My memory of Patrick Swayze

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My memory of Patrick Swayze

Post by Swedgin! on Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:08 am

So. Back in the day (erm, actually, the day a week or so BEFORE "the day"... yep, I'm feelin' my years, these days...), yours truly was a no-talent aspiring thespian in the Klein Independent School District in Houston, Texas, always skating that fine line separating those students who made decent grades and could command pretty much whatever role they wanted from our school's constantly harassed and seriously overmatched Drama teachers, and those students who were always on "scho-pro" (scholastic probation) due to poor marks, tardies, absences, detentions, ISS (in-school suspensions), and the odd regrettable incident involving a vice principal's fully restored silver 1984 Alfa Romeo convertible, an F-150 full of dirt, loam and manure, some random perennials and a very nice ficus.

However, I digress.

I was widely (and inaccurately) believed to posess some skill onstage, however, so in spite of my habitual misdeeds, mishaps and misguided efforts at humor, my Drama teacher insisted on sending me to various workshops, camps and clinics throughout southern Texas (and even, once, Oklahama, Norman being an unlikley hotbed of dramatic arts activity, I gathered). One of these was presided over by an attractive thirtysomethingish actor / dancer who had supposedly achieved a certain level of success and professional credits at some point before stumbling into this no-doubt unlucrative non-career, training the future maitre d's, busboys and baristas of the world. So, in the Summer of 1987, I shared the stage, briefly, with future superstar Renee Zellweger, and, oh yeah, the camp's senior or honorary or emeritus or whatever instructor, who was named Miss Vicky.

She was, in short, Patrick Swayze's sister, and she committed suicide, apparently, some years later. But, she's not the reason I've returned to post this little anecdote. On the afternoon before our final skits, her older brother, Patrick, showed up and gave some of us some encouraging words before heading off to dinner with his sis. I do believe he drove a Jeep, which I thought was cool as Hell... The guy had all the money in the world and he's driving something *I* might could afford. He was, at that moment, preparing to become one of the biggest stars in all the world... The opening of Dirty Dancing was just weeks away. You couldn't tell. (Truth was, Dancing was not yet on my radar. I rather suspect it was the same for the rest of us, ten or so, who sat with him in Hermann Park that boiling Houston day. To me he was the older brother from Red Dawn and The Outsiders, and one of the Mains from North & South. Who knew he was about to become as big a name as Stallone or Schwarzenegger or Bronson or Norris?)

He was -- how shall I put this? Sweet. Gentle. Compassionate. Unassuming. Thoughtful. Genuine. And just a little bit of a dork. He talked about playing Dungeons & Dragons and LaserTag. He shared a story about how the most difficulty he'd ever had in any gig was trying to keep astride a horse from Red Dawn. And he was completely enamored of his sister, you could tell. They were close, they kept giggling and teasing each other. She kept calling him a klutz, kept making fun of his big feet, SO verboten for a dancer.

He had the most incredible charisma. His eyes -- they TWINKLED. His grin was infectious. His voice was like bourbon, smooth and masculine and just a touch gruff, worldly wise, measured, resonant. He was the picture of a guy I wanted to grow up to be.

He was real. He was funny. He was gone too soon, much, much too soon, from the park that day and, now, from the world.

Rest in peace, Patrick. You will be missed.


I remain, as always...


Well, you know.
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Re: My memory of Patrick Swayze

Post by Buscemi on Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:12 am

That was a great post, Swedge. Very personal and thoughful.

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Re: My memory of Patrick Swayze

Post by silversurfer19 on Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:30 am

Just like a greetings card, you can always count on the return of Swedge at births, marriages and deaths. Great post, my friend. I always have had a soft spot for Swayze, and it seems he was exactly how I imagined him. Such a shame.

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Re: My memory of Patrick Swayze

Post by brockman81 on Tue Sep 15, 2009 6:50 pm

Swayze's and Farley's chipndale skit on SNL still remains the funniest sketch in the history of the show in my opinion...this is certainly a sad day.
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Re: My memory of Patrick Swayze

Post by BanksIsDaFuture on Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:23 pm

Holy hell, summer of 87? I wasn't even born yet!

But Swayze died way too young. I remember watching Ghost when I was little, maybe I'll check out some of his other stuff soon...
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Re: My memory of Patrick Swayze

Post by geezer9687 on Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:01 pm

Good to hear from you Swedge. Great story!

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Re: My memory of Patrick Swayze

Post by BarcaRulz on Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:00 pm

RIP Patrick Swayze. That was a nice story Swedge.

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