It is the 4th Thursday of May which means it is Blogapalooza time again. Here is tonight's challenge.
"Write about a person, or persons, you never met whose death had an impact on you. Can be a writer, a celebrity, a politician, a regular person in an extraordinary situation, an event or even somebody who died before you were born."
I never met Paul Newman and yet I felt really sad when he died. Normally I scoff at that sort of celebrity worship. In fact the people on Facebook who seem to constantly post and be saddened by famous people who pass away baffle me. However, I genuinely felt bad when he died.
I think I felt bad because of the fantasy fulfillment of Mr. Newman. Paul Newman was gorgeous, I mean he was absolutely gorgeous. He was married to Joanne Woodward and not to criticize Ms. Woodward, but in my opinion she was not drop dead good looking. She was attractive, yes, but not in his league.
To me this was like the fantasy that "16 Candles" represented for later generations. What Jake Ryan was for Samantha Baker, Paul Newman marrying Joanne Woodward was for me.
Think of it! The nice girl, the talented actress, the girl next door could end up with the best looking guy on the planet. What hope that gave to me and my friends.
I think another part of it was his movies were an important part of my dating years. There was just nothing quite as fun in high school as the excitement of a Saturday night date to the movies. Even the Beach Boys acknowledged the importance of not leaving your best girl home on a Saturday night.
One of those dates was to see Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid. I still love that movie even though the guy who took me has long since faded away. I loved the music and I adored that Katharine Ross played a school teacher. Yes, I knew in High School that I would be a teacher but not one who would have the adventure she did. She lived it for me!
In addition, she teaches Paul Newman and Robert Redford how to stick up banks in Spanish. I could do that! See how useful knowing Spanish can be?
I've seen this movie many times, even saw it in Spain under the censorship years of Francisco Franco. When Butch and the Kid jump off the cliff they shout "shit" the whole way down but in Spain they shouted "Ay yay yay." That was such a clear example of censorship to me, I'll never forget it.
Paul Newman also made serious films and I think my favorite one of those was "Cool Hand Luke" a very powerful film. I couldn't believe the way it ended. And the quote has stayed with me. I know it was meant differently in the film but I can't tell you how many times I have said to myself, what we've got here is failure to communicate.
I will repeat this to myself or think it and try to avoid a complete meltdown with someone just because you are not communicating.
Besides good looks, dating memories, fantasy hope and words to live by there was Newman's commitment to charity which really made me admire him. To this day, I buy his salsa and spaghetti sauce because I know the profits are going to his Hole in the Wall Gang charity. I think he was definitely ahead of the curve for Hollywood being involved in charities. And his was squeaky clean, gave the profits to the charity.
Besides all of this, Paul Newman was one of my Mother's favorites as well and she was most definitely not the type to swoon over heart throbs. Even when I was in Jr. High and High School and felt my Mom was embarrassing and annoying, we always had Paul Newman in common. After she died, prolonging my adoration of him was a way to continue a connection with my Mom.
When Paul Newman did die, my older daughter knew I would feel bad and got me a copy of People magazine that week. That meant a lot to me as well.
I am surprised myself that a movie star meant this much to me and since I started this blog, I have even used pictures of him sewing in blog posts and memes. I mean it, the man had it all, he even sewed!
I still remember my reaction to Paul Newman's death, which surprised me. The memory of him has stayed with me and it's a good one even if I did wish we had NOT had a failure to communicate.
Luckily for me, I don't need a fantasy celebrity in my life anymore, I'm married to the real man of my dreams. And we communicate very well, thank you!
But thinking about Paul Newman, that does make me sew happy!
There are many more things that make me smile as well. Check out my Facebook page. Like the page and join the conversation! If you want to keep reading my blog, you can subscribe. To do so, type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. That's all, you're done. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
Here's last month's blogapalooza post. It's fun to write about something so different once a month.