Oh, I knew who he was, of course. However, I didn’t know him personally and, likewise, he didn’t have the first clue who I was. We were both kids of the 1980s, but what we had in common likely ended there.
Yet, as news broke early last Wednesday morning from the West Coast that the 80s movie icon — at least in some circles — had passed away, I admit I had to block it out of my mind since we were on deadline and more pressing matters were facing me.
Yet, later that day my better half Pam and I discussed it over our usual Wednesday lunch and we both agreed it was senseless that someone still so young had gone down the path Haim had.
As a product of the 80s myself (although not a famous product by any stretch of the imagination), I certainly knew all about Haim and his movies. From “The Lost Boys” to “License to Drive” (one of my favorites), Haim was a teen heartthrob back in his heyday.
Of course, I had no interest in him for that reason, I simply saw him as someone practically the same age as myself (we were separated by just a few months) and as someone whose movies I, usually, although not always, enjoyed.
Quite frankly, I hadn’t heard that much from him in recent years. I knew he was still acting, still making movies, although none were near the level of success he enjoyed in the 80s, usually with fellow icon of the era Corey Feldman. Jerry Glanville, a long-time favorite football coach of mine, once said, “Preachers preach and coaches coach” referring to why he was still in the game while in his mid 60s.
I guess the same could be said for actors. That’s what Haim was and likely what he always would have been had he lived to be 70 or more.
The path of destruction, which led to the news involving Haim last week, is certainly nothing new. How many times have we heard it before? A young star has everything he or she could possibly want, but yet they never seem happy. Many wonder why someone, like Haim, who probably never lacked for anything, especially once fame arrived, could have felt the need to resort to such destructive measures in his personal life.
I’m no expert at this, but I’ve always referred to it as “being separated from reality.” Most of us can only dream of having anything we want in life.
When that actually becomes reality for those few fortunate enough to achieve it, then what’s left? (Remember Michael Jackson?) For Haim, who graced the covers of all those teen magazines back in the day (our day), there was really nowhere to go but down. The highest pinnacle had long ago been reached and he was still relatively a young man.
So another icon from my youth is gone, way too soon. I can’t help but ponder the demons that lived inside Corey Haim. I wish he had been able to shake them. As I said, I didn’t know him but there always seemed to be a connection. It’s something about being a child of the 80s, I guess.
So as I watched “License to Drive” for the first time in years Sunday night, I bid farewell to another who had left us way before he should have. I can only hope now he has found the inner peace which alluded him so here.
Thanks, Corey, for the memories. I’ll miss your movies, which will always remind me of a simpler time and of a decade that will always be close to my heart.
Chris Bridges is editor of the Barrow Journal. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.