Monday, September 29, 2008

Paul Newman, McBone Hero, 1925-2008

Paul Newman. McBone. Icons both, but what more do they have in common, aside from global superstardom? A lot more than you might think. Sure, we at McBone are fervent admirers of his work in film (I'd like to meet the person who isn't), but I'd like to point out a few similarities that may or may not be coincidental.

McBone is dedicated to all things Cleveland, where Paul Newman was born in 1925.

He attended Shaker Heights High School, the very school where Nate Bowler suffered an ignominious defeat in tennis at the hands of this wimpy kid named Brad Karfeld. I'll never forget that name till the day I die. If you're out there Brad and you're reading this, I hate you forever! Likewise, Paul Newman once finished second in a major sporting event--the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where, incidentally, Nate Bowler lived for a year.

Paul Newman, like Nate Bowler, had a Jewish father who owned a successful sporting goods store.

Paul Newman and Nate Bowler shared an addiction to half-sour pickles.

Nate Bowler co-founded the Northern Ohio Moustache League. Paul Newman wore a moustache on and off through his career.


Nate Bowler graduated from Ohio University, the same college from which Paul Newman was expelled for unspecified "unruly behavior." Rumor has it that he was caught one too many times in a women's dormitory. Another says that he crashed a beer keg into the president's car. McBone likes to believe it was a combination of the two.

Like Nate Bowler, Paul Newman was devastatingly handsome and known for a pair of piercing blue eyes.

Paul Newman, like McBone, was devoted to the drinking of beer.

Both Newman (#19) and McBone (#47) found their way onto Richard Nixon's list of enemies.

Paul Newman was an ardent liberal who supported gay marriage, one of McBone's hallmark causes.

McBone's mission is to free the world from tyranny, one mayonnaise jar at a time. Paul Newman's charitable line of food, Newman's Own ($250 million raised!), contains no mayonnaise or mayonnaise products.

Newman joins Gregory Peck (also a Nixon enemy) and Audrey Hepburn (enemy to no one) on the very short list of actors who realized that there were more important things in the world than themselves.

Join us this month in celebrating the life of a man who actually left the world a little better than he found it. McBone recommends:

The Hustler
Cool Hand Luke
Hud
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Hombre
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
The Verdict
Absence of Malice
Nobody's Fool
Road to Perdition

nwb

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nate,

A massive loss in the film industry. I've been bummed for three days. That man was a devastating actor. No one was more natural with the camera on them. It was if he wasn't even playing a role. Instead, it was as if he was having a conversation with it. And sometimes, he looked as if he was just a cat beating on a ball of twine. He always had the advantage. The ace in the hole.

Make sure you add "The Long, Hot Summer" with Jane Woodward and Orson Welles. Just watching Newman on-screen with Welles jawing at each other is worth the price of admission. You can see how much talent and potential he had as an actor (even in 1958).
Plus, he first met his wife on that movie set.

I'm shocked that "The Sting" isn't on the list. Anytime Paul Newman plays cards in a film it's definitely a classic.

kb

Nate and Jeff Bowler, Co-Captains said...

I know! The Long, Hot Summer and The Sting are gaping holes in my fanhood. They are on the Netflix list as we speak.

nwb

PS. CDs coming soon.

Kid Shay said...

Newman definitely lived up to his potential, just like McBone. Cheers to a fine actor.

Anonymous said...

Hey man. I was 3rd singles at Cleveland Hts in 1994. I also lost to Brad Karfeld. I'd offer that "wimpy" is a little unfair to the guy. It's my understanding his only losses all year were to the guy from US and a few other top players. There's something to be said for his persistence. The guy never missed!

It is near blasphemy for a CH grad to say anything positive about someone from Shaker, but I got to know Brad after high school and he's a solid guy. Infuriating for sure. But I'd argue wimpy isn't accurate. You can let it go... he beat everybody!

McBone said...

Anon,

Your perspective is much appreciated. You are right. It was impossible to get the ball past the guy, and he never made an unforced error. He beat me 6-1, 6-1, I believe. It was an utter humiliation. My impression was that he was unable to hit the ball more than 15 mph, and he just kept the ball in play until you made the goof up. I'm not one to hold grudges, except when it comes to sports. I hate that bastard to this day. Maybe he's not wimpy, though. I'm sure if we had arm wrestled, he would have found a way to win.

nwb