Full-time hero

Salon acquires a page from Harrison Ford's diary, in which the rugged search-and-rescue hunk gets antsy.

Published July 13, 2001 10:00PM (EDT)

Harrison Ford swooped down in his private helicopter to pick up a lost Boy Scout Wednesday, the second such act of heroism for the occasional search-and-rescue volunteer. The 13-year-old boy had been separated from his troop over 14 hours when the nearly 60-year-old actor and another rescuer spotted him, according to the Associated Press. The boy claims to have gotten something better than an autograph out of the deal -- "a hug and a handshake."

The sturdy leading man has gained quite a reputation for his aerial bravery in the Cowboy State. It was just last July that Ford saved a sick and dehydrated hiker atop Table Mountain. Still, most fans know very little about the off-screen life he leads when not saving outdoors people. It was with great interest that Salon acquired a page from his scrupulously maintained journal. The entry, written the day before Wednesday's rescue, reveals an anxious, bored side of the award-winning actor, one with a good deal of free time.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

8 a.m.

Breakfast. I eat light. The chopper likes maneuverability. I scan the logbook pages faxed over from the state and national parks. Note to self: Return fax machine to Lucas. Logbook thin -- slow day for hikers. Still, looks like some Girl Scouts might be picnicking in Teton. Put away breakfast and look for leather jacket.


Call agent. He confirms picnic, greenlights possible rescue scenario. Denim jacket, he says. I warm up chopper. Is this considered a brush-cut hairdo?


Neighbors complain about chopper again -- "giant spinning blades in front yard scare bunny," note on windshield says. Time to take this bird to the clouds.


It's off. Whole stupid rescue is off. Girl Scouts turned out to be Brownies, and Brownies don't need help with picnics. Bring chopper home. Neighbors glower at noise. Didn't they see "The Fugitive"? Fugitive invented glower.


Many, many pushups.

11 a.m.

Read through old journal entries. Why so gruff? Everybody loves me and I'm rich and brave. Should emote more -- have nice smile. Plus, good carpentry skills. Installed Mark Hamill's linen closet. Good kid. Good linens.

11: 04

But world full of lost hikers. Don't smile yet. Should practice water rescues this weekend.


Agent calls again, moron. Of course I want the part. Off-Broadway? Off-Off-Broadway? What's the difference? Getting tired of waiting for next broken Cub Scout. Feel like Nicholson in "The Shining." Should've gotten that part. Jack doesn't even have a helicopter.

12:30 p.m.

What was that?


Sounded like a -- no, impossible.


Do bunnies even make noise? Not talking about sniffing noise. Talking about fearful squeaking sound. Coming from ... tree in front yard?


Having trouble with approach -- chopper keeps coming close to garage. Also, can't get clear line of sight into top branch of tree.


Visual confirmation of tree bunny. Animal appears nervous but basically normal. Probably shock. Will pursue rescue aggressively.

Stubble coming in nicely. Gray getting out of hand? Note to self: Buy Grecian Formula, Q-Tips.

1 p.m.



Screw this. One phone call? I was Indiana Jones. I was Blade Runner. I was Han Solo when America was in short pants. "Reckless endangerment"? What is that? Country has changed, for the worse. Man with private flying machine can't save cute helpless bunny from neighbor's tree without ending up in jail? Will talk to congressman. Congressman thought "Temple of Doom" underrated.


I was framed. Distinctly remember another man in chopper. Strong, burly man. Was he missing something? Arm, maybe?

Must be whip around here somewhere.

By Chris Colin

Chris Colin is the author most recently of "Blindsight," published by the Atavist.

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