Tuesday, July 22, 2014


"You're not going to cry, are you? 
I can't take that before breakfast."
Jim Rockford

When I saw the news about James Garner online while at work, I quickly dashed off how I was feeling for Facebook; shared on my personal page as well as on the Toobworld Dynamic page.  I say I "dashed it off", but some time was spent in putting it together as I wrote, editing and adding details as I went along.

James Garner was one of my big TV idols since I was a kid.  And for me, this may turn out to be the heaviest hit the Toobworld pantheon will suffer this year.  So I poured a lot of my heart into that piece for Facebook.

I've looked it over and I figure I'm going to let it stand as my tribute to the tall dark stranger there in the plaid sports jacket who works for 200 dollars a day plus expenses and who always has a "Pappyism" at the ready.  (Yes, there's no separating Bret Maverick from Jim Rockford for Garner's biggest accomplishment.)

So here's what I wrote in memory of the late great James Garner, who saw himself as Crusader Rabbit......

This one hits me hard. Just the other day when his official page mentioned "Murphy's Romance" as his only Oscar nomination, I thought to myself it would be unlikely that there would be any more. This is a case where I hate being right. Reports coming in from TMZ and picked up by the Daily News are saying that James Garner passed away on Saturday at the age of 86.

Every movie I saw him in I enjoyed, even when he played the villain (only twice that I can think of) although I never thought it was the type of role that suited him. 'The Americanization of Emily' (Of course! Should be required viewing!), 'The Great Escape', 'The Art Of Love', 'Marlowe', even 'The Lipstick Jungle', the combo of 'Hour Of The Gun' and 'Sunset', 'Twilight', and that Atlantis cartoon with Michael J. Fox......

But it was his TV work I treasure most, as many of you would expect. When I first discovered Bret Maverick in high school, it was like finding finally the "hero" who spoke to me, one whom I could admire and wish to emulate. And then that was heightened by the too short run of 'Nichols', a truly craven character not seen in Toobworld before and none to match him since. (It's my holy grail to finally see the last episode of that show which I had to miss due to an altar boy meeting - probably the first step in causing me to lapse. LOL)

And of course during my college years it was Jim Rockfish - er, Rockford. I don't think a month goes by I don't try to catch an episode on ME-TV. (I'll probably watch the one tonight in his memory.)

Before his stroke, he was doing quite nicely as the go-to guy to give a show the jolt it needed if it was flagging in the ratings ('Chicago Hope') or because of an emergency situation ('8 Simple Rules'.)

Bret Maverick is already a member of the Television Crossover Hall Of Fame.  (July 2007)  It's only a matter of time before the Rockfish joins him......

"My Pappy always said: 
'A coward dies a thousand deaths, a hero dies but one.' 
A thousand to one is pretty good odds."
Bret Maverick

Good night and may God bless......

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