Entrance to Waters' Property
"Waiting for Robert Redford" from
Celebrating the Coyote,
I keep waiting for Robert
Redford to show up here. Of course,
he has never been
formally invited, but one horse whisperer
ought to be able to read the mind of another horse-snake-dog whisperer.
My husband was slightly put out with him for deciding to make the movie
“Milagro Beanfield War,” by Taoseno John Nichols, instead of a “Man Who
Killed the Deer” movie. But then
Frank said Hollywood would have botched it anyway; they could never make his
book into a decent picture.
For some years I have been
closely watching Redford’s work. Contrary
belief, I’m convinced that during this
millennium Redford will be able to do full justice to the subtleties of
Deer, the story of an introverted Taos Indian trying to survive in
century pueblo world. Publisher
Marcia Keegan and several others have recommended to Redford that he film
After Marcia intervened, she
said to Frank, “Now it’s your turn to carry the ball. Call Redford and talk
to him. He’s heard what a great
book The Man Who Killed the Deer is. And he’s in Taos right now
visiting John Nichols.”
Imperiously, Frank replied,
“He knows where to fine me."
True, Nichols calls Milagro
an “albatross.” Although it’s
his most talked-about
book, John considers it neither his own best
book nor Redford’s best movie. Having a failed deer hanging around one’s neck would be
worse than an albatross. Redford
be wise in keeping his distance so far.
A Smithsonian article
about the real horse whisperer, Buck Brannaman, mentions
one of my favorite books: Kinship with All Life.
It has influenced Brannaman, too, in his relationships with animals. And Buck taught Redford his animal approach for the movie
“Horse Whisperer.” Already
we’re tuning in on the same wave length.
If need be, in Taos we can
further the handsome actor-director’s education with
I feel the time growing nearer when waiting for Robert Redford will
result in another residency cabin paid for by sale of Deer book rights to
the movies, and in movie marquees lighting up hearts of Frank Waters fans the
On June 3, the anniversary of
Frank’s death, we placed long-stemmed yellow roses upon his granite deer altar. Across
the miles their heady incense wafted my thoughts to Robert Redford.
“You know where to find him.”
For it is not difficult to find
him here at his marker; in our hearts; in his books;
wherever the spirit is true and pure, good, gentle and loving, giving.
Proceed to Book Review, Celebrating the Coyote.