Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Shirley Temple in her childhood as an child star.

Recently, I received an email from my dear friend Daniel Haber, who lives in Nepal, telling me how sad he was to learn that Shirley Temple had died. He wrote that she was his favorite child actor, and that she made many people happy with her cute dancing and dimples during the depths of the Great Depression. “I lit a butter lamp for her at the Great Boudhnath Stupa here,” he wrote, “and prayed that in her next life that she’ll make others happy in the Dharma and to become free from repeated births in Samsara.” He went on to tell me that on the Valentine’s Day in the English class he teaches, he taught his students to sing a line from “Everyday’s a Holiday When I’m with You,” one of his favorite Shirley Temple songs.

Until I came to the United States in 1974, I had never heard of Shirley Temple. But I remember seeing her on TV in my early years here, and I liked her. She was such a cute little girl, and I saw quite a lot of her old movies. The only thing I knew about her in later years was that she became the ambassador to the Czech Republic, which is of course very impressive. I would imagine that it must have helped her in her diplomatic affairs to be able to remind people of who she was. Because I think everyone, all over the world, likes Shirley Temple if they know her.

When I made a blog post on February 10th this year for Charles’s 106th birthday, I didn’t know that Shirley Temple had died on that day. There was a little coincidence that she passed away on the date that Charles was born, and she died in Woodside, California, while I live in Woodside, Queens.  

I’ve been lucky to have gotten to meet many interesting people; actors and writers and all kinds of characters, but I never got to meet Shirley Temple Black, and I think I would have liked to, very much. It seems that she never did anything in her life that wasn’t somehow good. Her earthly presence will surely be missed. 

Shirley Temple Black
April 23, 1928 – February 10, 2014

Indra Tamang

Copyright Indra Tamang, 2013, all rights reserved. 

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