I just read the news that Ernest Borgnine died at age 95. This saddened me. Especially when my daughter said “who?”…ugh! Its bad enough she’s never watched The Breakfast Club or the original Footloose and that she prefers the enhanced version of Star Wars. She has seen McHale’s Navy, but she has no idea the man I’m referring to.
While McHale’s Navy is hilarious, my memories of Ernest center around the 80’s adventure show of Air Wolf with Jan-Micheal Vincent, where Ernest Borgine was his sidekick/friend/mechanic/confidant.
Now when I watched this, I thought Jan-Michael was the bomb; he was my only reason for watching the show (the awesome helicopter was a bonus). Yet this show often came on while we were visiting my grandparents so of course I had to commandeer the backroom tv for my Air Wolf time. And with this request came the perpetual teasing from my grandfather for my true reasons for watching the show – Ernest Borgnine. Grandpa would tease me that I looooovvvveeeeeddddd Ernest and I would have giggling fits trying to convince him otherwise. Eventually Air Wolf dropped off the lineup but my Grandpa never let me forget Ernest was my man…any other show where the legend appeared and the teasing ensued.
I miss my Grandpa; his veggie gardens, his bar-b-q, his scare tactics, his jokes. I miss Ernest Borgnine too; his comedy, his supporting roles, and most importantly, the reminder of hilariously denying he was my man…which ultimately I guess he was.