Friday, May 27, 2011

[FIND] Vice - Jim Rockford

"This is Jim Rockford. At the tone leave your name and message; I'll get back to you." - Answering machine message at the Rockford Agency.

It's sometimes hard to craft a story about someone you idolize. Jim Rockford, for lots of people my age and older, is the iconic modern private investigator. There were others before and of course there's magnum and that passel of PIs that came later, but Rockford is, for many, simply the best.

He lived in a trailer (that seconded as an office), drove a gold Pontiac Firebird, and owned a handgun that, according to him, "I just point it. I don't shoot." Rockford entertained flight attendants on layover, continuously bothered his cop buddies, and spent quality time with his old man, Rocky (see photo at right). 
 
He was, as was the era, a bit of a sartorial mess. But he had a life that most men envied. 

An ex-con: "I was pardoned." 

An optimist: "Yeah but look at it this way, an inch or two to the left and he'd have missed me completely." 

A fair fighter: "Ow. If I could do that without a roll of quarters in my hand, I'd be a terror." 

A coiner of classic phrases: "Freeze turkey!"

The Rockford Files was a virtual one-liner factory and James Gardner could deliver those lines like no other. So, it is with respect, admiration, and honor that we at [FIND] Investigations bring you this months [FIND] Vice:


The Cocktail - actually a guest post from our friends over at Q103 in Albany, NY, with the perfect tag line: Go Rock (ford) Yourself. Thank you Brian Bushner, Digital Program Director at Townsquare Media for a fantastic guest appearance here at [FIND] Vice. Here's what Brian has to say:
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I’m a huge fan of Classic TV shows –  call it part of my nerd charm. I watch The Rockford Files nearly every night and I’m pretty annoyed that NBC is so out of ideas that they are going to remake this classic. So I ask the big question: what would Jim Rockford drink?
When Jim wasn’t being shot at while working on a case that he'd likely never get paid for, he enjoyed sitting in his trailer eating Oreos, or going out to a good steak dinner, or a spicy taco from his favorite restaurant, Casa Taco. Jim always had a beer too with that stuff. Usually it was in a can at home or what I’m pretty sure was a lager at a restaurant or bar.
Beer was pretty boring in the mid to late 1970s. Beers popular at that time included Miller High Life, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Schlitzand a very limited supply of imported beers for variety.  Things started getting better when the ban on homebrewing was lifted in October 1978. The entire microbrewery movement is a fairly recent thing too.
Basically, Rockford was a beer lover with limited options. But if he could sip a cold one today,  here are a few I'd like to pair with his favorite three foods:
Oreos – best known for dunking in milk, dunk in beer at your own risk. I’d say a chocolate and vanilla stout. Breckenridge Brewery makes an awesome vanilla stout, and the Creme Brulee Stout from Southern Tier Brewing Company goes perfectly with Oreos. Very vanilla scent, along with some chocolate and both scents translate to flavor. 
Steak dinner? I’d go with the Brown Ale from Brooklyn Brewery, a great beer which isn’t too heavy. It goes well with a hearty meal, and the flavor pairing with steak is phenomenal. This beer smells like maple and brown sugar. The sweet chestnut flavors mixed with beef (especially grilled) plays a symphony of delight in your mouth. This beer has a low alcohol content so it’s okay to have a second one because once you taste the flavor combinations you’ll want to keep the flavor flowing.
Jim also liked a “spicy taco” from a fictional local joint. Usually I suggest anything with lots of hops, like an IPA, with a spicy food because the hops help cool the burn and the bitter + spicy flavor contrast is one of my favorites. 

Let’s pair Redhook ESB with the spicy taco. The sweet/butter flavors with the spice kicks the flavor up a notch. There are enough hops in this beer to take it a step further and have it with a spicy fish taco. If you take a sip of this as a chaser, the fish flavor returns for a second quick round. It’s a neat flavor trick!
Not sure if Jim would actually drink all that but it was fun to speculate, no?
Thanks again to our friends over at Albany's very own Q103, Go Rock Yourself.
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The Cigar - Actually a cigar
By: Joe Zike, Cigar Expert, formerly of UpTown's Smoke Shop

Padron 1926 Anniversary Series
Length: 5-1/2" 
Ring Gauge: 52
Filler: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Maduro
Rockford knows how to relax, and he's going to need to after getting caught up in his friends' activities, a bathroom brawl or two, and a car chase in his Pontiac Firebird. He'll take time out to go fishing, and he's gonna bring a cigar along. It'd be the Padron 1926 Anniversary Series #2 maduro. Its dark wrapper gives the cigar a creamy undertone. As the cigar smokes, peppery spice and hickory notes alternate and are kept in check by the creamy undertone. Whether he catches any fish or not doesn't matter. 

On a personal note: We said a temporary goodbye to out friend Joe last Wednesday night. He's off to Germany for a summer internship at journalism school. We're proud of Joe and we wish him well. Give us a call when you get back this direction, we'll share a cigar and a glass of wine at Rumours.

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