There are plenty of other celebrity deaths that impacted me much more than Adam West (Nimoy and Robin Williams, for example), but very few actors embodied heroes I wanted to be — especially at the age of six. Hell, at that time in my life, I barely knew who Spock was.
But Batman… yeah, he’s who I wanted to be.
I didn’t care about the “dark” night back then. I just loved the fact that his punches always lit up the screen with POW! BAP! ZOWIE! And the like.
He always wanted boys and girls to be good. It was about stopping the bad guys, and doing good along the way. For me, it was what a hero really was.
My older brother wanted to be Superman that year for halloween. For me, it was only natural. I would be Batman. After all, Batman could walk up a wall with a batrope!
So I was. I was Batman for halloweeen. And the day after halloween. And every afternoon after school. I found those tights, the cape and cowl (which my mom so lovingly made) and my little cuffs that sufficed for gloves, and I was off to the races!
I WAS Batman. I was the hero. I would hum the theme music as loudly as I could.
It was pure innocence, and it was the kind of thing that any oddball six year old would do. Naturally, my parents weren’t sure if I was going to be “David” when my dad got home from work, or if I would be a little version of Batman. Usually, it would be the latter.
Eventually, my folks decided it was best for me to not pretend to be the Caped Crusader every afternoon after school — so they hid the costumes. But I still learned that I could do right by the world and know that I could one day be a hero.
I may never be that hero — but justice and treating people right is what Batman – and what Adam West was all about.
So now, he joins fellow co-stars like Burgess Meredith (Penguin), Frank Gorshin (Riddler), Eartha Kitt (Catwoman), and even Cesar Romero (Joker) – and light up the skies with their great battles once again.
Gotham City will never be the same. May Adam West rest in peace.
I never did learn how to walk up a wall with a batrope. Maybe one day. Or heck, I might find a batmobile. Or a batcopter…