Robert Redford's Chewing Gum

This is a true story….

I just recently watched the movie The Way We Were starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford.

And seeing Mr. Redford again, reminded me of a time when I was attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.

He had been a graduate of the Academy, and was kind enough to come back and give a talk to all the students about becoming a professional actor.

This was right after The Way We Were had been released, so there was tremendous excitement in the air that day, anticipating his arrival.

I was lucky enough to have gotten a seat on the floor (along with my friend Dawn), directly in front of the small stage were he would be sitting at a table. There was a pitcher of water and a glass set up, as well as an ashtray, which I thought was odd, because he never once lit a cigarette.

Anyway….when he finally walked out on stage, I need not tell you how enthusiastic the entire student body reacted.

The applause and cheering went on for a full minute.

Finally…after everyone calmed down, Mr. Redford had a seat and began his talk.

And as he was speaking, I noticed that he was chewing a piece of gum.

(which by the way, was bright green)

About halfway through his talk, I watched him reach inside his mouth, take out the gum, and place it into the ashtray.

And INSTANTLY….like some kind of psychotic mental patient, I got this bright idea about the possibility of SWIPING his gum, so I’d have it for a souvenir.

I mean, how many people could say they had Robert Redford’s chewing gum?

So I wracked my brain, trying to figure out how to get it….

I started to think what Lucy would do, on I Love Lucy.

Suddenly, an idea began to form…

After the talk was over, I would casually wait inside the theater, allowing everyone to leave before me, and when the entire theater was emptied, I’d just walk up on stage and NAB it!

How original, right?

So when Mr. Redford was finished, of course everyone stood up again and reacted even MORE wildly, because after all…we had just heard him SPEAK for an hour!

And as he got up to leave, everyone else in the theater rushed up on stage and followed him into the lobby, so they could watch a movie star make an exit out onto Madison Ave.

I on the other hand, stayed seated on the floor and nervously waited for the theater to clear out, so I could be alone with my mischievous deed…


And after I was SURE I was totally alone…

I jumped up on the stage and headed straight for the ash tray.

And when I looked down; expecting to find Robert Redford’s mouth treat, I gasped…

OMG…it was GONE!

I stood there thinking to myself…

“What the FRIGGIN’ HELL happened to his gum??”

I was absolutely LIVID!

I mean, who would DO such a thing???

And just then, my friend Dawn came running back into the theater and hugged me, screaming…


And when I looked into her grubby little CLAW…I saw the small green treasure that I had been searching for.


And the first thing out of my mouth was, “OMG, Dawn…how INFINTILE could you be?

She said, “What do you mean?”

“I MEAN…how STUPIDLY RIDICULOUS. Not only is this CHILDISH, but it’s DISGUSTING. I can’t believe you would stoop so LOW as to take a celebrities' chewing gum out of an ASHTRAY. And can you imagine what everyone is going to think when you tell them? They’re going to look at you like you‘re some kind of CRAZIED fan”

She sadly looked down at the gum and said, “You know, Ron…you’re right. I don’t know what I was thinking.”

And then she tossed it back into the ashtray.

And as the two of us were walking out of the theater I said, “Oh wait a minute, I forgot something, but you go ahead…I’ll meet you in the lobby so we can take the subway back to the dorms together.”

And as I watched her close the door, I thought to myself…

“I wonder how long chewing gum will last…wrapped in aluminum foil?”

Wishing you a star-studded weekend, everyone!

P.S. Unfortunately, I lost the gum during my move back to Florida.

And it serves me right.


  1. WHAT?! You didn't put it on eBay?

  2. Aloha Debi!

    Oh that's funny...

    ...because I KNEW someone was going to ask me that!!

    However, there was no eBay at the time.

    But OMG...can you imagine what I might have GOTTEN for it????

    And I specifically remember too... was spearmint gum.

    Because I swear to god...I actually sniffed it!


    Thanks for stopping by, Deb!

    Hope you're having wonderful Friday morning!

  3. If you still had it, you could eBay it as VINTAGE Robert Redford-chewed Spearmint gum...
    and if it also had the image of Jesus in it you get double chance of it selling...

  4. OH that is just tooooo funny!!!
    Did you ever fess up to your friend? LOL
    How many other times have you been wicked?? hehe

    I think back in high school I might have saved a cup and a straw that a kid I liked drank out of after a school dance at a pizza shop.
    I have a couple of autographs... one from a singer from a band I saw at the Grape St. Pub, one from Donny Osmond, and one from O.J. Simpson (from after the murders, what was I thinking???)
    And then of course somewhere I have those fake dollars that Joel Grey threw during 'Money'. Not sure where they even are at the moment though.
    The things we try to get and then realize later were so silly. What possesses us??

