This weekend, our blog is devoted to the work of John Hughes and his impact on our generation. Stick with us, over the next few days, as the Warriors post their open and honest feelings on various aspects of this cultural icon. Up first, resident Hughes historian, FW Centauri shares his thoughts...
One year ago, today, a part of my Film Warrior's soul died...
I stepped out to take a long casual walk that afternoon; to come home to breaking news all over the internet.
I was paralyzed with disbelief, couldn't speak...all I could do was cry. A few hours went by and all I could think about was the impact that this brilliant writer, director and producer had on the adult I would eventually become. So many lessons, so much advice.
That night, my wife and I had a double feature in his honor. My all time favorite ("Pretty In Pink") and her's, ("Ferris Bueller's Day Off") back to back...maybe to try to ease the pain and remember the good times. Mostly, however, to remember some important lessons that we learned from those stories.
As the evening progressed, my heart sank. Two major pieces of my childhood, gone, in the span of as many months. I sat stunned for quite some time. I felt compelled to write out a eulogy of sorts, the first that I had ever written.
l present that below, unedited, with only a minor grammatical error or two corrected. I think that it says best (in the raw emotion of the moment) what I needed to say then...and what I still believe, now.
"Lesson Number Three. Always Trust Centauri."
For those of us who grew up in the 80's, there truly was one person that had the gift of defining what it meant to be young. One person who seemingly knew what was going through your mind. He never met you, but knew who you were. He knew your aspirations, dreams, desires, failures and even deep fears. That person was John Hughes.
It never mattered to him if you were a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess or a criminal. He cared about your feelings enough to make you realize that you were not strange. You thought your problems were unique, and no one could understand what you were going through, he assured you that this simply wasn't true.
Some may find it weird that anyone could confide in a movie. To us, it was visiting a dear friend that we could talk to and that truly listened. We could talk about things that we knew our parents couldn't understand. We felt safe visiting that friend over and over. For many of us, it wasn't a movie, it was a best friend that never let you down. One that gave you the advice that your parents were unable, unwilling, or simply just didn't have the time to.
Whether it was a dream of skipping school, or a fear of not ever being good enough to please a parent. Of knowing that you lived on the "wrong side of the tracks" and didn't want a certain someone to know what your life was really like, but desperately wanted to be with them. It may have even been that you just wanted so much to be accepted and maybe even to have a girl or guy to be with. Maybe, you were even willing to create one out of your wild imagination if you had to.
Perhaps, you felt forgotten in one way or another. Maybe so many other things were going on in your family, that you felt like no one could be bothered to tell you that they cared about something special to you. You always knew that you had a friend that understood exactly what you were going through.
Maybe that friend is exactly what teenagers today need so desperately. It's sad that they will truly never know the same friend that I had, the way that I did. Or, maybe, teenagers today really do basically have a lot in common with what we went through. I think they may just need to stop and look around once in a while, it may not be the exact same situation, but the answers are there just the same.
God bless you, John Hughes. You have left a legacy that will truly stand the test of time. I know that I will always remember what having a friend like you has meant to me, and I'm sure to millions of others just like me. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for that.