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RIP, Archie Andrews

RIP, Archie Andrews

Hello, everyone.

Archie Andrews is dead. After 73+ years, Archie’s life has come to an end.

Everybody who grew up during the 40s and 50s remembers Archie. He was the red-headed 17-year-old who attended Rivedrdale High School, who drove a Model T convertible, and who had two serious girlfriends, Veronica Lodge and Betty Cooper at the same time and would play them off against each other, and who had a slew of friends when in school. Wikipedia has an article about Archie, and here are a couple of paragraphs:

“His friends, Skinny Linehan and Arnold Daggett, were the basis for Jughead Jones and Moose Mason respectively. School librarian Elizabeth Tuck inspired Miss Grundy and principal Earl McLeod was the model for Mr. Weatherbee. Montana knew the Boston Brahmin political family the Lodges, because he had once painted a mural for them; he combined their family name with actress Veronica Lake to create Veronica Lodge. Betty Cooper was based on Montana’s girlfriend in New York. Pop Tate’s Chocklit Shoppe, a soda shop where Archie’s Gang hang out, was based on real-life locations frequented by Haverhill teenagers during the 1930s — Crown Confectionery and the Chocolate Shop on Merrimack Street and the Tuscarora on Winter Street.

“…

“On April 9, 2014, Archie Comics announced that the adult Archie Andrews will be killed (the manner not yet specified) in the July 2014 issue (#36) of Life with Archie as he tries to save one of his friends in what will be the final issue of that title, while the teenage Archie will continue in the other Archie comic series titles; on July 14, 2014, more details about Archie’s death were released, saying that Archie would be killed taking a bullet meant for his gay friend Kevin Keller.”

Jack Anderson may have been the “All-American Boy” on radio, but in actuality, Archie Andrews was THE all-American boy. Everyone who ever attended high school knows an Archie. And speaking as a former high-school English teacher, I can say that Riverdale High is not all that different from the high school in your town.

What made the Archie stories so real was the reality of the characters. Waldo Weatherbee was the typical high-school principal. Mr. Flutesnoot was the typical male teacher. Miss Grundy was the typical maiden-lady schoolmarm. Moose Mason was the typical jock. Veronica Lodge was the typical high-society high-school queen. Her dad, Hiram lodge, was the typical dad who never thinks that ANY boy is good enough for his daughter. Betty Cooper and Midge Klump (Moose Mason’s girlfriend) were typical high-school girls. Reggie Mantle was the combination friend and rival in his desire to win Veronica away from Archie. And Jughead Jones was the true friend who was always there for you in good times and bad.

I enjoyed listening to the “Archie” show on the radio over 60 years ago and reading the “Archie,” “Jughead,” and “Archie’s Girls” comics throughout that period of my life. They gave me pleasure and entertainment, but they gave me something else. They gave me a quasi-blueprint for the stages of life I was about to go through. As I went through life, I saw cases where people played one person against another, just as Veronica played Archie against Reggie, or Archie played Veronica against Betty. I knew teachers just like Mr. Flutesnoot and Miss Grundy. And as a person with a disability, I knew many – TOO MANY – dads just like Hiram Lodge.

Yes, a figment of my youth has died, just as many more have died. But the memories live on, and memories can never die.

So RIP, Archie Andrews. And thank you again for the pleasure and education you have given me.

Everyone take care, and have a great day tomorrow.

“It’s funny, they named/Mars after the God of War. Have a look at Earth.” – Benedict Smith:

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August 3, 2014 Posted by | Miscellaneous | | Leave a comment