by Susan Adcock
Nashville, Tennessee

Robert Redford speaks about his work in independent film at the First Amendment Center, in Nashville Tennessee. June 2001
© 2001 Susan Adcock, Freelance.
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 for 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 smell 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?"
(seven seconds to 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, everyone asks: "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?"  
NO. He did not look old.  He looked beautiful.  He looked exactly like he looked in 1975. Better. And, if he had asked me to hold on to the bumper of his car,  I would have gone off to find gloves.
Susan Adcock


Contents Page

Contents Page Editorials The Platypus Links Copyright
Portfolios Camera Corner War Stories  Dirck's Gallery Comments
Issue Archives Columns Forums Mailing List E-mail Us
 This site is sponsored and powered by Hewlett Packard