The last time I was in Colorado, I was driving a large truck and hit an elk. This time, so far, I have not killed anyone. I haven't even thought about it. How can you, when you're staring up at the hills where Julie Andrews filmed The Sound of Music, according to a local man standing next to me. Also staring up at the mountains was someone who remembered when the film came out. Actress Jean Simmons.
"I thought they filmed that in Switzerland," she said, genuinely surprised. "Movie magic," I said, figuring the local man knew what he was talking about. "I always believed," she said. The film festival is giving her the Silver Medallion this year, a lifetime achievement award for her work in film. Who else has been directed by Otto Preminger and Stanley Kubrick?
My major contribution to the conversation was noticing that she was holding a tissue, and telling her that my nose was running too, and it was from the altitude. She'd thought it was just her and was relieved to hear it was a common reaction. I have very warm feelings towards elderly women clutching tissues to their noses. It reminds me of my grandmother. So I surveyed her entourage and equipment (helpful son-in-law, sun hat, sun umbrella, oxygen tank) to make sure she was being properly taken care of, which was totally unnecessary, since she appeared more able to take care of herself than I am.
Then I met a guy who was wearing a cowboy shirt with a lot of fringe across the arms and back. He spun around with his arms out to demonstrate the full effect, and the fringe went flying. He was framed by the gorgeous mountain behind him and it was impossible not to think of Julie Andrews spinning around in the The Sound of Music.
I decided I needed a shirt with fringe. I asked him where he got it and he said he had the fringe added by a local tailor, whom he paid with a bottle of vodka. Now, even better than a person who bought a cowboy shirt with fringe, what I want is to be a person who says about life in general, "you know, I'm going to have fringe put on that, and I'm going to pay with vodka," does it, and then spins around in it with a big smile for new friends.