Friday, October 13, 2017

Maverick In Person! :)

Happy Friday!

No, you're not seeing things--that is James Garner on the Jack Kelly blog. And, you've probably never seen this incredible image before, because it wasn't taken by a professional photographer. It was snapped by an unknown fan, perhaps at the 1958 Illinois State Fair, where JG appeared as a grandstand attraction along with other performers including Jane Russell and Jonathan Winters. (If anyone knows what the pictured event actually was, please let me know!)

As you can tell by the banner in the background, JG is promoting the "Maverick Special" Jeep, which is partially visible behind him. Also, it's a little hard to see, but the tie the gentleman in the white shirt is wearing says "Maverick" and "Jeep".

This next shot is a bit blurred, but it gives another candid view of what it was like for JG (and no doubt JK) during personal appearances. 

It's obvious "Maverick" (and Maverick) was very popular as JG is dwarfed by a crowd of adoring fans:

Jack Kelly also made his share of personal appearances during the original network run of Maverick, including this one at a home show in Arizona in 1959 ("Through the courtesy of Kaiser Gypsum and Warner Bros...") :

Sometimes, either one or the other Maverick was set to appear at an event, such as a 1959 agricultural extravaganza called "Farm-Orama" which was staged at a sprawling farm near Richwood, Ohio. A local newspaper rather vaguely announced:

"The highlight of the two-day event will be the appearance on the grounds of either James Garner (Bret Maverick) or Jack Kelly (Bart Maverick), stars of a television western. The Kaiser Aluminum Co. is sponsoring the visit, with whomever appearing expected to be on hand during the afternoon of both days. He will tour the grounds via a stagecoach pulled by a multiple pony hitch."

Unfortunately, the estimated 30,000 visitors who showed up for the first day of Farm-Orama saw neither JG or JK take that stagecoach ride. Another local paper indignantly reported that Maverick was a no-show and wondered if either actor had really been scheduled to attend. ("Was the appearance of 'Maverick' a wild dream of a publicity agent seeking a means of attracting hundreds and more hundreds to the event?...This newspaper wants to know who is responsible for forcing such a 'dirty' trick upon thousands of its readers.")

But, then "Faux Maverick" appeared at Farm-Orama. That is, a stand-in costumed to "represent" Maverick made an appearance. A newspaper stated that "It was not determined whether he represented Bret or Bart Maverick." It was also revealed that neither JK or JG could attend the event due to "prior commitments".

Well, Jack Kelly (and sometimes even James Garner) will always show up here in TDS. What's coming up next? Please stay tuned! :)