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Rendezvous with Heston

In July 1980, we were participants in the Western National Rendezvous held at La Vida Pass, west of Walsenburg, Colo.

The excitement of this rendezvous was actor Charlton Heston's attendance with his family in order to hold the world premier of his latest movie, "The Mountain Man." One could observe Heston during the day doing pencil drawings on his sketchpad of some of the people in their costumes.

Each evening there was a campfire where the families and their children gathered to visit. Several hundred to a thousand people took part. Occasionally someone was honored at the campfire. In this case, Charlton Heston was the honoree.

As the campfire burned down, people began to head back to their tepees. Suddenly they were all gone, all but one.

In the dim light I could see this tall figure about 10 feet from me. It was Mr. Heston. I walked up to him, thanked him for coming, and shook his hand. Then I mentioned I had just read his book, "The Actor's Life," a diary of his days making movies for a period of 20 years.

He was so startled that somebody at a rendezvous would have actually read his book, it rendered him speechless. After a few stutters, he graciously thanked me.

He was a fine gentleman; wonderful actor; devoted to his wife of 64 years, actress Lydia Clarke, and his family. I can still feel the thrill of having met and talked with him.

- Bertie Newton

Powell, Wyo.

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