Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman

My mother is in her eighties and it has become habit to tell the stories of her youth as she reconciles and reflects on her life. It’s ironic that she just told me about one of her childhood memories a few short months ago. As she is recalling this minute event in an almost monotone youthful voice, I can see her reliving the moment as her memory brings her back to 1938:

“Mom and dad had some very good friends, Lucille and Charles. They had a beautiful little cottage in Shaker Heights. We spent a lot of time there, a few weeks at a time when my parents had a vacation. It was sixty miles away from where we lived in Ohio. Lucille’s younger sister and I used to play together. I can’t remember her name…I’m having a bad time with names tonight…but we were good friends and used to play all the time when we visited. One day we went to the school play ground and this boy came up to us and started talking to my friend. She called him Sonny. They knew each other well because he was her next-door neighbor. He had the most beautiful blue eyes I had ever seen. They were so striking and matched his gentle manner. They were something else. I was twelve years old, he was thirteen, and that is one memory that has been with me all of my life. I will never forget those gentle eyes.”

Of course she found out later on that it was Paul Newman who was in that play ground and gave her a memorable moment to reflect on throughout her life, of the goodness and magnificence to come from the icon that he was.

One of the Greatest Class Acts has left a huge Hole in the Wall, and we will deeply miss his presence.