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Friday, June 3, 2011

The Kid

Not that long ago I was sure I would someday meet Bob Redford. I've always admired his work as an actor and director, and his awesome Sundance project. I've lauded his efforts on behalf of the environment, and imagined him as an ordinary person. But that, at least, IS a delusion. He is not at all ordinary.

I'm a big fan. I've saved covers, and articles, and read enough to know how much he loathes such things. When he directed Quiz Show with Ralph Fiennes (whom I DID meet after a Broadway play, another story) I came across a publicity shot of the two with John Turturro on the internet and copied it. I framed the small photo and placed it among the family pictures. It amused the kids to catch our guest's reactions when they spotted it.

I'm quite sure I haven't seen all of Redford's movies. But among my favorites are those that few even think of, like Havana, and An Unfinished Life (with JayLo). At the top of that list is a small film that Bob directed, and that couldn't have meant as much to anyone not from New Mexico where the tale is centered. Milagro Beanfield War.

I'm a native New Mexican with a long family history here. And I can only tell you that the film adapted from John Nichols' celebrated book is a spot on embrace of the local culture. All of my children saw it in the theater with me, we own it on DVD, and it has become part of our family lexicon. The soundtrack was never made available. But it has a haunting lyrical theme that I sometimes hear in my heart when I look out on an enchanting wilderness landscape in my home state.

Conversely, I hated The Way We Were. And to this day, don't know why Bob has not had a single word to say about Out of Africa, which, I have noticed, is a favorite of many other bloggers.

Friends in Nairobi at the famous Giraffe Manor in Kenya met Bob when he inquired about a stay there during the filming. Since then I have journeyed to Karen Blixen's farm, seen the Ngong Hills, read the book for the second time on the plains of Africa, and plucked the blades of grass pressed inside its pages. I couldn't say how many times I've watched the movie. Too many. Suffering my own losses at the time, I had a potent identification with the story that led me to a fascination of all things Africa. A fixation that would lead me to my husband who had aimlessly toured Africa for two years, and who has never really left it himself. But back to Bob.

My husband has roots in Northern California. His brother once worked at Lucas Ranch and has one or two Redford stories. A friend of ours was Bob's landscaper. Spectacularly, A River Runs Through It was partially filmed on Aunt Marcia's and Uncle Buck's ranch in Montana.

My son, who shares Bob's August birthday, acquired a seasonal job at Sundance while going to school last winter. His job included a few peripheral duties around Redford's private office. An unassuming cabin along one of the winding roads through Sundance village.

But I have settled for just being Bob's neighbor. He has a place outside of Santa Fe only sixty miles away. I also have the new bio. Just released. And oh, I have Mr. Cottage.  :o)

Rwanda, 1985


Weekend anyone?
 Hope yours is great!
Ciao! for now!
Jacqueline

7 comments:

once in a blue moon said...

i would say you are smitten :)

while you are dating bob this weekend, i will be in the room, a book i have avoided because i know it will be disturbing...

Sherry said...

Oh, now how lucky are you? Mr. Cottage looks strikingly like the kid. That was always my favorite Redford movie "Butch Cassiday and the Sundance Kid". But, I have a love affair with that home of Karen Blixen's. Totally amazing. I was looking for a good pic of it to go on Pintrest the other day.
Sherry

Brayton Homestead Interiors said...

Mr Cottage looks like a sweet deal to me!
but yes, love Robert as well...

Karen

the fishermans cottage said...

Well you certainly know how to pick em Jacqueline :) x

White Ironstone Cottage said...

I actually got to meet "Bob" at Sundance
I broke my humerus bone skiing on New Years day and was sitting in the restaurant with the my husband he walked over to the table and asked how I was !!! Oh My I was tongue tied, he even bought our lunch !!
Wish I would have asked for a picture darn !!!
Loved your post

JudyBug said...

I was scrolling thru your blog and spotted Robert Redford. Well, I guarantee that makes my "scroller" come to a stop. He is absolutely the most gorgeous man. Unlike you, I did like The Way We Were...hated the ending...but will never forget that scene of him in his white uniform...sitting on the barstool. It still takes my breath away.

Thanks for visiting me!

BluesGal said...

I am Bob's virtual assistant on his Facebook group. My late husband, Tim Scott, played News Carver in Butch Cassidy. He is a terrific guy. Out of Africa is also my favorite. Inspired me to go to Africa too. Bob doesn't watch his films. I think he saw Downhill Racer with his grandson. But don't think he's seen Out of Africa. I've encouraged him to at least see Out of Africa but he probably won't. He is getting ready to release The Company You Keep, a political thriller. At 76, the guy still has the "It" factor. Enjoyed your piece.
Donna Leigh Scott

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