Actual Urgent Message From Robert Redford Goes Unheeded

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Issue 4114

1998 Powerball Winner Returns To Food-Service Job

RAPID CITY, SD—In spite of winning an $18-million Powerball jackpot in 1998, William Berringer, 39, insisted on returning to his line-cook job at Nelson's Steak House Tuesday. "Winning all that money didn't change me," Berringer said. "I'm still the same Bill Berringer that I was before I hit the jackpot, then proceeded to spend it all on partying, bad stocks, and a Jamaican condominium." Berringer added that he hopes everyone at work will treat him the same way they always did, or at least the ones who were there when he quit his job the day after he won the jackpot.

'He's A Stockbroker,' Says Woman Who Finds That Exciting

NEW YORK—During a 12:30 luncheon with friends at Niko Niko Tuesday, Pamela Gordon, 27, described her recent date with 30-year-old stockbroker Ken Rosen. "Well, he's a stockbroker," Gordon said. "His name is Ken... He's really cute... And he was just promoted at Piper Jaffray!" Gordon's friends told reporters that she has not been this excited since she dated a producer in 2002.

Colombian Teen Going Through Anti-Government Guerilla Phase

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA—Like many Colombian teens, Juan Ardila, 15, is experiencing typical growing pains, characterized by mood swings, raging hormones, and a fervent allegiance to a squadron of leftist anti-government rebels, his 48-year-old father Rafael reported Monday. "I have told him that no good can come out of running with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia," the elder Ardila said. "But he'll snap out of it. When I was his age, I was kidnapping state officials and car-bombing nightclubs in the name of Communism myself." Ardila said he expects Juan to grow bored of drug trafficking and extortion when and if he reaches adulthood.

Nation's Tall Asked To Stand In Back

WASHINGTON, DC—In a wide-reaching relocation of U.S. citizenry, all Americans above six feet tall were asked to please move to the back Monday. "Those fortunate enough to be blessed with stature, please step to the rear so that others may be able to see and be seen," said Nolan Mills, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Height. "Anyone willing to crouch or sit cross-legged on the ground is welcome to move to the front." This is the largest measure of its kind since 1993, when U.S. citizens were asked to not block the nation's doorways.

Terri Schiavo Dies Of Embarrassment

PINELLAS PARK, FL—Terri Schiavo, the shy woman whose self-image issues put her in a 15-year coma, died of embarrassment Thursday, the eyes of the entire world fixed upon her. "Terri, who had been extremely reserved before her debilitation, found herself trapped at the center of an epic legal battle that became the focus of the nation," said Dr. Kyle Williamson, who treated Schiavo several years ago. "The involvement of President Bush, Congress, and numerous church officials further complicated what might have been a simple right-to-die case, and made Terri's weight issues and family difficulties public knowledge. She finally succumbed to the embarrassment last week, at age 41." Specifics of Schiavo's dying breath and photos of the woman in her self-conscious 20s have been appearing in newspapers worldwide since her death.

Rising Oil Prices

Oil prices have reached an all-time high. How are increasing costs affecting daily live in America?

Horoscope for the week of April 6, 2005

Your stance on the health-care crisis tends to be rather conservative, but for the next few months, it will be heavily influenced by the steel bar protruding from your ribs.
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Actual Urgent Message From Robert Redford Goes Unheeded

MARSING, ID—An actual urgent message from actor Robert Redford, whose mass-mailed call to action on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council reached millions of Americans last year, went unheeded last week by its lone recipient, Michael Sanborne of Marsing, ID.

A stack of Sanborne's unopened mail.

"MICHAEL, I'm asking for your help to stop the robbery and possible destruction of one of America's most treasured human resources—actor Robert Redford," read the message typed on NRDC letterhead. "At this very moment, two or more men are holding me captive within my office in order to further their profit-motivated agenda to strip my home of its valuable assets and leave me with nothing—perhaps not even my life."

"At this desperate hour, my hands are tied," the letter continued. "My office phone lines have been cut. By gnawing through my gag and inching my chair along the floor, I have been able to reach my computer, turn it on using my nose, and activate my ViaVoice speech-recognition typing software. However, my time is limited, and I have managed to successfully stick only one adhesive-backed, mass-mailing address label to an envelope. MICHAEL, it is not yet too late to prevent the extinction of noble, majestic Robert Redford, if only you act now!"

The letter Redford (below) sent to Sanborne.

Sanborne received the legal-sized envelope, marked as "An Urgent Message From Robert Redford," on March 22, but put it aside to be opened along with his bills. The Marsing resident justified his delay, explaining that he did not initially notice that the envelope was rumpled as if by careless handling, and was scrawled over with the words "HELP ME," "DANGER," and "PLS CALL PLICE [sic]."

Sanborne, who speculated that Redford had penned the envelope's capital-letter pleas with a red magic marker held between his teeth, finally read the time-sensitive letter Monday.

Redford is the author of millions of urgent letters seeking support for the halt of oil drilling in the Alaskan Arctic National Wildlife Reserve. In his letter to Sanborne, however, his message of environmental preservation was replaced by one of Redfordian preservation.

"Fellow Lover of Robert Redford: No one voted on Election Day to destroy the body, mind, and life of Robert Redford," the fourth page of the letter read. "But now, armed assailants are claiming a mandate to do exactly that! MICHAEL, please understand that without the natural resources Robert Redford requires to sustain himself, this noble creature will soon perish."

Sanborne, a 42-year-old contractor, said he is unsure why Redford chose to contact him in particular.

"I made a $40 donation to the Sierra Club in 1998," Sanborne said. "I must've wound up on some mailing list, because now I get a lot of letters with photos of polar bears and wolves on them," Sanborne said. "They all say 'urgent,' but I guess this one actually was."

"Too bad I'm probably too late to do anything," Sanborne added. "Otherwise, I might have gotten out my checkbook and sent him a few bucks."

Redford's urgent, unheeded letter ended: "If we let them plunder Robert Redford's home for the sake of profits, then no piece of our natural heritage is safe from destruction. Please—it will take you only a minute—go to 12 Ocean View Drive in Malibu and untie Robert Redford from his bonds, MICHAEL. Only through your efforts can we keep Robert Redford wild and free."

Redford, whom California authorities say has not been seen in public for the last three weeks, is presumed dead.