“I had been a very lonely art student in Paris. One Day,” he told me, “I found the Bar l’Abblye, a tiny place around the corner from St-Germain-des-Prés where two American folk singers, Lee Payant and Gordon Heath, entertained. After several evenings, Lee and Gordon invited me backstage, and every night after that between shows I spent time with them. Then I went back home and started working in movies. I didn’t come back for seven years. I dreamed of returning to the Bar l’Abblye. I walked in around ten o’clock and sat there with a grin on my face. I waved, and Gordon nodded at me. I finally said, ‘Hey, Gordon, Lee, don’t you know who I am?’”
“’Sure,’ Gordon said, ‘you’re the actor, Robert Redford,’” Redford told me sadly. “They didn’t know who I was!”
We’re all human. We all want to be loved, to be respected, and to be appreciated. To be acknowledged as significant and worthwhile; regardless of what we do for a living or the number of zeros and commas on our paychecks. Money and fame can be motivators, but they are only as good as the last bank deposit or the last person that asks for your autograph to turn and sell on eBay. Friendship, acknowledgement, a sincere smile or two… that’s recognition. That’s all Redford was looking for in Paris that night.