Before twitter there were fan letters: Dear Mr. Redford

November 12, 1973 Dear Bob  Mr. Redford,I just had to write to tell you how hot and sexy talented, I think you are.  Laura and I bickered over who was more desirable — Robert Redford or Clint Eastwood — with as much fervor as we girls once debated who our favorite Beatle was, Paul or John, George or Ringo. Laura's mother, tiny Corky, curled up in her easy chair with a ciggie and a cup of tea, pronounced both actors 'tall drinks of water'. This was so long before  water became such a desirable commodity that we actually had to buy it by the bottle, back in the seventies when water was still free even in the once desert lands of Los Angeles, that I never quite understood the praise. But yes, Redford could put his shoes under my bed any time, as our mothers might have said, mostly about men whose paths they would likely never cross. I had it so bad for Robert Redford after seeing The Way We Were ; wishing I were Barbara Streisand with her impossibly long eleg

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Happy Birthday Daddy-o


Happy Birthday Dad!


Gosh, you're looking as handsome as ever. I always did think you looked like a movie star and here you are in this sepia tint print as suave and debonair as David Niven. An officer and a gentleman, immortalized at age 26. Twenty six! Don't be offended if I say you looked older, that's the way it was back then. It's only these days, with fewer responsibilities on our shoulders, that we try to look like kids for as long as possible. 

You left home in England at seventeen, lived in Egypt, danced the night away in Alexandria and told us you tried 'hashish' in an Egyptian bath but didn't feel a thing. We didn't believe you, by the way, you know that right? By the time you enlisted to fight for England in World War II you spoke Arabic, French and Italian fluently. Imagine! A boy from Preston in the North of England teaching himself to speak Arabic. No wonder you served in the North African campaign. 

You'd be 102 today, if you'd lived. A ridiculous thing to say because of course, you didn't. You've been gone twenty five years, as long as I've been married. I'm not going to get all soppy, dad. I just wanted you to know I still have that old cherrywood desk of yours, the one you and mum picked up at the used furniture store in Santa Monica. I can still see you sitting at the desk in that pale blue button up sweater that you used to wear at home, a shirt and tie under it, even when you were just working on your pools. I write at the desk sometimes, overlooking our grassy courtyard. Your son-in-law is sitting at it right this minute doing some work on his Mac, or playing a computer game, I'm not sure which. One day we'll pass it down to your grandson who'll double check for the tenth time to see if it has any secret compartments. We've got the ID card from your days with British Intelligence; to us that means spy. And any spy worth his salt would have a secret compartment hidden somewhere.

Nancy has that old button up sweater now, that and the cool black raincoat straight out of the 1960's. I don't know what Russell has. There's the Turkish rug you and mum picked up in Turkey but I'm not sure what else. As the eldest, he must have had first pick. He was always Mum's favorite, she would have seen to that.

Anyway, I won't keep you. I don't believe in heaven but on the off chance there is one I expect you and mum might be getting ready to go out dancing. Give her a hug for me. 

Posted for Joy's British Isles Friday meme

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Comments

  1. What a wonderful tribute. I know he'd love your post. Good looking man and so many wonderful accomplishments and good times in his life.

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  2. Lovely tribute. A fun way to honor the man and the passage of time.

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  3. So sweet. I can't imagine how much you miss him, but sounds like he left you some amazing memories.

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