Okay, so I’m trapped in a doorway with Robert Redford. No, really. Invisible panic might be an accurate description as I am no more than ten inches from his face. My camera is down because we are just too close together for me to focus. Instead of moving through the door, he’s decided to finish a private conversation with another man before approaching a small crowd of fans, and the press. The door is against my back when they turn to face each other and there is nowhere for me to go. Shame.
Straight ahead of me, I can see a photographer from the daily, who is visibly irritated already, that I am in his shot. I try not to make eye contact with him. It isn’t my goal to be in his way but I have no choice. I look for an escape. There is none. Through, around, or over the potted plant? I don’t think so. The daily guy begins to dance, now waving his free arm (the one not holding his camera) in the air. I try to vaporize myself. It doesn’t work.
I decide the only way out is the space between them. I’d have to brush through them however, causing them both to either step back or not. The act of brushing, physically against the Sundance Kid strikes me as a bad idea. I see disaster, in front of forty people. I see mayhem, followed by a broken ankle. I resist. The crowd stands frozen. They wait, most of them patiently for him to finish his conversation. The daily guy is stifling a scream. I begin to feel reckless as I can see him mouthing the word “MOVE”
Then something magical happened. A calm and slightly sarcastic voice in my head (my own, I’m happy to report) said:
"When is the next time, Susan, that you will be trapped in a doorway with Robert Redford?"
"Do you or do you not have girlfriends who would empty their bank accounts to be standing nearly on the toes of this man?"
At this point there remained seven full seconds of Nirvana.
Unfortunately, I think the daily guy heard the voice too because that is about the time he came completely apart. The sound of his impending tantrum caused the two men to move off into the room, unaware of the micro-drama that preceded it. I let the door close, finally and watched as he and the legendary movie star melted into the crowd.
Since then, the question everyone asked me? “Did he look old?”
Well let’s see, brilliant mind, generous spirit, unmatched professionalism, and twenty five years later all people really want to know is “did he look old?” Really is that all you’ve got? I wanted to ask them.
NO. He did not look old. He looked magnificent. He looked exactly like he looked in 1975. And if he’d have asked me to hold on to the bumper of his car, I would have gone off to find gloves.
After this up-close and personal three hour photo op, it’s safe to say I was a little bit wired. I stopped by a friend’s and knocked. She opened the door smiling and said, “What’s going on?”
"I just spent the last three hours taking pictures of Robert Redford!" I announced, beaming.
And you know what happened after that, right? She slammed the door in my face and looking back on it, I would’ve done the same thing.
Sam Forbes, Entrepreneur, Concessionaire, Farmer.
Last of the circus pictures, for now anyway. This first shot is a family of trapeze artists (their name escapes me at the moment) that prayed together before each performance. *If you’re on the main blog page click through to see the other three photos.
Snowball and Frank (above)