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That time I met Charlize Theron

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  • That time I met Charlize Theron

    Thought you guys might enjoy this. I wrote it for my home town magazine. For MSers who I have harassed, rest assured I harass EVERYONE. -D

    What Happens at the Market, Stays at the Market

    By Dave Bexfield

    Egad, I was bound to get into trouble. See, over a year ago I made a commitment to meet everyone in the Village. But at the time I pshawed a few key issues. For starters, Los Ranchos has over 6,000 residents, which are about 5,963 more names than I can reliably remember. Complicating matters: because I ride an arm trike, use forearm crutches, roll around in a wheelchair, and write a column in the Village Vision, far more Villagers know of me than I know of them. One might say I stick out like the Burj Khalifa, if the world’s tallest building had multiple sclerosis. And incessantly waved at you.

    These issues came to the forefront on a fateful morning at the Los Ranchos Growers’ and Art Market last year. The day unfolded as it often does at Hartnett Park, with vendors of all walks selling their home-grown tomatoes, their handmade soaps, their bear claws (who knew the claws of bears could taste so good?). And then I saw a tall jogger pause next to me, fully taking in the yesteryear experience of a community gathering. Introductions were in order—I needed to meet this new neighbor. Then I paused.

    Even with a big blue headband hiding most of her hair, she looked familiar. Oh crud, I’d probably already met her before. Maybe cycling on Guadalupe Trail? Or in Tinnin Farms? But what in god’s name was her name? Crud, crud, crud. So I figured I’d start chatting—small talk, nothing that would give away my ignorance—in the hopes that her name would crystallize in that brain of mine.

    She popped out her earbuds, smiled, and opened her mouth. It only got worse. She had an accent. It wasn’t British. Or Irish or Scottish. And it wasn’t Australian. And it wasn’t from New Zealand. After wracking my brain, I couldn’t remember meeting anyone in the Village with that accent. But by then I was even more convinced that I knew her. I was at a crossroads. Maybe I was confused, misremembering our earlier introductions. How embarrassing. I should let her continue on with her run and not bother my poor neighbor who probably was not expecting an early-morning Dave interview.

    As she jogged away, my brain finally and fitfully started up like the Model Ts on display that morning. She wasn’t a neighbor. I turned to my wife, Laura. “I think I just chatted with a celebrity.” Her eyebrows rose dubiously, as if to say Ohhh, rrreally. I quickly ran through all the accents I had already dismissed. She nodded. “What about South African? Was she tall, beautiful, and Academy Award-winning best actress Charlize Theron?”

    She was. Oh my god, she was. And after chatting with other neighbors, I learned that celebrities staying at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm often venture to the market as a refreshing respite from life in the limelight—indeed country singer Faith Hill and her kids were shopping there the other weekend. Yes, really. It’s another brilliant day in the Village.

    Dave Bexfield

  • #2
    The good people of my charming village (Corrales) know me for the same reason "oh, you're that guy that walks with crutches, did you hurt your leg"? Most just can't believe that a guy with MS can actually move with some velocity.