Click on the button below to see my speech that I gave at the Dirty Dancing Festival on August 24th, 2018.

Speech Text:

LAKE LURE —  Hello fans of Patrick Swayze and “Dirty Dancing!”

I am very honored to be here to talk about Patrick and “Dirty Dancing.”

I am a big fan, too, and I take my hat off to you. Or rather I should say Patrick’s hat, which was given to me by Charlene Swayze, wife of Don Swayze, who is one of Patrick’s brothers, and an actor. The hat was sent to me with gratitude for writing my newest book, “PATRICK SWAYZE The Dreamer.”

I, like you, have reaped many benefits from being a fan of Patrick. The benefits for me include: having a hero to look up to, having friendships with many fellow fans and people who have a connection to Patrick, launching a writing career after being inspired by Patrick, and of course, enjoying his wonderful, extensive, diversified work as an artist in the entertainment world.

First slide, please. 

Here is Patrick riding a horse, posed at a portrait session in 1990.

The photo on the screen is my very favorite of Patrick. I love the expression on his face. He just looks like he is in his element and loves what he is doing, and is doing what he is supposed to be doing. We all know Patrick loved horses, especially Arabians, and animals in general. This part of Patrick is just one of many that I will get into more a little bit later, along with my experiences of meeting Patrick.

I am so privileged to be here with fellow fans: people from all over the world and people who live in this beautiful town of Lake Lure, where Patrick and the rest of the cast filmed about half of “Dirty Dancing” in 1986 — 32 years ago. “Dirty Dancing” was the movie that people thought would go straight to video — that would never amount to anything — that was called “fluff.”

Well, as we all know, “Dirty Dancing” will continue to live forever, and you guys are proof of this and helping to perpetuate the movie. I am very grateful to Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Eleanor Bergstein, Linda Gottlieb, and all of the cast and crew for making such an iconic movie. The movie came along at a point in my life when I really needed to have the time of my life, and I am sure that each one of you has a particular circumstance as to why the movie resonates with you.

Enjoyable and notable things about the movie include the awesome dancing and music, and the multi-themed story line, including a love story, coming-of age-issues, class differences, and the times of the ‘60s. At the end of the day, no matter what our variation on the theme is as to why the movie resonates with us, I think the bottom-line regarding “Dirty Dancing” is what Patrick said in 2006:

“When something works, it’s really about heart… It has been successful because basically it’s about love, and how the power of love can redeem us all.”

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