are stars whose light only reaches the earth long after they have
are people whose remembrance gives light in this world, long after they
have passed away.
light shines in our darkest nights on the road we must follow."
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
In addition, since we're celebrating, we've included a rather goofy
list of things we learned from his characters. Enjoy!
Remembering Charles Rocket
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
And, of course, turkeys will never, ever be the same to me. It
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.
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.
The sky above
The trees abound
All life's treasures
Peacefulness is in my heart,
Calmness exists beyond me
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
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
Vampires are cool even when they're wearing pajamas. (Dave
Dennison, Hocus Pocus)
Turkeys are awesome and we should befriend them. But pheasants
are yummy and we should eat them. (Adam)
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
Every time you wear a strapless dress, an angel of death will get
slightly nervous. (Adam, "Fallen Angela")
Scrooge lives! (Michael, Quantum
Andrew is a wild man. (Adam, "The Sign of the Dove")
Every man should own a beige sweater. (Adam, "The Root of All
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
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).
It only takes a couple seconds of "Sunrise, Sunset" to make me start
crying. (Adam, "The Sign of the Dove")
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"])
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
You can still try to get a word in edgewise against Tess. It
usually doesn't work but you keep trying.
14. Never date anyone who has dealings with aliens from space
Girls are Easy).
15. God loves you.
Thank you, Charles
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.)