"There are stars whose light only reaches the earth long after they have fallen apart.
There are people whose remembrance gives light in this world, long after they have passed away.
This light shines in our darkest nights on the road we must follow."
~ The Talmud

The Charles/Adam Bucket Brigade

Hi all,

Welcome to another CABB celebrating the life of Charles Rocket who was born 61 years ago today.  As in previous years, some of us wanted to offer our remembrances and tell a lil about how his roles have touched us.

In addition, since we're celebrating, we've included a rather goofy list of things we learned from his characters.  Enjoy! 

God bless,

Remembering Charles Rocket

From Rebecca:

I always loved Adam and I thought he had a sort of sophisticated but humorous touch to his character.  I know the writers had something to do with that but a lot of it was CR's portrayal of Adam.  I know he was on Saturday Night Live for a while and am not really familiar with a lot of the rest of his work.  I really liked him a lot.  The stand out feature for me would be his great sense  of humor.

I really loved the episodes that Charles Rocket was in.

From Jenni:

When I was younger whenever my parents drove us down the busiest street in our neighborhood, I'd keep an eye out for the turkey.  Now, this turkey wasn't one of the wild turkeys I've mentioned before.  This turkey lived on the edge of a block, behind a lil house.  You'd be driving along and see dog after dog poking their heads over and through fences.  And then... a turkey!  Just hanging out in the backyard like any beagle or retriever or terrier might.  I never knew his name but obviously someone did.  And clearly they cared a lot about him.  He had his own brightly colored lil dwelling.

Over the years I was less and less struck by the turkey and when I eventually did think to look for him again, he was gone.  I'm sure the turkey had gotten up there in years and shuffled off the mortal coil.  It made me sad because a lil of the quirkiness was gone from the place.  Still, I eventually forgot about him.

But then a couple weeks ago I was once again sitting in the car as my mom drove me home.  I looked over to where the turkey had once lived.  And I saw a turkey!  Not a living one but a painting.  There on the garage was a colorful, life-size rendering of the old guy.  I don't know how long it's been there.  But this was the first time I really noticed it.  Of course, my imagination ran off and before I knew it I had this whole tragically beautiful story about how Mr. Turkey's owner was so grieved by his death that he or she got out their paint and created this memorial on the side of their garage for their feathered friend so that anyone passing by would know a pet turkey once lived there and had been loved.  And Mr. Turkey's friend would step out into their backyard and feel that Mr. Turkey was still there, just as he'd always been.  And then I imagined Mr. Turkey looking down from Heaven and smiling (as best turkeys can) and knowing he touched someone.

Well... this is my turkey painting.  I never knew Mr. Rocket, certainly not to the extent that the house owner knew Mr. Turkey.  But his work, particularly as Adam, meant a lot to me.  So now, every year, I like to come here and say "See, look at this!  Look at how this man made people smile!  Look at how he's *still* bringing people cheer and encouragement!"  And he is.

I wonder how old I'll be before no Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas is complete without watching Hocus Pocus, "An Unexpected Snow," and "Fear Not!" respectively.  It's good to be reminded that you're never too old to dress-up in a goofy costume, turkey-like substance is delicious (seriously, I've since had some and it is yummy  ;-), and that angels are there when we most need them.

And I appreciate more and more all the ways Mr. Rocket's work has instilled lil moments of humor and happiness in my life.  I know that before his appearance on The King of Queens, I was never so thoroughly amused by the phrases "I'm having work done in my basement" or "I just don't know about that contractor I hired..." 

And, of course, turkeys will never, ever be the same to me.  It seems like every year I go to write one of these, I have some turkey story to share.  This year I have two.  Cause not only did I notice the painting, but I also had a touching episode with a live turkey.  In June, my family went on a cruise which was great but, being a homebody, hard for me at points.  When I finally got back to my city, I was thrilled.  Then something happened that made it all just a bit more significant.  As we were driving home, we saw one, lone turkey.  It wasn't where we usually see them.  It wasn't the time of day we usually see them.  But there he was.  A perfect welcome home and a perfect ending to the vacation.

With that fanciful idea of our feathered welcome home party, I find myself thinking of Adam again.  He was our first glimpse of TBAA's version of the welcome Home party.  And, after that, death just plain didn't seem scary.  That's a pretty amazing lesson to leave behind.  And I will always be thankful to the TBAA writers and Mr. Rocket for that.

God bless,

From Yvette:

As another year passes and we come together to reflect and share, I think about the things that really have come to matter in my life.  The changes, the inspiration, and the growing.

