As previewed earlier this week, Paul Newman made a special appearance today at the Westport Farmers’ Market.
The movie star/blue-eyed idol/race car driver/food purveyor/philanthropist — and, for 50 years, our neighbor — is unfortunately no longer actually here with us.
But a life-size cutout of him stood under a tent, in the bustling market on Imperial Avenue.
Dozens of shoppers of all ages stopped by to pose for a photo. Many had stories. A camera crew from Newman’s Own Foundation — the Westport-based charity that in over 35 years has given away more than $530 million — recorded Newman-related memories.
It’s a Foundation project, for use as a video and on social media.
If you missed him today, don’t worry. Paul will be back on Thursday, August 16 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). His eyes will be as blue as ever.
BONUS STORY: I was one of the many Farmers’ Market-goers today who shared a Paul Newman story. Here’s mine:
It was the 1970s. Early one summer evening, some friends and I were playing pick-up soccer on the front field at Coleytown Middle (then Junior High) School.
Suddenly, a helicopter hovered overhead. We scattered. It landed.
Out stepped Paul Newman. He wore shorts — and carried a briefcase.
“Hi, boys!” he said cheerily.
The helicopter whirred back into the sky. And, with a wave, one of the most famous actors in the world walked around the corner to his home.