When I look at my stats for the blog, I discover things that I don't think about when I'm posting. Last week there were lots of searches for this image and post. I think it's because I said my dad looked like Paul Newman.
He had the same pale blue eyes too, but carried a little more weight (the John Wayne reference) and his face was fuller. The likeness was more than the obvious outward appearance. The charm, the style, the effortless smile and adventurous spirit were a match too.
Paul Newman was one of my celebrity heroes, first as a kid falling for movie stars and later as an adult measuring achievement and character. His generous and genuine work in the world increased his legacy in a time when others in the same position find it enough to be famous. I saved this quote from an article in the Times.
“We are such spendthrifts with our lives,” Mr. Newman once told a reporter. “The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”
My dad would have been 85 last week. He slipped off the planet with so little fuss that it breaks my heart to remember. Late September always makes me miss him as I do any other day, but just a bit more. Watching Mr. Newman's biography run across the screen this week, I was reminded often of the similarities. Such good men, these two with their twinkling blue eyes and big hearts. No need to be saints. We loved them just as they were.