Ode to Archie
Dear Folks, As Old Huck, Babe and me were out checking fence this week, my mind wondered off to the subject of “immortality!” Think it was because I had not yet walked off my normal morning aches and pains and I was feeling vulnerable to the realities of maturity.
Anyway, got to thinking back about ten years ago, when the world lost a very talented and charismatic actor, Christopher Reeves. He died from complications of an earlier equestrian accident. But for me and countless others like me, it wasn’t the actor we lost—I lost Superman! How could this possibly happen to the “Man of Steel”—a superhero who was faster than a speeding bullet or able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? But alas, one of my all time immortal heroes was gone— And then, just several years later, Hollywood lost another “bigger than life” personality with the passing of Patrick Swayze. He was the “smooth talking, incredible dancing hipster with the black t-shirt and bad boy image” who starred in the classic, Dirty Dancing. He made it perfectly clear, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner!” And then of course, there was my other favorite, Road House. Here you had this guy, John Dalton, who is the cool-headed bouncer in an extra-rowdy bar in a small Midwestern town. He was so tough he actually “self stitched” his own knife wounds and literally ripped the throat out of Ben Gazra’s henchman in one of the greatest fight screens ever. They just didn’t make’em tougher than Patrick. And yet, he too is now gone. Well imagine my shock this week when I discovered I’m about to lose yet another all time favorite—Archie Andrews, aka Archie of comic book fame. Archie who first joined us in 1941 as a 17 year old “boy next door” kinda kid that attended Riverdale High. Archie, along with his close friends Jughead, Reggie, Veronica and Betty were fixtures of my youth. My first exposure to “the gang” was at the corner drugstore when I was about 10. The owner kindly let us kids sit in the corner to read comics during the hot summer afternoons of my youth. For years, I followed the trials and tribulations of Archie and friends as teenagers living in Riverdale. And of course like many of you guys, I would be lying if I didn’t tell you, I always had a secret crush on Betty, the all American blond pony tailed beauty that wore those cute little tennis skirts. Sadly, it appears that Archie Comics has decided that Archie’s life will end with the July edition of their publication. And fittingly, it seems it will happen while Archie is trying to save the life of a friend. What a great way to go! While details are sketchy, the sad reality is apparent, I am about too lose yet another “friend” that I somehow felt was immortal. Kinda got me thinking—Bruce Lee (of martial arts and film fame) once said, “The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering!” Obviously these three folks did (at least in my mind) and as such their lives and adventures will live forever in my memories.
The question I then ask myself is “Have I?” Have I lived a life thus far and behaved in a way that people will remember me when I’m gone? Not sure bout that one. But what I am sure of is that starting today, I’m gonna “refocus” my efforts for the days ahead to become a more positive influence on those I encounter—especially, you folks! More wit and wisdom from your friends at the “Old Bar R.” Happy trails Archie—