HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » My Breakfast with James G...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 01:43 AM

My Breakfast with James Garner

When I first moved to Los Angeles in January of 2001 my best friend had an office in Malibu on the PCH that I would visit from time to time.
One day, during my very first week here, on the way to his office, I stopped to have breakfast at the restaurant in the Malibu Country Mart.

I bought a newspaper, ordered my food, started to read and waited for my meal.
An older man with big eyeglasses, also sitting alone, at the table right next to me, asked if he could borrow my Sports section.
"Sure thing. Here you go." I said.
As I handed him the LA Times Sports section I realized it was James Garner next to me doing the borrowing.

Now, you have to understand that I love, love, love James Garner and his work. THE ROCKFORD FILES, his SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL... movies, 36 HOURS, MAVERICK and almost everything else he had done were my favorites. I am probably one of the world's biggest Jim Garner fans, period. So I'm kind of proud about how cool I acted when this happened.

He and I shared the paper, chatted about the news and sports, and ate breakfast for almost an hour in a way two local guys would at any diner across the country. The NFL payoffs were going on at the time and we talked about my NY Giants chances to go all the way. He didn't think they would do it, but they did later that month. I did not "go fanboy" on him.

About 20 minutes in, while talking sports, I called him "Mr. Garner", acknowledging that I knew who he was, he told me to call him Jim. So I did, and he called me Kevin when I introduced myself and we shook hands. We never discussed his work as an actor or how much I loved it, and him over the years. We simply had a nice conversation over breakfast.

James Garner is the first famous person/superstar that I met when I moved to Los Angeles and was the nicest, most pleasant, funny and charming guy during the encounter.

It is rare to meet a personal hero that lives up to your image of them in your mind. Talk about the best Welcome Wagon ever. I was the happiest person on Earth afterward.
Cloud 9 exists.
I've been there.

I never met or saw him again after that morning, but I probably went to that place for breakfast about 20 times over the next few years hoping for another run-in.

The memory of this meeting came flooding back to me this morning with the news of his passing. It made me as happy as the news of death saddened me. Later today I'll go for a drive and listen to that iconic theme song to The Rockford Files while cruising up the Pacific Coast Highway to Paradise Cove.

Rest In Peace Mr. Garner, and thank you for your time.

http://www.deadline.com/2014/07/rip-james-garner/

47 replies, 3229 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 47 replies Author Time Post
Reply My Breakfast with James Garner (Original post)
TeamPooka Jul 21 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Jul 21 #1
Uncle Joe Jul 21 #2
Hissyspit Jul 21 #3
Cha Jul 21 #5
Cha Jul 21 #4
nikto Jul 21 #6
Omaha Steve Jul 21 #7
a kennedy Jul 21 #8
TeamPooka Jul 21 #20
classof56 Jul 21 #25
progressoid Jul 21 #9
MADem Jul 21 #13
calimary Jul 21 #43
deutsey Jul 21 #10
WillyT Jul 21 #11
MADem Jul 21 #12
TeamPooka Jul 21 #18
MADem Jul 21 #19
sufrommich Jul 21 #14
leftyladyfrommo Jul 21 #15
Rowdyboy Jul 21 #16
immoderate Jul 21 #17
FSogol Jul 21 #21
Voice for Peace Jul 21 #22
Blue Owl Jul 21 #23
mac56 Jul 21 #24
classof56 Jul 21 #26
Faux pas Jul 21 #27
WoodyD Jul 21 #28
AngryAmish Jul 21 #29
TeamPooka Jul 22 #47
DirkGently Jul 21 #30
mountain grammy Jul 21 #31
Dr Hobbitstein Jul 21 #32
TeamPooka Jul 22 #46
Faygo Kid Jul 21 #33
WinkyDink Jul 21 #34
mrsadm Jul 21 #35
senseandsensibility Jul 21 #36
nolabear Jul 21 #37
tavernier Jul 21 #38
Rhiannon12866 Jul 21 #39
niyad Jul 21 #40
cadaverdog Jul 21 #41
senseandsensibility Jul 21 #42
calimary Jul 21 #44
nirvana555 Jul 22 #45

Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 02:10 AM

1. What a great story, my dear TeamPooka!

I can just see you two sitting there, eating, talking, having a relaxed good time.

