John Hughes and I were very close. He never knew that and I didn’t find that out until half way through our lives. We were born in the same year, he went to high school in the district next to the one I taught in (he even used our then recently closed campus as a set for “Sixteen Candles”), and we were both fascinated with the teenage years and their growing pains. Until I started reading his obituaries, I hadn’t known that he started out as an ad copywriter. That’s another thing we shared – an appreciation for a well written (usually humorous) advertisement. A good TV commercial, even a print ad, can be a wonderful vehicle for a quick story. And commercials are just the right length for school projects.
I’m headed back to his alma mater, Glenbrook North H.S., next week to see Tony Wagner speak. And though John and I wouldn’t have known each other if we were in line at the local Starbucks or if I bumped into him while he was scouting the Chicago area for locations, I’ll be thinking of him and all the fun we had together vicariously reliving our teenage years and family vacations through his characters.
P.S. And here are some classic John Hughes’ character movie quotes & clips thanks to the New York Times.
Picture is from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hughes_(director)