crusty brow) Duncan's eye was amazingly life-like.
I look back to my times in school, hearing the strange pronouncements of teachers, who sometimes built whole lessons--neigh, whole units-- around pixie dust.
My favorite of these fallen myths is the one woven into my memories of Social Studies, maybe 8th Grade. With the look of a pastor, voice full of awe and portent, our beloved teacher relayed the sad story of Kitty Genovese, victim of modern society. She screamed for help in the Babylon of New York (remote and dark city of imagination, decadent as the original Babylon of mustached caliphs and sword-dancers.) Her cowardly neighbors lay in bed, callously ignoring her, letting her die. This story has since been shown to be inaccurate.
Now, parents and authorities have lost their power to myth-shape.
I find that the certainties of childhood have largely fallen through the thin ice. Myths develop because of our wish for certainty, for explanation.