Saturday, June 10, 2017

Losing Our Heroes: Adam West, 1928 - 2017

Some days, you just can't get rid of a bomb. 
Adam West was my Batman. His was the Batman that I knew first, so he's the one whose visage my mind's eye still summons whenever I hear someone say "Batman." In those days, Batman as a franchise was campy. It was a comic book lifted right from the cartoon pages and performed by people doing very silly things in a very serious manner. Decades before the franchise turned dark, Batman was good wholesome family fun. Just like Roger Moore was my James Bond out of all the James Bonds, and Christopher Reeve was my Superman, so was Adam West my Batman.

I've decided that this is the hardest part of growing older. It's not the milestones marking your own personal mortality, or the gray hairs, chubby chin or crinkly eyes looking back at you from the mirror. It's having to say goodbye to contemporary heroes, first crushes and pop culture icons.

I remember exactly where I was when Michael Jackson moonwalked on stage for the first time, now he's gone. I saw George Michael perform with Wham UK (later just "Wham") on Dance Fever before anyone had really heard of him yet. The song was "Young Guns" and there were two girls in the band back then. Hard to believe he's gone. When John Ritter died, my mom called me, "How he made you laugh when you were a little girl!" So true. Makes it hard to watch "Noises Off" now, as funny as it is, because we've lost John Ritter and Christopher Reeve. Hard to watch "When Harry Met Sally" because we've lost Bruno Kirby and Carrie Fisher now. Hard to watch "Dirty Dancing," Patrick Swayze was so strong and sexy, and then there's "To Wong Foo...", a movie I love, because now we've lost Patrick, Robin Williams, as well as Chris Penn, delightfully playing the small town homophobic cop. All my guys are dying.

You guys. My Batman died.