When we lost Paul Newman last September, we lost more than a great actor. We also lost a generous and compassionate humanitarian who donated in excess of $250 million to charity from the proceeds of his Newman's Own food products.
I recently received this humorous story about him in an e-mail note and want to share it with you.
A Michigan woman and her family were vacationing in a small New England town where Paul Newman and his family often visited.
One Sunday morning, the woman got up early to take a long walk. After a brisk five-mile hike, she decided to treat herself to a double-dip chocolate ice cream cone.
She hopped in the car, drove to the center of the village and went straight to the combination bakery/ice cream parlor.
There was only one other patron in the store -- Paul Newman, sitting at the counter having a doughnut and coffee.
The woman's heart skipped a beat as her eyes made contact with those famous baby-blue eyes. The actor nodded graciously and the starstruck woman smiled demurely.
"Pull yourself together," She chided herself. "You're a happily married woman with three children, you're forty-five years old, not a teenager!"
The clerk filled her order and she took the double-dip chocolate ice cream cone in one hand and her change in the other. Then she went out the door, avoiding even a glance in Paul Newman's direction.
When she reached her car, she realized that she had a handful of change but her other hand was empty. Where's my ice cream cone? Did I leave it in the store?
Back into the shop she went, expecting to see the cone still in the clerk's hand or in a holder on the counter or something ... No ice cream cone was in sight!
With that, she happened to look over at Paul Newman. His face broke into his familiar warm, friendly grin and he said to the woman, "You put it in your purse."
Oh, how we are going to miss that sweet, lovable, generous, and kind man we knew as Paul Newman. But his amazing legacy will continue to enrich the lives of thousands of children for many years to come. May he rest in Peace.