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RIP James Garner who passed away earlier today at age 86.
The name takes me back to being 10 years old on a Friday night, having a birch beer with my dad and watching the Rockford Files together.
Rockford had this great everyman kind of way about him. He wasn’t the toughest guy, hell you actually saw him get beat up more often than not it seemed, but that just made him more relatable and likable.
Friday nights at 9:00 you’d hear that phone ring on the tv and then hear the machine come on with his voice,
“This is Jim Rockford, at the tone leave your name and number and I’ll get back to you…”
Usually followed by a humorous message and then right into that classic Mike Post theme song that ended up going to #10 on the charts in 1975 and winning a Grammy.
He had that great car and lived in a trailer on the beach and nobody made living in a trailer look cooler.
Still remember the episode when his ex-con buddy, played by a very intimidating Isaac Hayes, showed up needing help and kept calling him “Rockfish” and crushing a beer can with his hand for effect.
After the 2nd or 3rd time Rockford finally yells back at him,
“Listen, the name is RockFORD not Rockfish, and (crushes a beer can) the beer companies all went to aluminum cans years ago so now everyone can be a hero!”
I can’t remember where I parked my car last night but I somehow remember that scene verbatim from 35 years ago.