Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Log 744: End of Watch

Sept. 8, 2015

Yesterday the thing that I worried about since I became a fan of Adam-12 happened. I knew it was inevitable, I knew there was no way to avoid it, I just wished that it would not happen for many more years. Yesterday, Martin Milner died.
I didn't create this, but I thought it was a lovely tribute.


My first thought this morning when I woke up was, "This is a world without Martin Milner." The realization that his effervescent, smiling, freckled face will no longer light up some small corner of this planet hit me hard. I was probably more aware of the world's loss as I lay in my dark and quiet bed this morning than I was yesterday when I was distracted by the continual news reports and tributes pouring forth on social media. I have been saddened by other celebrity deaths, but Martin's passing has probably affected me most of all, after all he is the reason I am sitting here writing a blog.

Before I discovered Adam-12 less than two years ago I had never heard of Martin Milner. But, his delivery of the "car speech" during the pilot episode flipped some switch inside my brain that instantly hooked me on the show. I can definitely say that Adam-12 changed my life. There is a clear line that separates my life before Adam-12 and my life after Adam-12 and without Martin's depiction of Pete Malloy, that line would have never been drawn. His subtly nuanced "depiction of a professional and tough yet compassionate cop" inspired me in ways I never imagined and opened my eyes and life to new experiences.



Prior to discovering Adam-12, I thought the police only existed to (gleefully) give me speeding tickets. But, after watching a melancholy Pete deliver the closing speech in "Log 71: I Feel Like a Fool, Malloy", I realized something.

"People die everyday, ADW, hit and run, murder, most of the time we're involved. Somehow you learn to live with it. But, I'll tell you something, when it happens to a child, you never get used to it."
Marty's performance showed me that cops are human beings affected by the countless tragedies they see while performing their thankless duties. I decided to learn more about the job our guardians in blue perform everyday, so I enrolled in our local Citizens' Police Academy. It was a wonderful experience that I would have never considered before I saw Adam-12.

As I continued watching the series, I was introduced to more new and fascinating things. The "Killing Ground" episode quickly became one of my favorite episodes, thanks in large part to Milner's performance of a cop playing a role in order to gain the trust of his captors. I found out that this episode was based on a true story that had been told in the book "The Onion Field" by Joseph Wambaugh. I quickly checked the book out of my local library and devoured every word of it; I am now reading a fifth book about the LAPD written by Mr. Wambaugh.


I also discovered that while my husband, relatives, and co-workers may not share my passion for Adam-12, there is a whole network of similarly obsessed (and I say this lovingly) weirdos out in the world who do understand my passion for the show. Through the internet I was able to form friendships with other fans in far-flung locations like North Dakota and Massachusetts. Yet another thing I would have never done if I hadn't ever seen Pete Malloy tell a young rookie officer that their patrol car had an "electronic siren capable of emitting three variables: wail, yelp, and alert".


Of course, I also began watching anything I could find on my Roku box that had Martin Milner's name in the credits. I discovered some great movies, like Compulsion, and some real stinkers. No matter what the subject material, though, Milner always gave a great performance that stuck with me long after the credits rolled. 
From "Murder, She Wrote".

Finally, when my addiction to Adam-12 showed no signs of waning and my husband got sick of me talking about the show, he suggested (perhaps facetiously) that I start a blog about the show. He may have been joking, but I took this idea seriously. I, who hadn't written anything longer than an e-mail since college, decided to write about all 174 episodes of Adam-12 and I'm so glad that I did. While I hesitate to call myself a writer, I will call myself a blogger and I would never be able to do that had Mr. Milner not drawn me in with that speech delivered with passion, conviction, and a little bit of humor.


Thank you, thank you, Mr. Milner for everything you have given me! I am sad that you are no longer on this earth, but I also find great peace in knowing that you lived your life to the fullest and filled it with love and passion and adventure. I am happy that you were able to spend fifty-seven years with your beautiful wife, Judy, and fill your home with the love of four children. I am happy that your legacy will live on in the countless men and women who were inspired to become police officers after watching your portrayal of Pete Malloy. But, I am most happy that the play "The Ninety Day Mistress" did not turn into a runaway Broadway success. For if it had, we would have never seen you portray Officer Peter J. Malloy. Marty's watch has ended now, but Pete will always be on patrol teaching Reed and the rest of us what a truly great police officer and man should be.


Rest in Peace

KMA-367


25 comments:

  1. You said so well everything I've been feeling since Sunday. Watching Adam 12 this morning on COZI TV was particularly difficult. I have been a huge fan of Marty's ever since I was 10 and had a crush on him from Route 66. By the time Adam 12 aired originally I was a married woman and renewed my crush all over again. Now as I'm watching both shows again I can truly appreciate what an amazing man and talent he was. I will miss him dearly. Your tribute was very special.
    On a personal note Thank you for your terrific blog. It's the highlight of my Sunday. I laugh out loud over your observations and love being a part of the Adam 12 community.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lindy. So glad you enjoy the blog every week.

      Delete
  2. Bear100@optonline.netSeptember 9, 2015 at 12:19 AM

    Thanks so much for your time and effort really enjoyed your energy. Loved watching the show when I was a kid. Officer Pete Malloy was everything an officer should be and more. You certainly did him justice, I hoisted a drink in honor of him today. Godspeed to him and Blessings to his family. Thanks, Kim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. I totally agree with your thoughts on Pete Malloy.

      Delete
  3. I was so upset when I saw the blurb on MeTV ��
    Thank you for your wonderful blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome. Thank you for liking the blog.

      Delete
  4. Excellent tribute Keely & Thank You!