Thank you for sharing that with all of us.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 02:35 AM

2. A breakfast, that you will never forget.

Last edited Mon Jul 21, 2014, 06:51 PM - Edit history (1)

Thanks for sharing, TeamPooka.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 02:39 AM

3. Great story. A few years ago

my best friend was online arguing with some right-wing idiot in a discussion on Amazon about Garner's autobiography/memoir. Garner's daughter, Gigi, read the comments and using her real-life private eye skills (no, seriously), she tracked down his phone number and gave him a call to thank him for defending her father.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hissyspit (Reply #3)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 03:13 AM

5. What a private eye! Gigi is beautiful like her parents.. thank you, H.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 03:04 AM

4. A wonderfully poignant story, TeamPooka! Another big James Garner fan here but

you got to meet him and share the paper over breakfast with him! Mahalo for sharing your eloquently written experience.. that is one of those once in a life time happenings.

James Garner~

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 03:20 AM

6. The story you generously share here confirms...

Just like "Maverick was the legend of the west",
James Garner was the legend of The Best.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 04:41 AM

7. K&R!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 08:28 AM

8. My husband and I both absolutely loved him in Murphy's Romance with Sally Field.....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to a kennedy (Reply #8)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 12:40 PM

20. I love that movie

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to a kennedy (Reply #8)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 04:44 PM

25. I saw an interview with Sally Field, who said James was the absolute best co-star kisser of 'em all

That scene in Murphy's Romance where he suddenly grabbed her and kissed her in the drug store--she said he literally left her breathless, took her awhile to recover. Wow! I can believe it. Have been a long-time fan of James, and was glad to discover a 1965 movie which I watched not long ago called "36 Hours", with Eva Marie Saint. Highly recommended!

RIP, James Garner. We will miss you!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 10:04 AM

9. That's exactly how I would imagine him.

Thanks for telling us about your encounter with him.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to progressoid (Reply #9)


Response to progressoid (Reply #9)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 11:27 PM

43. That's a mighty nice example of how he was with people.

He was "just Jim". I interviewed him once and was thrilled. My mom always referred to him as her "boyfriend." When the "Rockford Files" would come on, she wouldn't want to be disturbed. "I'm watching my boyfriend." I told him about that. And he feigned a little dejection. He told me, with a sigh but then a chuckle, that every attractive woman he met told him the same thing - that her mother was in love with him.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 10:12 AM

10. Thanks for sharing that. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 10:18 AM

11. K & R !!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 10:19 AM

12. That reporter did a great job bringing that memory to life--I'll bet it's one she will never forget.

Thanks for sharing her story with us.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MADem (Reply #12)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 12:13 PM

18. Actually that was my story. I just included the link with the news for those who had not seen it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Reply #18)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 12:27 PM

19. Oh, my mistake!!!!! LUCKY you to have had that personal encounter!!!!

He had a very genuine way about him, didn't he?

And you write well enough to be mistaken for a reporter....!!!!!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 10:23 AM

14. Awesome. Thanks for sharing that. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 11:12 AM

15. I just read an autobography not too long ago.

He was really just an ordinary nice guy. Loved his family. Loved acting.

He said the hardest thing was losing his privacy. He just hated not being able to go out and just be a regular guy. You probably really made his day.

I have always loved him, too. Loved Maverick and everything else.

James Garner and Paul Newman. Two real class acts.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 11:19 AM

16. Great, great story. It must have given him great pleasure to have a normal breakfast as a regular

guy talking with another guy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 12:02 PM

17. A great man.



--imm

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 02:01 PM

21. The Support You Local... movies were so funny.




...."and then I go on to become one of the most beloved characters in Western folklore."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 03:01 PM

22. It must have been a pleasure for him to be treated and conversed with as an ordinary guy.

Probably the breakfast was memorable for him as well!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 03:09 PM

23. If I had a car with rear-wheel drive...

I'd be pulling an honorary "Rockford" in Mr. Garner's memory. May he rest in peace!

