Many years ago I was walking a couple blocks from here, right in front of the flowers shops on Avenue Road, and I ran into a friend of mine. He and I had lived a couple of blocks from each other, gone to Jesse Ketchum Junior High, played hockey and ultimate etc. You know, neighbourhood stuff. Not bestest buddy stuff, but ‘come up to the cottage’ stuff. So we stopped to talk and that was when Keanu Reeves told me he was taking a bus to Los Angeles to try out an acting career. I was surprised and I have to admit that I was not the most kind critic as I was walking away. Imagine my surprise a couple of short years later when I am watching Dangerous Liasons and I see my old neighbourhood friend on the screen. I was and still am very happy for his success. And for reasons that many people might not know.
Keanu had a sister, Kim. She was so beautiful and sweet. The men around here that remember her get a far off look whenever she is mentioned. And when a young woman of that level has a kind word for an awkward, skinny, son of a wigsalesman, he remembers her. Forever. She was sweet, and beautiful, and talented. And she became ill. She contracted leukemia. The first time it went into remission. But the second time, as I understand it, there was no stopping it. I have read and heard about the fortune that Keanu spent on the very best medical care for her, trying everything he could, but nothing could be done.
I hear sometimes people saying that Keanu is not smart. No, he is not like so any of the Hollywood ‘geniuses’ that I have seen say racist things on Larry King Live or to a police officer, or overdosed in a club lineup or videotaped himself seducing underage girls at a Republican National Convention, or, you know. All that nonsense so many of Hollywood’s brightest get up to. He isn’t smart in the way Hollywood seems to think smart people act it seems. No, he makes his millions per picture, conducts himself professionally and courteously, and behaves just like he did when he lived down the street, as a Good Guy and a class act.
I saw his picture in the paper this morning as he is in town for the film festival. He is probably staying two blocks from where I am writing this in the salon. I have never tried to contact him or be a hanger on. But I am a fan, and will always celebrate his success.