Wednesday, February 8, 2017

James Garner: The Cherokee We All Wanted to Be

I grew up in Onondaga County in upstate New York. Back then people would call Native Americans "chief" because we had a reservation for the Onondaga Indians. It disgusted me, but I never knew just how much I admired an actor with Cherokee blood. When I was young most guys wished they were James Garner.

From the time we first saw him as Bret Maverick, and even while we suffered through his movies with Doris Day, he was probably the coolest guy on the big or the small screen. He made acting look effortless. His likability factor was really high. Even in the movie where he had to tell Sally Fields he was 60 years old, he was my hero.

I think it's both hilarious and horrible that we abused the Native Americans who lived  on the Onondaga reservation, while we all longed to be a man with Cherokee blood.

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