Wheels To Heaven

I will attempt to leave the funny alone for this post.  It is a sad week in Canadian media as shocking and bizarre news hit the papers yesterday about Neil Hope.  Known in his youth as the bespectacled and bemulleted Derek “Wheels” Wheeler, Hope grew up onscreen on Canadian’s teen sensation Degrassi.  No one can deny that he had the worst kind of Northern Ontario accent.  And no one can say that they didn’t harbor some Wheels resentment after he blinded Lucy during the feature length “School’s Out”.  But by god I was thrilled when he popped up to cameo on the much better funded and received Degrassi Next Generation.  I can’t be the only one who wept during his emotional apology to Snake and Joey.

In my mind, that episode was in the near recent past.  However, according to articles yesterday, it was 2003.  And ever since, he has been off the Degrassi radar, production crew and old mates included.  In an even more heartbreaking turn, his own family lost track of him years ago as he evidently made the move from TO to Hamilton.  Since this is a mere hour away, you would think someone could have bothered to check in on him.  Nonetheless, reports suggest that his brother and sister-in-law heard rumors of his death but made no inquiries.  I can only hope this is a vast exaggeration.  In any case, the news of his death reached family and Degrassi alums in recent weeks, despite having occurred in 2007.  How no one realized he had passed in FIVE years is deeply troubling.  Particularly in light of this digital and nostalgia-celeb obsessed age.  I honestly can’t conceive of this.

I forced a Yankee co-worker to watch the near molestation scene on Wheels’ ride to Port Hope.  Tinged in hilarious memories of yore, this is now a tragic history.  Zit Remedy forever.

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2 Responses to Wheels To Heaven

  1. Laura says:

    I think this warrants “Everybody Wants Something” as song of the day! Thanks for the post. I thought this was shocking too.

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