Paul Newman died yesterday. Besides feeling sad that someone I’ve admired from my teenage years up until now is no longer going to grace us with his physical presence, I’ve thought about several of the scenes from his movies that can be visited and other places that I know that have a Paul Newman connection.
The last Paul Newman connection I made was two weeks ago when I went to the Wyandot Popcorn Museum in Marion, Ohio. Paul Newman’s Dunbar wagon is there, along with a picture of Newman looking quite dapper. Newman’s microwave popcorn is made in Marion.
There are several other Ohio connections since Newman was born in Cleveland, grew up in Shaker Heights before he went to college for a year at Ohio University in Athens, and graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier.
Another unusual connection is found in Albuquerque, New Mexico. On one of the walls at Tree New Mexico, a non-profit organization with its office in Albuquerque, is a plaque from Paul Newman. Tree New Mexico won several thousand dollars as part of a cooking contest cook-off that Newman’s charity used to run. You had to use Newman’s Own products in the recipe. My friend who runs the organization was ga ga over Newman when he handed her the check.
To find Newman’s movie locations, there is a Web site World Wide Guide to Movie Locations that lists several filming sites of Newman’s movies. If you click on the highlighted titles, you can specific spots for that particular movie. For example, Absence of Malice was filmed in Dade County and Miami, Florida. Certain scenes are listed such as Matheson Hammock Park where Michael Gallagher, Newman’s character, secretly meets with a politician
At the Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center in Langtry, Texas, you can take in the history of the real Judge Roy Bean who Newman portrayed in the movie, The Life and Time of Judge Roy Bean. The center is in the historic building that used to be an opera house, saloon and courthouse combo.
The Sting, one of my favorite Newman movies, was mostly shot at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, but one item to take in that is connected to the movie is the carousel at the Santa Monica Pier. It’s the same one Newman’s character operated.
Another Web site, Seeing Stars in Hollywood, lists several Paul Newman inspired locations around Los Angeles. Some of them include the houses where he lived, where he was spotted eating and places that have paid him tribute.
Here’s a Paul Newman quote that sort of fits travel… kind of. “It’s useless to put on your brakes when you are upside down.”