san francisco shocks

After a week of family reunion in Ohio/Indiana and then a week of meetings in Wales with Langham Preaching staff (the first time ever that this group has come together), Barby and I headed back 'down-under' with a day together in San Francisco.

Two things shocked me about the time in San Francisco...

The first was that the flight attendant mentioned to us that Robert Redford was on board. I am sure she was not meant to do so. But sure enough we got off the plane and noticed, off to the side, a skinny man with an orange baseball cap and dark glasses. It was him alright. I watched as the person sitting next to me on the plane had the gall to go over and ask for a photo. Robert Redford was not impressed. He began to wander off to recover his anonymity somewhere else. Later he was there hanging around the baggage claim area, waiting just like the rest of us. Shifty and uncertain - and so uncomfortable amongst all these people. You could see 'what if they find out who I am?' characterising his every movement as he stood there imprisoned by his celebrity. It was a staggering sight. {NB - our baggage arrived before his which I thought was a rather nice touch).

I have no photo of Robert Redford to show you.

The next day Barby and I quickly figured out the train system, quaintly called BART - and I couldn't help thinking about Homer all day long (but didn't mention it, as I bet the locals are sick of hearing about it) - and made our way into the city. Beautiful place. The cable car ride was the best $6 I've spent in years as it evoked various movie memories (anyone for Chevy Chase in Foul Play?). We cycled across the Golden Gate bridge. Floated by Alcatraz. Then came shock number two. On the train platform I looked once and twice and even three times (which was two times too much, I know, but I couldn't believe it). I know about San Francisco's reputation - but I was just not ready for what I saw. Two older teenage boys cuddling and making out with each other, in full view of others, as they waited for their train.

I have no photo of this 'couple' either.

nice chatting



Paul Windsor said…
Interesting to have a few off-line responses to this post from people I respect. So some clarification is needed. I thought about just deleting it, as that would be the easy option - but I think it is the unwise option.

I guess that I think it is quite possible to express shock without expressing judgement (as I think some may have ascribed to me here).

I was SO surprised by what I saw in SF. Yes, it shocked me that 'the Brad Pitt of my generation' could look so uncomfortable in public. I am not judging him - I am simply saying that I did not expect to see it. Likewise I was so shocked to see two teenage boys locked in embrace in public. I didn't expect to see it - and so it really surprised me. I am not entirely sure why expressing this causes a problem.

The unwise thing was that I wrote in a vague and open-ended manner (which I like to do), but which welcomes readers to project what they like onto my intentions. Then if this is an area of pain for them (particularly with an eye on the church), then they will likely see more and I need to take responsibility for that, not them. So I do. I am sorry if adding further pain to anyone's life accompanied this post. It is far, far from what I had intended.


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