At some point in the midst of finals and the wedding in which i participated just before going to Europe, Alan Thicke left this world. He had a relatively varied career - singer, composer of TV theme songs, talk show host, actor, and I don't know what else. I knew him primarily through watching reruns of his sitcom Growing Pains.
Growing Pains initially featured two parents and three kids. (At some point the brought in a fourth and maybe even a foster kid.) The only kids in the series to which I paid any attention were the oldest two - Mike and Carol. The character of Mike could have been loosely patterned after my brother -- a bit of a cool jock trouble-maker. carol's character, on the other hand, so eerily resembled me that one might have thought the creators of the show had bugged our home for character development ideas were it not for the fact that the show predated me by a few years. Carol Seaver was the quintessential brainy nerd.
The Seaver parents were so much cooler than my own parents were that I wanted to escaped to the land of TV and be adopted by them. There were many people, both real-live people and fictional characters, whom I would have paid my entire inheritance (which may not be much; I know neither how much money my parents have, what they plan to do with it when they make their final exits, nor, for that matter, if I'll even outlive them). Suffice it to say I would have given anything to be spirited away by the Witness Protection Program to the Seavers' set that pretended to be their house.
Part of my affinity for Mr. Thicke would undoubtedly be a "Canadian pride" thing. I'm U.S.-born but hold dual citizenship due to my father having been born a bit unexpectedly on a trip back across the northern border for a family funeral after his parents had already relocated to the U.S. I'm American to the core, but there's a part of me that clings to things that are and people who are Canadian as well.
With the deaths of both Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher, among others, it's been a rough season for celebrity deaths. Still, I didn't want to let Alan Thicke's passing go without any notice. I hope you're still out there somewhere, Mr. Thicke.