The death yesterday of Patrck Swayze set me to thinking of a few things. I had a sister die from cancer seven years back, so my prayers are with his family and friends.
I remember the first time I ever saw him was in an episode of M*A*S*H in which he played a young soldier diagnosed with Leukemia. Ironic. His character was more concerned with his wounded friend and wanted to be there when he regained consciousness so there would be a friend there. The young soldier’s character forced both Hawkeye and Father Mulcahy to reexamine their values.
Among my favorite of his films, along with Red Dawn and To Wang Foo, is Roadhouse that featured a young musician playing in the house band, Jeff Healey, who passed away himself a few years ago. What made him unique, besides his skill with a guitar, was that he was born blind and learned to play much in the manner of the big cumbersome steel guitar, lying flat in his lap while he sat. Though he was known to jump up and jam hunched over, furiously plucking those strings.
A couple of my favorite clips:
And here with the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan
Three fine artists all gone now. We just have their past work to sustain us.