When I was a kid I was kinda sorta obsessed with the story of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I mean when I was really young. I had read about them somewhere, and then I had seen the movie with Paul Newman and Robert Redford, and before long I was obsessing over the legend of two American Robin Hood types robbing trains and banks across the West, beloved by the common people, nary an act of violence...only thievery. Of course as I grew older and learned more I discovered that a lot of that wasn't entirely accurate, but then neither was the story of their death. I spent the better part of riding my childhood out into adolescence, imagining that Butch Cassidy came home from Bolivia alive.
I remember reading an old National Geographic magazine from 1976 in which Robert Redford followed the so-called Outlaw Trail
through Utah, exactly as Butch and Sundance certainly would have. In that story, Butch's then ancient sister recalled that in 1925 he returned home to Wyoming to visit friends and family, and eventually left for his new home, quiet and far removed from hi past, in the Pacific Northwest. I was even more smitten after that.
It means nothing except for the enthralling idea that someday Zoey is going to be equally obsessed with something. Who knows what, or why? For me, I was hopelessly drawn to a story that still draws me in to this day. For her...shrug...who knows what that will be. I'm excited for her geek moments.
Just tonight I posted a link
to a new fictional film about Butch's last moments in South America. I was much too excited at the prospect of it's release to not thrust it out into the universe for all to see. Not expecting a response, I found myself smiling when my good friend, Ally, acknowledged the link with a grin inducing "goosebumps
" comment. It made me smile wide. Sometimes being a geek is cool. There's an infinitely cool girl who with one word acknowledged and embraced my nine year old boy infatuation that's all growed up and still creaky with geek, and that says something about rising up to meet your geek. If it's cool enough for her, it's coole enough for anyone. Maybe someday Zo can find the moment when her best geek is met with cool approval, and she'll smile too, just as I am now. She'll need to find her very own Ally, I suppose, but maybe she'll manage that too.
Alright...who wants to run away with me to Wyoming and Utah first thing in the morning? We'll find guides, and rent horses, and pack 'em up like experts...we'll camp for days on end, and follow in Butch and Sundance's footsteps, just like Robert Redford did 35 years ago, and we'll talk to oldtimers with stories, and be creeped out by the fire, and laugh endlessly at each other. We'll sleep on the ground and make a real life Brady Bunch episode out of it. Who's with me? I'm only half joking. I really want to do that someday. I've been waiting since I was nine years old.
See...geek. But it all makes me smile so much...and whatever geek thing that Zed finds that makes her smile, I'm down for too. Embracing your inner geek is important, and nothing coolness can offer will ever match it. Geek out, I say...for all to see. If you don't love the Brian that loves stories about Butch, well...you probably don't really love me. I come with geek baggage, and with any luck, my daughter will too.