Monday, September 29, 2008


5 degrees of seperation/Paul Newman's Passing

Paul Newman died this weekend. I have watched and enjoyed many of his movies from Cool Hand Luke to Butch and Sundance to Cars. But it touched me a bit more then the average fan because I had bumped up against him in person (though I never really met him) and because we shared the experience of having spent 4 years (though years apart) living and learning on top the hill that Philander climbed and prayed atop. You see Mr. Newman and I are both graduates of a special little place called Kenyon College in Gambier Ohio.
My freshman year at Kenyon they were opening and dedicating a new theater and Paul Newman returned to campus for a semester to direct his wife Joanne Woodward and a cast of student actors in a new play written just for the occasion. While he didn't strut about or dominate the life on campus he was there and campus is small. My first encounter was at a concert for campus singing group. He was there just sitting with the masses a few rows behind where my friends and I were sitting. I don't remember much but the sheer intensity of his blue eyes when I glance at him over my shoulder as my friend and I walked down the isle. My other memory was of shopping in the tiny Village Market for something and coming around the end of an isle and crashing my cart into another cart. I looked up to see Mr. Newman, he was very polite I was very flustered.
The Kenyon Website has a nice tribute to him.

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