I was born in 1982 and can remember most of the 80’s as well as into the 90’s.
Growing up was a bit bittersweet. I started learning about how people can let you down. How some people that you thought were your friends one day could turn around the next and tell you that you couldn’t play with them anymore at recess.
But, I also learned the value of having a sense of humor and still being able to smile when things aren’t going as good as you hoped they would.
My Daddy was hilarious and could make me laugh myself silly. We would watch a lot of comedies together until late in the night on the weekends and over summer vacation.
One actor that we both adored, and still do, was Jim Varney. He was the man who played Ernest P. Worrell.
The last week, I’ve been revisiting those old movies and memories. I knew that he had passed away back in 2000 but, while that does sadden me, it is nice to go back and revisit those old movies. I found myself lost down the rabbit hole on YouTube – finding interviews that he did while he was alive. He was soft spoken, smiled a lot, and had a fantastic energy in those interviews. He dressed so differently than Ernest that you couldn’t tell that this man was the same that danced around with a Troll that he kissed in ‘Ernest Scared Stupid’.
When I found out that his nephew wrote a biography on him, I had to buy it and I’ve already read it the same day – absorbing every bit of it.
Jim grew up wanting to be an actor and went on to become classically trained. He was fantastic at Shakespeare, winning quite a few awards, before he started portraying Vern’s good buddy, Ernest.
For the first 18 years of my life, he wasn’t just Vern’s buddy but mine as well. He could make me laugh one minute and, in the next, I was heartbroken as he sang “Gee, I’m glad it’s raining”. I could empathize with being shot down thinking you were actually friends with certain people.
Basically, he was a hero to me as a child. I found it fascinating how he was still able to smile after that and still make others feel good, even if you were hurting.
It’s so surreal how fast time seems to fly by – it’s been 16 years since he’s passed away and 16 years since I’ve graduated from high school.
James Albert Varney, Jr grew up wanting to be a Shakespearean actor and he never thought that instead of becoming famous on Broadway, he would strike it big with being Ernest.
Life has a funny way of throwing you unexpected curveballs like that and some are good. Some aren’t so good.
But, in the end, you just have to pick yourself up and make the most of what each day brings.
Know what I mean?
I hope you all have a fantastic week and thank you for stopping by.
Much love to you all,
P.S. I created a video tribute to Jim yesterday. Hope y’all enjoy. ❤