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Unless you’ve been living in a cave with Osama Bin Laden, you know that Paul Newman passed away this weekend.  Paul Newman was one of my absolute heroes.  Smart, talented, devoted, gorgeous, romantic, and philanthropic – my kind of man.  

I spent most of my summers as a kid at camps in the Berkshires.  My folks worked at the camps and at night, had an active social schedule that included spending their summer salaries on great restaurants and tickets for Tanglewood, Jacob’s Pillow and Williamstown Theater.  The folks Williamstown Theater series tickets were for opening night and the after party, which allowed them a chance to celebrity watch.  Frequent spottings included Christopher Reeve, Blythe Danner, Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman.  

My dad reminisced about one special opening night over the weekend.  My folks were at the after party, as were Paul and Joanne.  My dad spotted Paul heading to the bathroom, and, like the good stalker we’ve trained him to be, followed Paul into the men’s room.  Inside, he stood side by side with Paul, each aiming at their respective urinals.  Naturally, I asked, “Dad, did you sneak a peek?”  He laughed, and said, “Of course.”  So I had to ask, “And...”  “And what?”  “Dad, you know what I mean!”  “It didn’t look extraordinary.”  So yes.  My dad checked out Paul Newman’s wiener, and he said it wasn’t extraordinary.  

When I was about 26, I was up in the Berkshires visiting my folks at camp.  My Mom, her friend Addie, and I were having a fancy lunch up in Williamstown at a restaurant called The Orchards.  We were about halfway done with our meal when Paul & Joanne were seated at the table next to us.  NEXT TO US!  Well, I never ate a meal so slowly in my life.  Paul Newman was across the table from me, and I just stared like a peeping tom through a spyhole at a naked person.  He and Joanne were having a blast, laughing, smiling, talking, and we were eavesdropping and lusting.  I think we each had about six cups of coffee, because we weren’t leaving until they left.  When finally our bladders were about to explode, we reluctantly paid the bill and headed to the restroom.  As we washed, Joanne joined us, and chatted with us about the current theater productions.  We were three happy women!

I had one last Paul encounter during my political days.  I was at a fundraiser (I can’t remember who it was for), and Paul was there, mobbed by the crowd.  I didn’t go up to him, just watched from across the room.  There were other big names at the event, but it didn’t matter, they were all trying to catch Paul’s baby blues as well.  

In one of the obits I read, they referred to an old  Playboy interview, where Paul was asked, with all your gorgeous co-stars, are you ever tempted to have an affair?  He responded, “Why would I want hamburger when I go home to steak every night?”  Is there anything sexier then that?!!!

I loved how Paul used his celebrity to make the world a better place.  We need more people like Paul Newman in this world.  I miss him already.


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Inakika wrote Oct 2, 2008
    • I so loved your stories of chance encounters with Paul and Joanne.
      What a man he was. A true man in every sense of the word. I never had the privilege of meeting him, but I also feel a tremendous loss now that he’s gone.
      He said he wanted his legacy to be that of an humanitarian, and who can argue with that? There are so many celebrities that can take a lesson from the book of Paul Newman.
      You never heard an unkind word about him or saw him play his life out in the spotlight. He lived his life with grace and dignity, he was a real person that happened to be a celebrity. RIP Paul Newman. You were one of the great ones.

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Feathermaye wrote Oct 3, 2008
    • I just love this. I got excited with your when I found out  your dad “checked him out” and then I was anxious when he was at the next table in the restaurant, too.

      The piece from the interview really touched me. One of the things I’ve always loved about Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward was their real-life love story. Even when I was very young, I recognized that they had something extraordinary, and it set the precedent for my own romantic longings.

      Thanks for sharing this!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Laurenj wrote Oct 3, 2008
    • Glad you both enjoyed my recollections.  I think Newman was an extraordinary man.  I also believe that we all have that extraordinary potential, we just need to look for it in ourselves.

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