It was 1987 and “Dirty Dancing” loomed large. The Era of Greed and Excess was still in its rising action.

Was Patrick’s life force somehow tied to the Bubble Years? Or was the timing of his sickness and demise coincidental?


But it is fun to ponder.

Patrick Swayze R.I.P. The fellow has finally followed his career into the quiet of the grave. I say this not to make light of Mr. Swayze’s passing. The man defined the last summer of my childhood after all.

We were coming off the Reagan Years and still on top of the world. Stocks took a dramatic tumble that year then kept rising toward a happy ever after. Credit was expanding, but home prices hadn’t started to make people feel poor and priced out yet.

Mr. Swayze’s lithe, dancer’s body, affable good looks and ecstatic prancing were as convenient a summarizing metaphor for that happy time as one could want. There were also Michael J. Fox movies, Joe Piscopo, Tom Cruise, Pat Benatar, “Ghostbusters,” “Gremlins,” “Moonstruck,” “The Terminator” and “Aliens”…oh, happy times…

If God gives you a choice of heavenly suites, may I suggest the one where it’s all ‘80s all the time? That’s the one I’d pick.