  5. The things we do. I am just glad it was not a turd from Rin Tin Tin. Now that would be something to look at inside the aluminum foil. Or a bugger from Johnathan Winters.
    Me I once bottled a fart from Shelly Winters and it has been hermaticly sealed in a Hellman's Mayonnaise jar for 30 years.

    Have a great weekend

  6. Wait.. I'm commenting on the blog of a person who breathed the same air as Robert Redford?


  7. Aloha again Debi

    Too funny!

    I had put it in a special place inside a smaller box with a bunch of other New York souvenir's...and can you BELIEVE IT????...I somehow left that box in NEW YORK!!!

    Oh well...I'm sure it's turned into a fossil by now!

    Thanks for stopping back, Deb!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  8. Morning Crystal Chick!

    No...I never did confess to her.

    In fact, I had to keep it total secret.

    I DID call my family in Florida and tell them, but other than was "my lips are sealed."

    Hey...but if I still HAD it, I might consider trading it for one of those fake dollars of Joel Greys'!!!


    I use to be a HUGE souvenir saver. I'm talking EVERYTHING. I remember even taking silverware from the restaurant where I had had my high school prom dinner!!

    (a fork)

    Eventually, I somehow (thank god) grew out of that.

    Hey...did you see it SNOW this morning????

    I got so excited that I actually went out and walked to the drug store, to pick up a few odds and ends!


    Thanks for dropping by this morning, M!

    Enjoy your weekend!

  9. OMG DAVE!!!!!




    OMG...I'm laughing so hard right now, I have tears!!!


    Thanks my Libra friend...

    Thanks for the AWESOME Friday LAUGH!

    I'm telling ya, Dave...

    Start a HUMOR blog!!

    Have a great weekend, buddy!

    P.S. I'm STILL laughing!

  10. Good Morn'in Anndi!

    YES...not only did I breathe the same air...

    ....but I ONCE had his DNA!


    Oh, damn...I could slap myself for losing that GUM!!

    ALWAYS great seeing ya, Anndi!

    Hope you're feeling better and are all HEALED!

    Take care and have a wonderful weekend!

  11. Oh Ron you're kidding, you didn't do that to your friend did you?????

    You met Robert Redford? How lucky are you? He is just gorgeous!

  12. Oh Ron, you dastardly little shit!

    Using the gentle art of guilt, embarrassment and degradation to win your prize.

    I only have one word for you. . .


  13. Afternoon Akelamalu!

    YES...I did.

    But I couldn't help myself.

    I would have done ANYTHING to get that piece of gum!

    I shallow of me.

    And what's funny, is that it wasn't like I was even a HUGE fan of his...but I think after seeing ANY celebrity sitting in front of you...something happens.

    At least to me it does.

    And yes...he was very handsome in person. The photo that I shared on this post was actually from the movie.

    Thanks for stopping by today, dear lady.

    And listen...if I still had the gum...I'd ship it you!


    Have a great weekend!


    Somehow I just KNEW you'd understand and appreciate my technique!


    Aren't I wicked?

    My grandmother use to always laugh at me as a child, because she said I had a bit of the devil in me!

    Gosh...I miss her!

    Thanks SOOOOO much for stopping by, Jeff!

    Have a GRANDE' weekend!

    Later gator!

    The Little Shit

  15. Fabulous post.
    When I was a kid Robert Redford was a contender along with Michael Douglas, Ricky Ricardo and Ryan O'Neal for possible future husbands.

    That was before I knew he drops gum in ashtrays. That's almost as bad as teabags.

  16. Howdy Ubermouth!

    OMG...your comment was GREAT!

    I LOVE your three contenders for possible future husbands...

    ...especially RICKY RICARDO!!!

    As you can tell from this post...I was and STILL AM an I Love Lucy fan!

    OMG...and don't you just LOVE people who put their tea bag in an ashtray!!!!!

    I mean...WTF?!?!?!?!

    Thanks SO MUCH for adding your wonderful words to this post, Ubermouth!

    TOTALLY enjoyed!

    Have an awesome weekend!

  17. *chuckling*

    And if anyone EVER questions your ability to ACT--they're in dire need of rethinking that, given the masterful moment you just shared here.

    THAT one shoulda won you an Oscar for best actor.


    Excellent manipulation, btw.....ya do me proud!!!! ;-)

  18. OMG Mel...

    ....your comments ALWAYS leave me with a FABULOUS chuckle!!

    Thank you for that, dear lady!

    Aren't I a tad wicked?

    tee, hee!

    My poor mother should start her own blog about her son...The Bad Seed!


    Thanks for stopping by this evening!


    Have a wonderful weekend!

  19. ron, when I was waiting for my computer to load your blog I began to see Robert Redford emerge as it loaded the you know, after all these years and KNOWING the man is definitely not looking that good anymore(but not bad either :), well my heart started to beat faster just seeing him...I used to just love him, lust after him, see everything he made and they were always good, but I never saw him in person and I have even stayed at Sundance a few times, with my eyes peeled looking at any blondish man that strolls by...omg, ron, you just about had me with this one and then it's gum you want to talk about????? omg, man, have you LOOKED at the man...well, should say DID you look at the MAN or just the gum? he was gorgeous in those days...still is, just not quite so stunning!!!

