Paul Newman Memories

Karen Ocamb writes a memory of Paul Newman from the 1960s in Westport, Connecticut, when Ocamb was a teenager, “transitioning from girl to rebel.”

“It’s strange how someone’s death can trigger the oddest of memories. When I heard that Paul Newman died, I suddenly flashed to the moment he walked into the house where I was babysitting and said, “Come on, kid – let’s clean these fish.”

“Piercing blue-eyes. Brilliant smile. Easy-going, if somewhat hurried manner. Tight white tee shirt, blue jeans and some kind of serviceable jacket — he was holding a plastic box filled with fish he and my summer-job boss and her husband had just caught.

“Ugh! Of course, it was Paul Newman so I didn’t immediately want to tell him “Are you crazy?” Instead I said something like, “Isn’t that the man’s job?” Well, he would have none of that. It was 1965 in Westport, Connecticut, the woodsy and quaint hide-away for liberal New York artists and media types — and he knew more about the nascent Women’s Liberation movement than I did.”

She also shares a bittersweet memory about Newman’s son, Scott.

Since Newman passed away on Friday evening, I’ve been getting a lot of these types of anecdotes. I’ll share a few more in the coming days.

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