Unless you live under a rock, you know that thousands of fans across America are mourning the sudden death of actor Luke Perry at age 52 on Monday from the effects of a massive stroke. Perry, who served as the teen crush for many of us in the 90s when he played Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210, was currently lighting up screens as as Archie’s dad on the CW’s teen drama Riverdale, giving a new generation of fans the opportunity to appreciate his work. Perry’s loss certainly struck a common chord with parents and teens alike this week.

Thanks to actor Colin Hanks (yep, Tom’s son), we all now have a reason to appreciate Luke Perry for more than just his good looks or his acting skills. After hearing the news of Perry’s sudden death on Monday, Hanks took to Instagram to share a memory of and story about Luke Perry that few had ever heard about. And the crazy thing? Hanks and Perry didn’t even know each other. They’d only met this one very, very memorable time, which was so powerful that Hanks couldn’t keep it to himself. He shared a photo of Perry and said:

“I only met him once but the story is too good not tell given todays sad events. My wife and I are on a plane back from Mexico. Couple of rows ahead of us, these two brothers, young kids, are beating the hell out of eachother. Their poor parents are powerless to stop the crying, yelling and screaming. If you’re a parent you understand. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do. It was like this for close to two hours.

Then about 10 minutes before landing it starts to get real bad. Out of no where, a man comes from first class. Hat, beard, sunglasses, blowing up a balloon. He ties it off, hands it off like he’s holding out a sword to a king. Kneeling, Head down, arms up. Kids calm down in milliseconds. Plane damn near bursts into applause. 15 minutes longer and it probably would have started WWIII, but we landed before that could happen.

We get off the plane, are waiting on line in customs. Finally get a good look at the guy and I say to my wife ‘Holy sh*t. I think that balloon man/hero is Luke Perry’. As luck would have it we end up standing next to each other. Out of the blue he turns to me and says some kind words about Fargo, which kinda blew my mind. I start singing his praises about how long I’ve admired him and also about the move with the balloon. ‘That’s a pro move! You can’t teach that!’ I say. He tells me he always flies with a couple of balloons for that very reason, to give to screaming kids. Don’t know if that’s true, but have no reason to believe it wasn’t. Guy seemed like a true gent. Gone way too damn soon. Also, I’ll be damned if I don’t start traveling with some spare balloons  #promove #rip#lukeperry #truegent

Ummm…did you just get teary-eyed all over again, or what? Perry, the father of two now-grown kids, clearly learned a few things about parenting over the years. How kind of him to carry balloons with him on the flight, “just in case,” and to leave the cocoon of first class to help out a couple of distraught kids (and their parents!!), not to mention the entire plane.

If that’s an example of Perry’s behavior toward strangers, I can only imagine how wonderful he must have been to his family and friends. I’m sure their loss seems unbearable right now. I knew very little about his character, so I’m so thankful that Hanks shared this anecdote…and that he’s decided to carry on Perry’s tradition.

Let’s all hold our loved ones a little tighter today, say the things we need to say, and think about what our own “balloons on a plane” can be to the people in our every day lives.

Rest in peace, Luke Perry.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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I only met him once but the story is too good not tell given todays sad events. My wife and I are on a plane back from Mexico. Couple of rows ahead of us, these two brothers, young kids, are beating the hell out of eachother. Their poor parents are powerless to stop the crying, yelling and screaming. If you’re a parent you understand. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do. It was like this for close to two hours. Then about 10 minutes before landing it starts to get real bad. Out of no where, a man comes from first class. Hat, beard, sunglasses, blowing up a balloon. He ties it off, hands it off like he’s holding out a sword to a king. Kneeling, Head down, arms up. Kids calm down in milliseconds. Plane damn near bursts into applause. 15 minutes longer and it probably would have started WWIII, but we landed before that could happen. We get off the plane, are waiting on line in customs. Finally get a good look at the guy and I say to my wife “Holy shit. I think that balloon man/hero” is Luke Perry”. As luck would have it we end up standing next to each other. Out of the blue he turns to me and says some kind words about Fargo, which kinda blew my mind. I start singing his praises about how long I’ve admired him and also about the move with the balloon. “That’s a pro move! You can’t teach that!” I say. He tells me he always flies with a couple of balloons for that very reason, to give to screaming kids. Don’t know if that’s true, but have no reason to believe it wasn’t. Guy seemed like a true gent. Gone way too damn soon. Also, I’ll be damned if I don’t start traveling with some spare balloons 🎈🎈🎈 #promove #rip #lukeperry #truegent

A post shared by Colin Hanks (@colinhanks) on

Jenny Rapson

Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.