    TELL ME, is he SHORT like everybody tells me he is? He actually has a cattle ranch on the other side of the hill where we have one! can you believe the karma, but....I have yet to see him astride a horse, looking like the Sundance Kid(he WAS the Sundance Kid,right?) yes, he was....mmmmmmmmmmmmm..

    as always, thanks for the giggles! :)

  20. OMG Linda!

    You're comment made me HOWL!!!

    You're a riot!

    And I'm so sorry to disappoint you with just his GUM!!

    But now knowing how much you liked him, I SWEAR...if I still had it, I'd ship it to you!

    And yes...I agree, back then he was at his PRIME of looks.

    He had that perfect all-american- look for the movie, didn't he?

    And yes...he is short. In fact, that surprised me when I saw him, because on screen, he looks taller. But I also met Al Pacino while I was living in New York, and he too is short.

    And WOW...Robert Redford actually has a cattle ranch next to you???? about KARMA!!!

    He really doesn't do much acting anymore, does he? I know he directed some films, but it seems like he just slowly moved away from the industry.

    I can't remember eveything he share with us during his talk at the Academy, but I do remember someone asking him about what it was like working with Barbra Streisand, and he just simply said that it was not enjoyable.

    But my god...wasn't the movie WONDERFUL????

    BOTH of them were fabulous!

    And it was so nice seeing it again after all these years.

    I STILL cry at the end!

    Anyway, my dear friend...thank you SO MUCH for stopping by to catch a little bit of Mr. Redford.

    Even though it was only his GUM!


    Have a wonderful weekend Linda!

  21. eh, eh, are so wonderfully wicked, but karma is hell isn't it? Still I'm glad you possessed it for a spell. :)

    I hope you are having a wonderful's cold here in Florida..WTF!! What happened to fall? I know you are happy with the cold weather. Some of us are suffering though. :O


  22. Good Evening Dear Gypsy-Heart!

    GREAT seeing ya, my friend!

    I know....karma payback is HELL!!


    Oh least I had Robert Redfords gum for a few years!!!

    And YES...I spoke to my family in Florida and they told me it was rather chilly! it's been FABULOUSLY COLD! In fact, today it was only 29 degrees. Last night after I got out of work, I actually went walking in cold night air for a bit. It was invigorating!!!

    We even got some SNOW a few days ago!

    OMG...I LOVE this time of the year!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by this evening, dear Heart.

    It's always such a wonderful treat seeing ya!

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    Love ya!

  23. ronnie: kill me...hehehehe. really kill me. I can't help laughing at this story.



    Mister, that is classic. I can't believe the whole crowd didn't rush up there and fist fight for the gum heheh.

    I was more surprised he placed it in the ash tray...doesn't gum belong under the table. hehehehe.

    As for the movie the way we's one of my favorites.
    I love that movie, but it makes me sad. have snow there? I love snow. We Californians just don't know how to drive in it or dress for it.

    You make me smile, ronnie.

    Ciao babe.

  24. Aloha Debi!

    I KNOW...I LAUGHED at that too!

    tee, hee, hee...

    Thanks for stopping by again, my friend!

    Hope you're enjoying your weekend!

  25. Good Morning Miss Jones!

    Somehow I think if you and I had been in the audience together, we'd be like Lucy and Ethel!

    It's like the episode were they stole John Wayne's footprints from Grauman's Chinese Theater!!

    Remember that one???

    We'd be like the Spikey/Ronnie outlaws!


    And YES...the movie is sad, isn't it? That finally scene always does me in...


    When I lived in NYC, I went to the "exact spot" where they shot that scene, in front of the Plaza Hotel and I stood there singing...

    ..."Memories, light the corners of my mind....of the way we were"

    Tee, hee...

    And YES!!!! We actually got some snow earlier this week and I was FREAKING OUT!!

    God...I LOVE the first snowfall of the year.

    It's magical!

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my friend!

    Hope you're having a GRANDE' weekend!

    Ciao bella!

  26. Ron, you are hysterical! Actually, I would've done the same thing. I shook hands once with Sylvester Stallone (at Robin Gibbs house, no less!) and still have not cleaned the ring I was wearing! LOL It's black with tarnish and only I know he touched it, but that's good enough for me.

  27. OMG Lady Nitebyrd!!!

    You make me HOWL!!!

    How FUNNY!!!

    See!!! We really ARE siblings!

    I think we should open a celebrity museum with all the stuff we've collected from famous people!

    We could call it...

    The Nitebyrd-Da, Doo Ron-Ron Museum.

    What do you think?

    Thanks for stopping by, dear lady!

    That was GREAT!