Fast Eddie

September 27, 2008

In my line of work I’ve had the pleasure (and in a few cases, the misfortune) to meet some famous people, actor’s mostly, but some musicians and director’s as well. I’ve been invited to the homes of some, been on a first name basis with many and played cards and had drinks with more than a few. The upshot is that I don’t get starstruck easily. These people and I work in the same business and we are colleagues, just like any other line of work.

That being said, when I met Paul Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward a few years ago right here in my little corner of Massachusetts, all of that went out the window. Here was Hud, Cool Hand Luke, Brick, Butch, Fast Eddie, for God’s sake, standing right in front of me and I was struck dumb.

It didn’t last long. Mr. Newman and Ms. Woodward were kind, generous and put everyone at ease. Joanne was like a kindly grandmother and Paul the slightly gruff Grandfather that you know is bursting with joy just under the surface.

There was a moment where it was just the two of us backstage, me and Paul Newman. He and Joanne had arrived at the theatre with a pizza they had picked up at Village. (I can’t help but wonder if anyone there knew who it was buying that small veggie to go). After eating only 2 pieces they offered the rest up to the staff. We had all just returned from lunch, so there were no takers at that moment. (As Joanne said, quite truthfully, “Who ever heard of stagehands turning down free food?”)

A while later, standing there, just the two of us, Paul looked in the pizza box and saw that, in fact, the pizza had been eaten in the intervening 2 hours since the first offer. He grunted in satisfacion, saying, “Good. Someone ate it.” I answered back, “Well, you know stagehands. Leave anything sitting around long enough and they’ll eat it or smoke it.” He walked by me on his way to the stage as I was speaking, stopped next to me, lowered the sunglasses he had been wearing all day and said with a twinkle in those famous blue eyes that could knock you off your feet, “Or fuck it.”

Up went the glasses and with a smirk and a chuckle he went onstage.

Thank you, Mr. Newman, for all the movies, the charitable work, the car racing, the popcorn, the salad dressing and mostly for sharing a moment with me in the world in which, for one afternoon, we both lived and worked.


Big Politics in a Small State

September 17, 2008

While I am trying desperately not to post about Sarah Palin because she doesn’t deserve the attention she is getting and the distraction she is causing is ridiculous, I thought this post from Alaska State Rep. Les Gara worth pointing out.

Its a brilliant description of what can happen when a national campaign, hell-bent on winning at all costs, invades the politics of a small (in terms of populace, I know it’s geographically huge) state and forces its agenda on the people’s representatives.

The investigation into Gov. Palin’s alleged abuse of power was moving along smoothly with everyone’s, including Palin’s, cooperation. It seemed to be a nice example of how the system can work when policing itself.

Enter McCain.

The timing of the investigation isn’t good for the campaign, since if everyone complies the results could be out by mid-October. Before the election. That just won’t do. So what to do about it? Send up a lot of Washington legal power and stonewall the investigation. Get the Governor to go back on her word to cooperate, instruct anyone subpoenaed to refuse to testify and sue to get the investigation stopped.

And what reasons are given for these moves, you might ask? Why, because the investigation is a Democratic plot to take down Palin emanating from within the Obama campaign.

Yes, an investigation started months before Palin was picked to be the VP candidate, OKed unanimously by a Republican controlled bi-partisan panel and supported by Palin herself is suddenly tainted by the Obama people.

I’ll let Rep. Gara explain all of the ins and out of this. The post  I linked to is part 2 of his observations on this. Read part one while you are there as well.

What I Did On My (end of) Summer Vacation

September 9, 2008

I have just returned from a week long vacation to cleanse my palette of the summer workathon.

What did I do? Vacation in Maine? Relax on the Cape? Hike the many trails here in the Berkshires?


With the help of my very talented carpenter father, I built a shed for storage with a playhouse for the child on top. Behold!

Here is a view of the shed door side:

Here is the child, surveying her domain from on high:


And here she is relaxing with a little light reading:

So there it is. It was fun and exhausting and I feel like I’ve done something with my time.

For my next vacation, however, I’m going somewhere and doing nothing. I swear.