Jennifer Nobles: A final farewell to the king of cool
I know it sounds dramatic, but when Luke Perry passed away last week I felt like there was no one who was more sad than I was.
Aside from the shock of what transpired — 52-years-old is way too young for anyone to suffer a massive stroke — I felt so genuinely sad. As with millions of other people my age, I was a devoted fan of the show Beverly Hills, 90210. I never missed an episode. Ever. My friends and I would gather together every Wednesday night (though it did originally air on Thursdays) and follow the lives of Beverly Hills’ finest.
At the conclusion of each episode we’d wait with a bated breath for the announcer to say, “Stay tuned for scenes from the next 90210.” If that voice didn’t come on, you knew the show wouldn’t be on the following week.
I was there when they allowed Donna Martin to graduate, when Steve Sanders became an unlikely father, and when Brandon Walsh finally said goodbye to Beverly Hills for good, R.E.M.’s “Nightswimming” playing in the background. (I even wrote a speech about that very subject for my Sierra College public speaking class. My teacher? Our friend Lorraine Jewett.)
I swore that if I were ever to birth a son I would name him Dylan McKay, after Perry’s sometimes-brooding, often heartbroken, but ultimately likeable character.
One day while working in travel in my early 20s I came across a booking for one Luke Perry and his family, including his children Sophie and Jack. It had come from a well known agency in Los Angeles that was utilized by many celebrities so there was no doubt that it belonged to my main man, Dylan McKay himself.
I lovingly gathered his family’s airplane tickets and hotel vouchers, carefully placing them in a canvas tote. I looked around the room and when I knew no one was watching, I gave the documents a little hug and wished the Perry family a fun and safe vacation. I didn’t know that was the closest I would ever come to meeting Luke Perry.
I know death is an inevitable part of life; no one gets out alive. But why is it that it always seems to be the good guy? It’s not fair, which is about all we can say about it.
I hope that Perry’s legacy will be remembered for more than his successful turn on a teen soap opera. By all accounts he was a kind, generous and loving man. I wish I didn’t have to say it, but farewell Luke Perry. I won’t forget you.
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