Paul Newman at 83

RIP Paul Newman.

I was saddened when I heard of his death and mindful of the one time I walked into him--literally.

I was at the opening of the Harry Darger exhibit at the American Folk Arts Museum on an amazingly sunny Autumn day; in fact, a day like today. I had come from the Joint Disease Hospital after a follow-up exam having broken my wrist that summer, and instead of going back to the office, I played hookey. Not only did I forego work I convinced Mark to join me.

Mark, even more than me, loved outsider art and I knew he'd enjoy the exhibit. As I was a member, it was a freebie.

But I certainly didn't imagine that in addition to seeing this imaginative, outstanding, misunderstood oeuvre of work by Darger, I'd walk into one of the few movie stars I idolized. He was polite. I was giddy. His wife, Joanne Woodward, 50 paces across the gallery floor, stared in disbelief as I engaged Mr. Newman in discussion.

Mark was embarrassed. I was ecstatic.

And now he too has passed on.

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