Saturday, September 27, 2008
Remembering Paul Newman
Back in early 2000, I had dinner with Paul Newman at the Hillwood Cafe in Montgomery, Alabama. Dinner at Hillwood was always an incredible experience; imagine adding these blue eyes to it. Mr. Newman was beyond charming and what I remember most was being at ease with this superstar. It will always be one of my favorite memories.
If only it had really happened. Sadly, it was actually a dream I had while I was pregnant with William. (I had a couple of other doozies, but for obvious reasons, I remember Dinner with Mr. Newman most fondly.) As ridiculous as it sounds, when I pick up a jar of Newman's Own Marinara, I feel a little closer to him than the other consumers. For lo, he appeared unto me in a dream.
I find so many of his choices in life inspirational. Since 1982, Newman's Own has given away more than $200 million to various charities like the phenomenal Hole in the Wall Gang camps for ill children, which he started twenty years ago. And, of course, there is his 50-year marriage to Joanne Woodward. Fidelity even among regular, non-Hollywood, non-sex-symbol types is not a given anymore, but Paul Newman once famously commented, "Why would I go out for a hamburger when I have steak at home?" If it is possible, I loved him even more then.
Paul Newman was a class act all the way. May he rest in peace.