I’ve found one of the shittiest parts of getting older is watching the heroes and icons of your childhood get older and subsequently die. Much like half of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, I just read where Burt Reynolds has passed away. Two of my earliest childhood memories involves Burt Reynolds.
The first memory is sort of foggy. I remember my Mother talking about seeing Burt while he filmed a scene from a movie across the street from her work in Nashville, TN. If I’m not mistaken, the movie was W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings. She went on and on about how handsome he was.
The other memory is crystal clear. My Mother took me with her to see Smokey and the Bandit at the local movie theater. It was a night time showing. I was about three years old and it was way past my bedtime. In fact, I think I fell asleep shortly after this incident, but I digress. It was during intermission. Yes, they still had them back then. And, we were standing in line for the ladies room. All of these women in line were going on and on about how good looking Burt was. I mean just really oohing and ahhing. My Mother pipes up with, “Can you believe he wears a rug?” Well, I immediately want to know what a rug is so I start asking, “Momma, what’s a rug.” And. I. Won’t. Shut. Up. Of course, my mother thinks it’s a good idea to ignore her inquisitive child. I’m pretty sure that was a bad move on her part considering I wouldn’t stop asking. After 30 seconds or maybe 5 minutes of me asking, “Momma, what’s a rug?”, she finally yells, “It’s a toupee. A man wig.” I remember thinking that was the stupidest thing I had ever heard. And, then I couldn’t stop envisioning him taking off said wig and putting it on one of those little white styrofoam heads. It still boggles the mind. The funniest part of the whole thing is that Burt admitted to the toupee. God bless him. He was real about being vain and a skirt chaser and a bit of an asshole. And yet, the people from that era still loved him despite his flaws.
I think I will pop in Smokey and the Bandit tonight after dinner. My oldest loves the movie as much as I do. I waited until he was older than three to let him watch it. And, just like my Mother, I’ve informed my kids that Burt is wearing a “rug”.
Photo Credit: I totally lifted this photo off of Facebook. Everyone I know has this photo on their page right now. I don’t know why every news outlet picked it to attached to their story but whatever. No copyright infringement. I’m not making any money off this thing. Blood. Turnip. I’m broke. If you took it and you want me to take it down let me know.