North Adams Transcript
True confession: I cheated on every boyfriend I ever had, including my husband. The beauty of it is they never had a clue -- and sometimes even aided me in my secret affair.
In high school, I fell madly in love with the handsomest man I’ve ever seen. A tall, strawberry blonde with the bluest eyes -- Robert Redford.
I first saw him in "Barefoot in the Park." He was paired with Jane Fonda, but I day-dreamed it was me. Heck, if I was running up seven flights of stairs to that apartment I would be as thin as Jane ... maybe.
I was dating the love of my teen life when I next saw Robert. Tom and I were at Coury’s Drive-in in North Adams. (Now that Walmart is moving, can we raze the building and bring Coury’s back?) I don’t remember the first feature, but the second was "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."
This time Redford’s love interest, Etta Place, was played by Katharine Ross. Really? How could I hope to compete with a redhead? And better yet, as much as I loved him at the time, how could Tom (a red-head himself) compete with Redford?
The summer after my freshman year brought my big break -- or so I thought. Extras were needed for a movie, "The Way We Were," starring Barbra Streisand and, be still my heart, Robert Redford, which would be filmed at Williams College.
Four of my closest friends and I went to the Concourse on Main Street, where the casting people were holed up, and strutted our stuff. Only it seemed I had too much stuff to strut.
"What, college students only come in a size 6?" I asked the casting person who rejected me at first glance.
Apparently in Hollywood, they do.
One of my friends made the cut. At least I could go to the film locations to watch her -- and Robert. Then the filming was moved to Union College in Schenectady and my dreams were shattered again.
Redford’s glory days, which began with "The Way We Were," continued with "Jeremiah Johnson," "The Candidate" "The Sting," "The Great Gatsby" (Leonardo DiCaprio will never be Jay Gatsby!), "The Great Waldo Pepper" and "Three Days of the Condor."
When I was a graduate student at Boston University, "All the President’s Men" was released. Not only was Redford the executive producer and co-star, but the film’s subject -- the Watergate scandal-- and its portrayal of journalism, also showed Redford’s concerns for political causes. There was more to this man than just good looks!
A few years later, my husband dragged me (OK, I let him believe he was dragging me and not the other way around) to dollar night at the Mohawk Theater to see Redford in "The Natural," the story of baseball player Roy Hobbs. Guy loved the movie for its baseball story; I loved the movie for Redford -- and hated Glenn Close.
I’ve stayed with Redford through the years. I still don’t understand why Demi Moore’s character in "Indecent Proposal" had to think twice about sleeping with Redford -- never mind getting a million dollars for it!
The Berkshire Eagle’s arts and entertainment editor keeps me updated on Redford’s activities and supplies me with photos these days. Now primarily into producing and directing, at 76, he’s looking a bit old. Wrinkles, slight jowls, definitely not the young man I first fell in love with. That’s OK with me, and my double chin, laugh lines and sagging body parts. He’s not getting older, he’s getting better -- and so am I!
Redford’s latest film, "The Company You Keep," opens this weekend in North Adams and Great Barrington. The critics’ reviews are mixed. I don’t care, no matter what, it’ll be a hit with me.
In honor of his new movie, I dug out an oldie-but-goodie (pun intended!) recipe for Next-Best-Thing-To-Robert-Redford Pie. Is it really? I can’t tell you, I never had a chance to meet him, although hope springs eternal. A creamy pudding-like pie, it has thick chocolate filling, thick cream cheese filling, a butter/nut crust, and is topped with whipped cream.
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup butter
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
2 (8 ounce) containers frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 (5.1 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups milk
1/8 cup grated semisweet chocolate
Combine flour, butter, and chopped nuts. Press into the bottom of a 9 x 13 x 2 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Combine cream cheese, sugar and one container of whipped topping until well mixed. Spread evenly over the cooled crust.
Mix pudding mixes and milk well until thick. Spread evenly over the cream cheese filling. Spread remaining container of whipped topping over the pudding layer. Sprinkle grated chocolate over the top.
Refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours before serving.
Margaret Button is the city editor of the North Adams Transcript. Send recipes for inclusion in future columns to the North Adams Transcript, 85 Main St., Suite 2, North Adams, Mass. 01247 or email them to email@example.com.