A Personal Tribute to a Friend from Shaker Heights, Ohio – Paul Newman

With the passing of Paul Newman, we have all lost another gentleman from my generation. For many of us who grew up in the same neighborhood as Paul Newman, we have also lost yet another piece of our childhood. When I was young, Paul was even younger. His brother, Art, was closer to my age. Little did we know then that Arthur Newman’s little brother would go on to fame and fortune. We should have paid more attention to him back then! The first time I saw one of his movies, I remember thinking, “I know you!” Wow, what a thrill!
Paul is a wonderful example of the progressive thinking I have been talking about recently. Not satisfied with being only a movie star, he successfully marketed a line of food products and donates ALL of the profits to charities – most notably his well-known camp for severely ill children, Hole In The Wall Camps. He also continued racing cars into his eighties, until his fight with cancer caught up with him. He was not only handsome and “cool”, but he was truly interested in helping others.
He once paid a surprise visit to Warm Springs, Va., a tiny resort village in Bath County, where my husband and I were living at the time. No one was supposed to know that Paul and his wife, Joanne, would be stopping overnight at the Inn at Gristmill Square. Unfortunately, word leaked out and the tiny dining room where Paul and his wife were having dinner was mobbed. Paul took it in good grace and even signed a few autographs. Even in this tiny hamlet, his privacy was invaded – the price a celebrity must pay – but his wit and intellect always shone through.
Those of us who grew up in that great Shaker Heights neighborhood surrounding Torrington and Fontenay Roads, send our deepest sympathy to Paul’s family. He made a lasting difference while he was here, and used his fame and fortune in such wonderful ways. We need more men of integrity with a sense of service, such as Paul, to serve as mentors to future generations. A fond farewell, Paul. Your contributions to your fellow men will long be remembered.

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