I am, as much as it is possible to be, a member of the Jim Henson generation. I was born in the time period that "Sesame Street" was in pre-production, and was a young toddler when it first aired. Some of my favourite early memories revolve around Sesame Street sketches - particularly the somewhat psychedelic "D/Doll" sequence, and Bob McGrath was my very first crush (he was superseded by Harry the Monster and Kermit, then Brendan Pelarski in the first grade).
When I outgrew "Sesame Street", there was "The Muppet Show" at 7.30 pm on Saturday nights, with its array of stars, and the ongoing sagas of "Pigs in Space", "Veterinarian's Hospital" ('the continuuuuuuing story of a quack who's gone to the dogs') and "Muppet Labs" (poor Beaker!).
And just as I grew into them came the richer, magnificent and somewhat darker "Jim Henson Hour" ("The Storyteller" half was some of the best television I have EVER seen), "Labyrinth" and "The Dark Crystal".
I grew up with Jim Henson. He was always there. Until...
I'll never forget my brother ringing me in 1990 to tell me that Jim Henson had died. I told him at least twice that he was kidding and wouldn't believe him. In the end, as we all know, I had no choice. None of us did.
For years, I've been looking for this clip from the show with Bernadette Peters - it made me cry then, though I only understood why when I was much older. The second half is the same song done as a tribute to Jim Henson - watch it the whole way through, even though you have to listen to the song twice.
You might even find yourself shedding a tear.
It has been almost 18 years, Jim, and we miss you still. Thank you for letting me - and so many others - grow up in your world.