Thanks to Paul Newman

I generally don't pay much attention to celebrity deaths because, honestly, I don't really consider them to be any more devastating or poignant than the thousands of other deaths that probably also occurred that same day.  But in the case of Paul Newman, I did take a moment this weekend to reflect on his work and found myself thinking it would be great if he could have been around at least a little while longer.  The reason for this reflection had nothing to do with Newman's acting career (which was exemplary) and everything to do with Paul Newman's propensity for dispensing karmic justice.  Specifically, I'm referring to his Newman's Own foundation and some of the good things it has done.

Case in point: One day, I walked into 826 (the non-profit tutoring center for kids I volunteer with) to hear all about how Dave Eggers had popped in for a visit the day before with Paul Newman in tow.  Apparently, they toured the center, met with some volunteers, and talked with the staff.  At the time, I didn't think much of the event because...well...I just didn't.  But when we received a $25,000 check from Newman's Own a few weeks later, I remember observing that I was glad that we had people like Paul Newman around.  Sure, that $25,000 probably wasn't a lot of money for his foundation, but it was definitely a lot of money for us.  And it wasn't the last of their donations to the center.

I don't pretend to understand what drives people to do the things they do.  Whether Paul Newman was a publicity hound, a pure-of-heart do-gooder, or just some guy trying to make up for being a jerk from time to time, I neither know nor care.  But what I do know is that he put at least some of his vast resources into helping to educate some kids (many of whose parents have no education themselves).  And by doing so, he deserves more than a little bit of thanks and recognition.  He did good work.

Nothing New byslag at 8:34 AM

1 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here):

Gye Greene said...

Good stuff.

Made the news here, big time.

I'm also impressed that he stayed with his first wife, for a zillion years -- as opposed to, say, Paul Hogan (Crocodile Dundee), who dumped his same-aged (middle-aged) wife once he got super-famous, in favor of a much younger lady.


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