Robert Redford’s latest movie, “The Company You Keep,” is a political action thrillerwhich is getting rave reviews. I’ve recently concluded Redford may be SantaMonica’s most famous native son. On my somewhat eclectic list, Shirley Temple isnumber two and Charlie Sheen number three. (Feel free to e-mail your list.)Born in Santa Monica in 1936, Redford apparently abhors our “out-of-control”development. In this month’s Esquire Magazine, Redford said because of the city’scongestion he’s “never here more than two or three days at a crack.” (Dependingon how this column turns out, I’m not sure whether I hope Redford’s in or out of town today.)As it happens I met Redford in 1975 while he was filming a scene from “All thePresident’s Men.” We actually chatted until the conversation ended in a bit of adisaster. But first I should explain how it was that I had recently moved to SantaMonica.For years I’d been living in Idyllwild, a town of 2,000 in the mountains above PalmSprings. I worked for the U.S. Forest Service and wrote for the town paper. As fatewould have it a Hollywood agent apparently loved my column, “I blew out thecandles and got a hernia.” (I was 29 and felt old. Imagine how I feel now.) The column was about a Jewish mother who desperately wants her wayward hippieson to be a lawyer. The agent, who has long since passed away, showered me withcompliments, even predicting that I “would be the next J.D. Salinger.” (I hope hedidn’t mean I’d wind up a grumpy old recluse.) The agent effusively proclaimed that the column would make a great book andmovie, which caused my head to spin. What I discovered later was that he was amanic-depressive in a supremely manic phase. My luck.As I’d just broken up with my girlfriend, I was tempted by the agent’s suggestionthat I move to L.A. (This was long before the Internet age where I could have just e-mailed my writing.) He even knew of a vacant apartment at the Shores (in ‘75 theyhad 200 vacancies) and a day job.