Very much enjoyed your tribute post!



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 04:10 PM

24. Very cool.

I've been a lifelong fan of his as well, and agree that he was probably very pleased to have a normal chat over breakfast with someone. Kudos to you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 04:45 PM

26. Great story. Lucky you and thanks for posting.

Another James Garner fan.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 05:26 PM

27. He was/is my

all time favorite too. Handsome, smart and funny. RIP Jim. (the crying smilie goes here).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 05:38 PM

28. Great story

Thanks for posting that. Always been a huge fan of his and I read yesterday that my favorite James Garner movie was also his favorite - The Americanization of Emily. RIP sir. You will be missed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 05:42 PM

29. I am on another message board that is golf related

He was a big time golfer (his brother was a pro iirc) and a member of Bel-Air. To a man everyone described him as a gentleman who was a tough nut to crack in a match. I always liked seeing him on tv for the Crosby Clambake.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to AngryAmish (Reply #29)

Tue Jul 22, 2014, 01:05 PM

47. That's great to hear. I like golf too but hardley ever play anymore.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 06:41 PM

30. Excellent Story. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 06:50 PM

31. Thank you for sharing a lovely story. What a wonderful memory.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 07:47 PM

32. So cool you got to meet him...

So many cool stories about him.

For me, I always loved him in Maverick and The Rockford Files. Not to mention Barbarians At The Gate and the classic Support Your Local Sheriff...

A good man, and a great Democrat. May he rest in peace.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Dr Hobbitstein (Reply #32)

Tue Jul 22, 2014, 02:22 AM

46. I forgot about Barbarians At The Gate. Great picture.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 07:53 PM

33. An old-fashioned guy married for 57 years.

I admire him. What a great life. He will be missed. So many favorites, but I go with a late one, "Victor, Victoria" as my favorite. He was such a bemused old guy, and I miss the entire cast (Julie is still with us).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 08:02 PM

34. Oh, lucky you! I watch "TRF" daily at noon! And I LOVE his character in "The Great Escape"! What a

man's AND a woman's man!

RIP, Mr. Garner...Jim.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 08:10 PM

35. Thank you for your great story!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 08:55 PM

36. Noticed at the link that he won two purple hearts.

What an amazing man in so many ways, and a true liberal. So sorry to see him gone.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 09:08 PM

37. Two good guys, just havin' breakfast.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 09:10 PM

38. He lives again in your story

I could envision the impromptu breakfast and both your smiles. Thanks for giving us one final take.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 10:03 PM

39. K&R! Wonderful story!

Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 10:14 PM

40. k and r--thank you for sharing this beautiful story with us. I did not learn of his death until

this afternoon. loved everything he did.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 10:42 PM

41. I'm sorry to note that no one has mentioned the movie he was most proud of;

The Americanization of Emily. I remember it as one of my first adult themed films growing up and it really struck a chord with me. It was not a huge success with its anti-war theme, but it opened a teenager's mind to to a new definition of what a "hero" really was. And it was the perfect role for the easy going Jim Garner, who is paired up with a young English actress new to American audiences, Julie Andrews.

I hope you will give it look; worth your time. Oh, and btw, it's also very funny.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cadaverdog (Reply #41)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 11:16 PM

42. Thanks for the tip

I've never heard of the movie. I'll check it out.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeamPooka (Original post)

Mon Jul 21, 2014, 11:29 PM

44. Love this story, TeamPooka!

What a treat for you! How neat that you got to spent that quality time with him. How cool is that!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to calimary (Reply #44)

Tue Jul 22, 2014, 12:52 AM

45. What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing. RIP, James. You'll be missed. N/T

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread