A Latte with Sterling Hayden


A Latte with Sterling Hayden

When you are in Seattle, you are caught up in the beauty of the place. I was in an office yesterday and the view was stunning, water, trees, snow covered mountains in the background. And there are coffee shops on every street corner (after all, Starbucks started here). Many are little one of a kind shops where folks with long hair and a “different” outlook on life go to talk about how the world is wrong and how it could be made right. I listened to a couple of these conversations while I sipped my half caff low cal soy latte and thought about Sterling Hayden.

HUH? Sterling Hayden. Yes the handsome leading man of the 50s and character actor of the 70s. He loved the sea and preferred sailing to acting. He believed acting was there so he could make money and sail. In 1960 he wrote a book, Wanderer, which was a biography. I strongly recommend it.

He was his own person. In his later years he divided his time between Sausalito and a houseboat on the Seine. There’s a great story about how he had custody of his children after a messy divorce but was enjoined by the court from taking them outside California. One day he put an ad in the San Francisco paper asking for volunteers to crew on his boat. He got some takers and on a bright morning he took the boat, crew, children out into San Francisco bay, turned right, and headed for Tahiti. It was an uneventful trip, with the only problem when he arrived was the guy from American Express on the dock asking for his card due to a past due payment. But I digress

He dedicated “Wanderer” to “All those people who get up in the morning, go to work, raise a family, toe the line, follow the rules, and live quiet lives, because without them, there would be nowhere to wander to.

Yes he dangled a participle, but then we all get the point, well maybe not those in those coffee houses of Seattle.

John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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