Page 6 - Discover Fall 2021
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Editor’s Note

                                                              By Tim Ernandes

         During a recent hospital stay, I had                 unemotional persona, and he speaks in
      occasion to do little more than watch                   simple terms. His entire world is confined

      movies on the TV in my room.                            to a portion of the house, the garden, and
                                                              what he sees on TV.
         I was delighted to discover that one
      of the offerings was “Being There”, the                    When he isn’t tending the garden, or
      penultimate film in the illustrious career              asking to be fed, Chance enjoys watching

      of Peter Sellers. I had seen it in the theater          television. We discover just how simple
      during its original run in 1979, and had not            his mind is when he fails to show any
      seen it since.                                          meaningful reaction to the death of the old
                                                              man, whereupon he asks for something to
         The protagonist, played by Sellers
                                                              eat and switches on the TV.
      of course, is a man of extremely simple
      intellect. He lives in a fancy house with a                Once the old man has passed, the
      dying old man and a middle-aged black                   housekeeper simply leaves Chance to his
      woman who serves as their housekeeper,                  own devices, and the house is offered for

      cook, and nursemaid. Although it is                     sale. The attorneys in charge of the estate
      never overtly stated, the viewer gets                   have no prior knowledge of his existence,
      the impression that Chance, the Sellers                 and order him to vacate the premises.

      character, might be the son of the old man.             Impeccably dressed in the old man’s
      We are left to imagine that he has been                 outdated attire, he begins to wander the
      sheltered from the world, possibly out of               streets of D.C. in a confused state. It’s a
      embarrassment.                                          world that he has never seen before. At one
                                                              point, he feels hungry, and approaches the
         Chance is permitted to be in certain
                                                              nearest middle aged black woman, asking
      parts of the house, and allowed to wear
                                                              her to give him some lunch. She naturally
      clothes that are distinctly out of style,
                                                              recoils at the request, and this confuses
      having once been the old man’s wardrobe.
      He is always dressed to the nines, even
      when he tends to the house’s walled                        Before long, he is accidentally
      in garden. He has a very quiet, almost                  bumped by a limousine belonging to a

      4      Discover Smith Mountain Lake  FALL 2021
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