Tuesday, September 15, 2009

RIP to two sentimental favourites

Now I know why Dad liked watching this show. I knew within the first 30 seconds of watching this clip and the light bulb went off. Or rather.... the headlights came on. A-herm, herm. I'm here all week. Thangeweverymuuuch.

Mike Leyland died yesterday from complications with his long running Parkinsons disease. Mike was my favourite. I thought he was so handsome and intelligent. And cool. Because he drove a combi van (we had one of those!) and, ok, so I always thought their shorts and matching tee's were daggy, but I enjoyed the show. Most of all, I enjoyed my family coming together to watch it. And then we'd get in our combi and sing our own version of the theme tune (which somehow ended up switching "Leyland" for our two syllable surname and "Brothers" for the rather unfortunate "Buggers") whenever we trekked the east coast. I think Mum and Dad got their sense of adventure and a "they've got a combi and young kids, we've got a combi and young kids! We can do this!" attitude that saw us travel across the Nullabor to Perth and back, up to Queensland to visit Coffs Harbour and surrounds, to the border several times and of course, our yearly pilgrimage to our very favourite family beachside destination on the shipwreck coast of Victoria, down the Great Ocean Road.

I don't know if my parents would have been so game to do it without that sense of fun and "get out there and do it" that Ask The Leylands encouraged.

A hearty, heartfelt rest in peace to Mike Leyland. Thanks for the memories! And I'm sure countless fathers of several generations thank you for the gratuitous wet t-shirts...

Mal and Mike Leyland

And in another most sentimental goodbye, I bid a very fond farewell to Patrick Swayze, who lost his fight with pancreatic cancer yesterday as well.

Look, I wouldn't have called myself a fan of his entire catalogue of work. But I really enjoyed him in his two greatest hits, Ghost and Dirty Dancing. And I'm not ashamed to say I loved She's Like The Wind.

Come on. It may just be me, but who hasn't quoted something from Dirty Dancing at least once in their life? Or done a slow dance, wearing a flowy skirt, on their own in front of their bedroom mirror to She's Like The Wind, imagining it was being sung about them? Or... wait, maybe that was just me. Anyway, Dirty Dancing was the coming of age movie that was out when I was... well, coming of age. I hearted it sooooo much. It is even now one of my happy-comfort movies. I remember watching it several times during the first year of losing Ella, it helped me connect with that bit of myself I could recognise as being innocent and unharmed because it always seems to take me right back to being a teenager, watching it and immersing myself in the sheer entertainment of it. His acting was pretty shithouse in the movie, I've always thought (like I'm any expert and could do a better job, pah) and there was something both repelling and attractive about Johnny, if you ask me. But.... my, oh, my, he knew how to swivel some hips and do spaghetti arms. You can bet the LGBB will be introduced to it by me during her lifetime, either directly or indirectly when she has to watch it with me.

The one thing I've always really enjoyed hearing about Patrick Swayze, though, is his deep connection with his wife, Lisa Niemi, whom he married in 1975. And it is to her that my thoughts turn in sympathy today. He was only 57! I mean, that is so young.

The Outsiders - from left, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, C. Thomas Howell,
Patrick Swayze and Tom Cruise.

Farewell to another two people who helped shape and entertain my world in my formative years.

Archived Posts


Related Posts with Thumbnails