Sometimes when I look back and remember the simple things that came along, I am reminded of the impact others have had on my life and on the choices and feelings that I have experienced.  It seems strange that when I contemplate the time I enjoyed watching “Touched By An Angel”, how the show carried a very special premise.  To love life, love one’s self, and accept that God’s love is without condition or expectation.  That has, over time, proven to be the biggest lesson I could have learned.  No matter how strange, crazy, blunt, or impulsive we may be, God will always love us without condition and all we must do is accept it.

The only conditions that exist with God’s love are placed upon us by other people.  Perhaps it is those who have lived with this idea that everything has conditions.  But, what if it doesn’t?  What if the decisions that I make will not earn or merit me worthy of God’s love?

So, when I think about the life that Charles Rocket led and the decisions that he made, I am reminded in a very poignant way that no matter what happens in this life, God will always love me no matter what.  It was this particular message that resonated in that show and gave it a life and legacy that will always remain, no matter where our paths may take us.  After all, it was the words that ‘Adam’ said in those first season episodes, which I have come to believe as being the foundation for all the things that later came about.

What a blessing this knowledge is, especially during a time in my life where questions and reflections seem to abound.

So as another year comes round, and we remember the impact of Charles Rocket and the work that he did, I can conjure in my mind all the things that I remember about him, and how significant they are.

Memories are, perhaps the greatest treasures that one can leave us with, for they are stories that will continue to form and shape our lives long after the storyteller is no longer with us.

In closing, I wish to share a poem that I wrote, not recently, but rather, 18 years ago when I spent an entire summer in Moscow, Russia.

Forest Memory

The sky above
The trees abound
All life's treasures
Are around.
Peacefulness is in my heart,
Calmness exists beyond me
Friends surround,
Time is standing still.
In this whole world I see,
People walking, sharing
Yet here I am
With friends around,
I am not alone.

Perhaps that, if anything is what the work that Charles Rocket did for me, and perhaps that is what I will always remember about his life.



I (Jenni) had this last minute idea and was grateful that a couple members could help me with it on such short notice.  But I know that we could come up with waaaay more lessons with more time so I look forward to reprising this next year.  As you go through the next 12 months, if you think of something lemme know and I'll keep it til we reprise...

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Charles Rocket's Roles

Those of us who have watched some of Mr. Rocket's work have picked up a thing or two.  One of the biggest lessons we've learned is to have a good sense of humor so below you'll find some amusing items.  But also some serious, touching ones.  We hope this list gives you an opportunity to reflect on everything you've learned from Adam and Co.  :-)
From Jenni:
1.  Vampires are cool even when they're wearing pajamas.  (Dave Dennison, Hocus Pocus)
2.  Turkeys are awesome and we should befriend them.  But pheasants are yummy and we should eat them.  (Adam)
3.  If I ever need work done in my basement, I should not hire Steve from Russia.  But for a good time... definitely call Steve from Russia.  (Steve Moscow, King of Queens)
4.  Every time you wear a strapless dress, an angel of death will get slightly nervous.  (Adam, "Fallen Angela")
5.  Scrooge lives!  (Michael, Quantum Leap)
6.  Andrew is a wild man.  (Adam, "The Sign of the Dove")
7.  Every man should own a beige sweater.  (Adam, "The Root of All Evil")
8.  If I have children, I should teach them to never, ever light the black flame candle.  Although if they do, at least I would get a free Bette Midler concert.  So it wouldn't be all bad.  (Dave)
9.  The angel of death is not someone to fear.  (Adam.  While this group may have been started because of Andrew, we should never forget that it was Adam who first taught us TBAA viewers that).

10.  It only takes a couple seconds of "Sunrise, Sunset" to make me start crying.  (Adam, "The Sign of the Dove")

From Liz:
11.  Tall angels can carry off a lot of different styles including the not so neat style (i.e. the episode where Andrew is the armour car guard and has the 2 brothers ["The Root of All Evil"])
12.  You can still make women's heads turn even if you're a tall angel (when Adam and Andrew are in the bar where the young man is getting married and there's a special spot for Andrew ["The Sign of the Dove"])
13.  You can still try to get a word in edgewise against Tess.  It usually doesn't work but you keep trying.

From Yvette:
14.  Never date anyone who has dealings with aliens from space (Ted, Earth Girls are Easy).

And finally...

15.  God loves you.

Thank you, Charles Rocket!!!


JABB 307

(Photo Credits: The photographs, barring the nature ones, used on this page are from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions. They are not being used to seek profit.)