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Front Page » September 9, 2003 » Opinion » Harriet's World: Paul Who?
Published 4,917 days ago

Harriet's World: Paul Who?

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My Dad worked in the motion picture business for 45 years. Behind the scenes as a grip. Dad always said a grip was a jack of all trades, a master of none. That didn't sound quite right to me. Dad was a master at his craft. He built the scenes, he helped create the storms, he moved the boats on the water. He built scaffolding. He worked the dolliess sometimes. He did a little bit of everything. Whenever they had a problem regarding any kind of building on a set, they called on the grips to solve the problem. Anyway us kids spent some time on the sets after hours. Whenever Dad was on a picture and could get us on the set he would. He would sometimes arrange to take certain friends or family onto the lots and we always tagged along. We just took it for granted about visiting the sets. Sometimes Dad would come home and tell us what movie star he was working with or what picture he was working on. I was always interested in who he was working with. I always wanted to meet them but we knew better than to try to get our Dad to get any autographs or pictures of the stars. That was off limits to him. So we had to be content to listening to who he was working with.

Except for one exception: My sister Annette and I found out that Dad was working on a picture with Paul Newman. It was the picture Hud. We happened to be star stuck with Paul and we decided to mount a campaign to get Dad to get us on the set or get us an autographed picture of Paul. That meant he had to do double duty because there was two of us. We were absolutely relentless. We hounded him to death. We took turns thinking up ways to get to him. He got out of having to get us on the set to meet Paul by telling us the set was closed to outsiders. Only people with identification were allowed on the set. They did that some times and we didn't want our Dad to lose his job over us. We never really believed that part but we had to go along with it. So we set about getting the picture. I haven't got enough time to tell you all of the things we did but I remember one time I wrote a note and stuck it in between his lunch sandwich so that when he bit into it he got a note that said, " Dad, we want an autographed picture! If you don't get us one, prepare to pull paper out of your sandwiches forever."

Dad seemed to be a good sport about the whole thing. I suspect that he was secretly enjoying the whole episode. Well after a very lengthy, grueling, time of several weeks, hounding our father, he came through. He brought us home each an autographed picture of Paul Newman with our names on it. I framed mine and put it by my bed for years. I said good morning and good night to Paul.

I think my sister, Annette, wanted to have her's blown up and put on her closet door? I'm not sure if she actually followed through with it but I know she wanted to.

Guess what! I don't know where that picture is today. I wish I had it now. After I got married it got shuffled around and lost. Darn! I'll tell you this, after all these years, Paul Newman still makes my heart go pitter pat and he could put his shoes under my bed any time he wanted too.

Well, that's my world. Until next time, remember what famous person made your heart skip a beat or two. It will keep you feeling young.

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September 9, 2003
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