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Recollecting an Evening I shared with Gomer - I mean, Jim Nabors

Posted by Mike G on December 02, 2017

My recollection of an evening I spent with Jim Nabors, who died at age 87 on 11/29.

I was in Hawaii with my friend Rick Turner mid ‘80s to help my (at the time) brother in law Neal close a real estate transaction and to research his next transaction.

Nabors was actually Neal’s neighbor, and when we saw him one morning, Rick and I asked Neal if we could meet him.

Neal arranged a full evening, and told us to appear at Jim’s door at (?) 6:00PM.

Cocktails at his house - just Rick and me - I remember black and white photo of Sergeant Carter (Gomer Pyle USMC show) above his urinal; a piano, which was a gift from Carol Burnett; and other gift from Nancy Reagan.

And, numerous awards were displayed on the walls and tables - plaques and statues from his incredible career as a baritone - displaying a voice that contrasted starkly with what we knew from television.

We then went into garage where Jim proudly showed us his 9 cars - and he inquired which one we would like to use to meet Neal and and bunch of others at a Chinese Restaurant.

I don’t recall which venicle we drove though I think we opted for a more practical SUV over one of his more luxurious ones.

At the restaurant, midway through the meal, the young waitress looked at him - “I know you. You are Gomer Pyle!”

Jim responded with his trademark smile, and perhaps a “Goolleee” or a “Shazaam” but I don’t remember. I sensed a little sadness lurking inside of him.

During our drive home we discussed my friend Rick’s and my favorite episode: “Citizen’s Arrest.”

Very nice - and - at least that night - he seemed to be a pretty lonely guy, happy to host his neighbor’s brother in law and friend.

I am glad to read that he married his long time partner shortly after Hawaii legalized gay marriage as I hope it brought him happiness, as he was a good man and he deserved it.

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About the Author

Mike G's photoMike Glasser

Mike has a long term relationship with Rogers Park, having lived here at various times in his life, most recently returning to the neighborhood in August, 2009. While living here as a third year law student, he remembers drunken nights at Biddy Mulligan’s and hosting a couple of memorable parties that he, hypocritically, now forbids his own tenants from having. Years later, after completing his stint as a lawyer, Mike started investing in apartment buildings in Rogers Park (and elsewhere), and soon after, did what many newly divorced real estate investors do: he moved into one of his buildings. In 1992 Mike was one of the founding members of the Rogers Park Builders Group, an organization that he eventually headed for six years, until yielding those reigns three years ago. Around a decade ago, on a whim, he reserved the web site “Rogerspark.com,” which he has been developing ever since, and which co-hosts RP BizArts networking events. Mike is the proud father of three wonderful children, Amy, Mitch and Ella.

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