So I am sipping my third or fourth glass of Paul Newman’s Cabernet Sauvignon picked up in Stamford at my mom’s fourth of July. I am getting lit, and will probably regret it in the morning. But it’s good. I’m good. I want to share some Paul Newman memories. Should I blog and publish or wait till the end of the afterglow, giving me time to edit?
No, here goes. I grew up in Westport, Connecticut. A suburb of New York City, it’s a cozy town. A pretty town. A town Paul Newman, like me, called home. The year was around 1972 or 73′ or 74′. I forget, except that America’s president was Tricky Dick and my hair fell down to my shoulders and my face had too many freckles and a big smile and one night I was at Baskin Robbins with family eating an ice cream cone, when my brother and mom got into a heated argument about a certain bald
gentleman with shades. "Mom, that’s Paul Newman!" "Philippe said. "Non, Philippe!" my mother said. They went back and forth like that for way too long, as only a single mom and her oldest son could do.
My brother actually had spent a short time at the same school as Newman’s daughter Nell, the pretty woman you always see on the Paul’s food packages, so he was even more fiercely adamant than usual. Anyway, there I was, licking the ice cream, listening to my mother and brother argue, thinking about whether the "bald gentlemen" was or wasn’t who they said, not even sure why it was so important. Shortly afterwards, I would get to see Newman and Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy, but in those few moments on a cozy summer evening in my cozy town, my round freckled face with ice cream melting onto my chest and then down to my
bellybutton, I remember being struck by the passion this man’s name evoked, and then suddenly some local newspaper photographer shot my picture. Paul Newman helped me get in to the newspaper!
As for his wine, well it’s got a good taste. Not a Grand Cru, but not bad. Hell, even if it wasn’t half as good as it is, Mr. Newman is a guy I respect for his great movies, for his ample charitable efforts, and even for opening a restaurant in a space where my brother was once sous-chef. Anyway, Paul Newman, I drink a toast to you, hoping that like my mother, who survived cancer, that you you get better, and that you have your own summer evenings to enjoy in the future, whether with an ice cream cone or a a glass of a nice tasting wine.