Monday, August 27, 2012
55 Books in a Year: Book #42 The Garner Files
I received The Garner Files for Christmas. Chris knew I wanted it...at least I hope he did. Every time we went to the bookstore I touched it or held it, I may have even said I wanted it...maybe. Anyway, I received it for Christmas, but I also received my Nook Tablet for Christmas--it was a miracle Christmas.
I read it a little and then, well, I read my Nook...it wasn't James Garner's fault by any means. His book is filled with all the wonderfulness of the stories of a gentleman who has lived a pretty glorious and awesome life. It was me. It was the darned light up screen and ease of travel. It was the fact that I didn't want to buy the book on my Nook.
And, then something marvelous happened, in hind-sight anyway, my Nook's cord broke and while waiting for a replacement I had to go on a trip to Chicago for a conference. On the way there I read a little James, in between sessions I read a little James and the 2nd night in I finished it.
Really, it's just that good.
It's hard for me to separate James Garner from Thomas Evans, my grandfather. Garner has a no nonsense approach to living. He sued the movie industry not to make money, but because it was the right thing to do. He punches liars and cheaters. He works just as hard as he plays. He loves cars and racing and golf and the out of doors. He loves his daughters and his wife and women. He values hard-work, honesty and ownership. And, he owns a lot in this book...he isn't perfect, but he is moral.
I love that he mentions Rob Lowe in this book because I couldn't help feeling that they both have a lot in common and, just like when I read Rob's book, I couldn't help but think about how cool it would be to meet James Garner and how awesome it would be just to talk with him about pretty much anything.
In his book we see a man that truly as lived life with no regrets. Many people talk about how this book has been narrated by a gentle curmudgeon. I don't disagree, however, James Garner's no nonsense attitude about his fame, his family, and his lot in life is something to be emulated and revered.
He would hate the praise, but he'd take it.
Sidenote: Several years ago James Garner and entourage came through our town. A student met him and the conversation about it went a little something like this.
Student: "There was some old guy who came in to get a cup of coffee at the store last night, my manager says he's famous."
Me: "Oh, really what has he been in?"
Student: "I dunno some show where he was a cowboy and another where he drove this really cool car. My manager was showing me pictures. He's names like Gardner or something."
Me: "Oh my gosh! You met James Garner and you don't even understand how awesome that is!?"
Student: "What, oh, I have his autograph on a receipt...that's cool, right!?"
Me: "What did he say to you?"
Student: "He just some plain coffee."
Student: "That's it. I don't know. He was talking to my manager."
Me: "Gah, that's so unfair!"
I'm still whining about my not getting to meet James Garner. Sad day.
Link to a pretty cool review...I must say I'm a little jealous of her fan club card.