    ReplyDelete
  5. For Keely...."Beautiful, beautiful....your loving words of tribute to Martin Milner as our "Officer Pete Malloy". I so loved deeply this man since first seeing him at age 10...and still love him at age 57. That is why my entire Facebook page is all about Martin Milner as "Officer Pete Malloy". Not at all surprised by the "beauty" you elude in your wonderful, kind words paying tribute to him...... that is who You are!! Thank you, thank you dear Keely and for your so thoughtful email. Proud to follow you....someone of your caliber and proud of your loving thoughts of our precious Martin Milner....and proud to call you my Pennsylvania friend (even though we have never met). Thank you Keely for this loving, touching tribute of your beautiful words that you wrote about my (everybodys) so loved Mr. Martin Milner. He will forever remain in my heart. I think of Martin Milner on the song "For Baby" by John Denver....the line "Leaves will bow down, when you walk by and morning bells will chime" Bless you Keely!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for all of your kind words, Terry. I hope you are doing well.

      Delete
  6. This is a lovely tribute to Martin Milner, and very much worthy of him.

    I think you might be interested in this remembrance by blogger Mark Evanier, a longtime comics and TV writer, and very astute commentator on all sides of the entertainment industry:

    http://www.newsfromme.com/2015/09/07/martin-milner-r-i-p/

    I found this especially interesting:

    "Mr. Milner had an interesting film career in which he set some sort of record for being decent (if not pretty decent) in movies that were otherwise pretty awful. He was good in good films like The Sweet Smell of Success or Compulsion and you can see him briefly in Mister Roberts. But it was in pictures like 13 Ghosts or The Private Lives of Adam and Eve or Valley of the Dolls where he proved how skilled he was."..."I never met the man. If I had, I would have told him how much I liked watching him when he had a good script and how I even liked him when he took a weak one and made it work."

    I can think of no higher praise for an actor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Mr. Sheen. I completely agree with Mr. Evanier, Marty is the best thing about some of the movies and TV shows (like Murder, She Wrote) that he appeared in. You could never accuse Martin Milner of "phoning it in", he gave his all to every role.

      Delete
  7. Really enjoyed this. He always struck me as a fine man and a good actor. I also enjoyed seeing him in a lighter vein as the Kahuna in a memorable episode of "Gidget."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I love that Gidget appearance! He's so cute in his bow tie when he comes over to the house for dinner.

      Delete
  8. This is a really beautiful tribute.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Well then; a cop friend of mine posted a link to this on his FB timeline and being a fan of the show and being one of the many who were inspired, at least in part, by Officer Pete Malloy... well I took a gander at your tribute.

    You do sum up nicely what I tried to say when I heard the news. And although I could never have been 1/2 the cop Pete was in the show, trying to emulate him did lead me to a very satisfying 24 year career in law enforcement.

    I would never consider myself nearly as big a fan as you and your friends but I do catch the show whenever it is on and I am able.

    Thank you for putting this in a very well thought out, well written and fitting triubte to Mr. Milner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, for taking a gander at my tribute and, most of all, for your years of service!

      Delete
  10. I know what you mean, I have been worried also, just in the back of my mind, for a while, with his health issues combined with his age and something about his disappearing for the pubic eye, kind of, completely...

    Fine tribute. RM, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every time I would hear of a celebrity who was near Marty's age passing away, I worried more and more.
      Thank you for reading.

      Delete
  11. I discovered Adam-12 in retirement, and like you, Keely, I ended up totally hooked. I watched it 4 times a day (on ME-TV and COZI) and couldn't get enough of it. It reinforced my pre-existing hero worship of LEOs, firefighters, EMTs, just all first responders in general. I, too, wondered about Martin's age and how I would ever know if he had health problems or died. I learned of his death on Sept. 8, 2015, as his birth & death dates were shown at the beginning of that day's showings of Adam-12. I wept off & on the rest of that day and had episodes of crying for several days after, even though I had never met the man. Something about him just touched my heart. Thus began an online search for anything I could find about him and Kent McCord, even resulting in my opening a Facebook page in order to collect whatever I found. All the moving tributes from LEOs were so touching! It broke my heart to learn of the eventual closing of the Martin Milner Private Family Collection Facebook page. I had continued to share photos from that page to mine, and of course, those all disappeared. My search for pictures of the 2 guys continues, and I was so thrilled to find your blog about meeting Kent McCord. The Adam-12 DVD set I received as a 2014 Christmas gift has been the most-used and adored gift I've had in adulthood, and I've watched the entire series over & over. I was so delighted to find your blog after several fruitless searches. Unfortunately, I'm at a different place in my (re)viewing than you are, so I end up "cruising thru" and commenting on your blogs long after you've written them. I've just started Season 7 again, and I watch 2 or 3 episodes every night, so when I've finished that, I'll go back to where you are in the process. That way, I'll be current with your viewing and insightful comments. I LOVE your pictures and remarks! My very favorite, so far, is your take on "Exactly 100 Yards". The beefcake pictures are fabulous, and your comments made me laugh til the tears came. (Have looked at that one over & over.) I'll be anxious to see your pix from Season 7, as I love the episode where Reed & Malloy stake out a drug dealer, with Reed sitting in his car for a period of time before the bust. He looks so sexy, sitting there in the car in his "civvies"---just like the old days of "cruising Main" and hanging out in cars in small towns. In all the screen grabs I've seen from A-12, I've never found one from that scene. I hope this hasn't taken up too much of your blog space, but I just had to add to your tribute. Thank you so much for your wonderful blog. Please keep up the great work. (from Anonymous A/K/A bogey)

    ReplyDelete