When childhood heroes die – Goodbye to Bud Spencer

This year has taken from us many important personalities in pop culture. But the death of Bud Spencer feels different.

Spencer in Berlin 2015. Quelle: Wikipedia

This morning my daily cup of coffee had a very bitter taste, for only moments before I had learned that Carlo Pedersoli – the man known to and loved by the world as Bud Spencer – died just the day before at the age of 86 years. According to his son Giuseppe Pedersoli he wasn´t in pain and died calmly, surrounded by his family and loved ones, with his final words said to be “thank you”.

Not only am I said because with Bowie, Lemmy, Ali, Prince, Eco, Lee, Willemsen, Rickman and much more, the year 2016 has cost us a hell of a lot of beautiful people already. I am sad because yesterday, after Rock Music died, Pop Music died, Modern Literature died and Intellect died, it wasn´t just another great actor who finally took off with all the people above, but also the emotional bond to my childhood came to an end somehow and now I know that I´m never gonna be 10 again. I could see that coming already after the death of Peter Lustig earlier this year, a german host of the TV-show “Löwenzahn”, who filled the hearts of generations of children in Germany with joy, knowledge, and excitement. But then I thought there´s still good old Bud, plus I can watch Indiana Jones anytime I want. Besides my parents, who gave me a wonderful childhood, these three personas had their influence on my happy, innocent days as well; they embody my personal Holy Trinity of childhood heroes.

No talk about Harrison Ford

Since yesterday this Holy Trinity is not anymore. While Indiana Jones is unable to die (I know I´m not consistent here, since it´s not Harrison Ford I´m talking about but the actual figure instead, but it is how it is, I can´t change it) I see now – clearer than before – that there actually is something like death in pop culture. Of course, all of them will live on on the small screen forever but this time it really feels different.

The reason why this feels so real this time is, because I always felt a deep personal connection through Bud Spencer with my long gone grandfather. All my life I only had this one grandparent, so clearly he meant the world to me. He was my very first best friend. These endless nights when I was visiting him and was allowed to stay up as long as I wanted watching all the great late night stuff on TV with him, is something I will never forget. There, my love for trash- and B-movies started. Finally, at some point he would ask “shall we see if we can find some Bud Spencer beating up people?” and we switched channels until we found one of the certainly screened Bud Spencer flicks. Sometimes they would have a Spencer and Hill tribute night so we could binge the whole night long.

Of course, there were other things that tied this little soul of mine to my kind and loving Opa. It´s just that Spencer always impersonated this secret, conspiracy-like bond we unsaid felt in those nights when my parents thought I´d already be in bed for hours. I guess what I´m trying to say with all this talk about you´re-kind-of-triggering-memories-of-my-dead-grandfather is: thank you.


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