The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Bond. James Bond.’

Posted on | November 1, 2020 | 2 Comments

The news Saturday of actor Sean Connery’s death marked the end of an era. For a generation of men, Connery’s portrayal of James Bond — Agent 007 in Her Majesty’s Secret Service — was the ultimate expression of cool. The espionage was just a plot device, really. What counted was the extraordinary character at the center of the adventure.

Nothing could be cooler than the man whom movie audiences first met in a 1962 scene from Dr. No. An MI6 man is sent to find 007 who, of course, is playing baccarat at an exclusive London club, Le Cercle. We see him win two hands before a beautiful brunette asks his name. Pausing before lighting his cigarette, he answers: “Bond. James Bond.”


Connery was a Scotsman of working-class background, and his famous role as a symbol of British sophistication is thus rather ironic, sort of like the way Marion Robert Morrison, a USC frat boy born in Iowa, became famous as a Wild West frontier symbol known as John Wayne.

Connery had a long and distinguished career, playing many roles. He was the paratroop commander Maj. Gen. Roy Urquhart in A Bridge Too Far (1977), and a younger generation of moviegoers met Connery in the role of Indiana Jones’s father in The Last Crusade (1989).

When I was a young bachelor working as a sports editor in Calhoun, Georgia, I had a couple of James Bond movie posters on the wall of my apartment. One day I had a young lady over to dinner and the topic of conversation turned to soap operas. How could women watch those silly shows, I asked, with their unbelievable plot twists? The lady pointed to my James Bond posters and asked if that was more believable.

“James Bond?” I answered. “Oh that stuff is real! The cars? The gadgets? All those sexy ladies? Of course it’s real. He’s a super spy!”

Well, a few months later, for Valentine’s Day, our newspaper ran little personal ads — for some small fee you could send greetings to your sweetheart. My message was addressed to “Sexy Lady,” asking simply “Will You Marry Me?” And it was signed, “Super Spy.”

That was 31 years ago, and I’ve been cool ever since.

Thanks for showing how it’s done, 007. R.I.P.



2 Responses to “‘Bond. James Bond.’”

  1. If All You See… » Pirate's Cove
    November 1st, 2020 @ 2:00 pm

    […] blog of the day is The Other McCain, with a post on the death of Sir Sean […]

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