Monday, September 14, 2015

What's Happening to My Childhood???

The Cosby Show
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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Summer is winding down and as I reflect on how quickly it's come and gone, I started thinking about what's happened to some of the entertainers from my childhood.  There were several deaths, arrests and allegations involving men and women I grew up watching on TV and in the movies.

As as kid, I loved watching Fat Albert.  Bill Cosby hosted the show and voiced many of the characters in the animated classic. Then years later, as Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, Cosby played one of TV's greatest dads of all time.  However his image was more than tarnished in July when it was revealed that he'd given Quaaludes to women and had sex with them.  As of this publishing, Cosby has not been charged with any crime, but there are lawsuits pending against the comedian.

"Superfly" Jimmy Snuka
Courtesy: WWE
In early September, professional wrestling legend "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the 1983 death of his girlfriend Nancy Argentino.  Snuka, who is battling cancer, is free on bond and has since been removed from the WWE's Hall of Fame.

Hulk Hogan
Courtesy: WWE
So has the legendary Hulk Hogan.  In July a recording of the former WWE and WCW world heavyweight champion using racial slurs was released.  Hogan was quickly fired from the company and despite several public apologies, is still at odds with WWE as of this posting.

The General Lee
The Dukes of Hazzard
The General Lee from the famed Dukes of Hazzard has been parked for good.  Warner Brothers has stopped production of toy versions of the car because the Confederate Flag is painted on the roof of the legendary vehicle.  Reruns of the show have been pulled from syndication too.  It's all in response to the uproar over the flag and the role it allegedly played in the shooting deaths of several black church members in South Carolina in June.

We lost some greats as well. Wrestling legends "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, 69, and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, 61, died within weeks of each other.  Both men were fixtures during my formative years as a wrestling fan and were still making an impact until their deaths.  I miss them both very much already.

Can't Buy Me Love

Another shocking death was that of Amanda Peterson.  She played Cindy Mancini in one of my favorite teen years films Can't Buy Me Love.  According to the autopsy report, Amanda died of an accidental drug overdose.  She was only 43 years old. 

Joaquin Andjuar
I'm not a huge sports fan, but one of my favorite Cardinals players died earlier this month.  Pitcher Joaquin Andjuar had battled diabetes for years before his death at the age of 62.  I remember watching him during the 1982 World Series and in the years that followed.  Fans affectionately (at least I think) referred to him as "Walking Underwear." 

These are just a few of my childhood memories that have changed for the worse.  I guess this is what growing older is all about.  

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