the epitome of aplomb

By Don Sherry 

Walter Cronkite was laughing. 

On a winter day in 1959, in the CBS studio in New York, a precious eight-year-old girl on crutches stood before the world map that formed the backdrop for the news set.

“I know what that’s for,” she said, pointing to the map with one of her crutches. To Cronkite’s delight, Pam Henry presented an impromptu weather forecast. 

Years later, in exchange of letters, he would congratulate Pam on pursuing a career in journalism. He remembered their encounter well, he said, noting that Pam had shown “great aplomb.” 

Henry would later confess that she had to look up the definition of “aplomb.”