Memories of Patrick Swayze

I'm thinking about Patrick Swayze, who not only left a legacy of thrilling break-neck action films, but some memorable stuff for young people as well. He was certainly one of the biggest stars of my adolescence. Some of those early roles:

Darrel in The Outsiders (1983)

Jed in Red Dawn (1984)

Derek in Youngblood (1986)

Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing (1987)

Sam in Ghost (1990)

(Out of respect I'll leave off the list his appearance as Ace in 1979's Skatetown USA —The Rock and Roller Disco Movie of the Year!)

Swayze, who attended public school in Houston not far from where I went to school, always had a protective big-brother-ish quality to him. He was typically on the moral side of his early films' good/bad equation, even when he was an outsider. He could fight, he could dance, he could shoot, he could skate, he could kinda make pottery, but—more than anything else—his specialty was making audiences root for him. It's for that I believe he will be most missed.

As if intentionally filmed for this moment, this scene captures Swayze in the way many of us are thinking of him right now. Look for it again come Oscar night:

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