The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

2008.10.08 A memory or two of Paul Newman

Written by David Green.

A trivial memory or two of Paul Newman


By RICH FOLEY

The recent death of acting legend Paul Newman has rekindled memories for millions of people. For me, Newman was one of several celebrities, including David Letterman and the late Walter Payton, who owned teams in the former CART open-wheel racing series. Back during the 1980s and 90s, seeing Paul was as easy as going to a car race.

Newman became a team owner in 1983 and made many trips to MIS over the years until CART’s last race there in 2001. His drivers during that period included Mario and Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell and Paul Tracy.

Newman was known on the racing circuit for his aversion to signing autographs. Most people were too much in awe of him to talk to him in the first place, but those brave enough to request an autograph always came away empty handed. A signed race helmet he once donated to a charity auction was the highlight of the fund-raiser. It was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get a Newman signature.

Why he didn’t like to sign was a mystery to most, but one race photographer was able to answer the question, and eventually even got the coveted autograph to boot. The gentleman in question approached Newman before a race, photograph in hand, and instead of an autograph, received a three-minute explanation of why he wouldn’t get one.

As the photographer later told me, Newman said that many years before, someone buttonholed him at a rest room urinal while he was, shall we say, in the middle of conducting business, and asked for an autograph. Newman was so offended at this thoughtless invasion of his privacy that he vowed never to sign again if he could help it.

While disappointed, the photographer at least understood Newman’s position. He then found a spot to stand behind the Newman team’s pits, planning to take an interesting pit stop photo or two during the race.

As the start of the race neared, Newman discovered that there weren’t any binoculars available for his use. Paul then approached the photographer, who had a pair, and said, “Let me have your binoculars, and you can have my autograph after the race.” The deal was made, and the photographer ultimately got a personalized photo inscribed, “Thanks for the use of your equipment, Paul Newman” for his trouble.

One of the ways people on the CART circuit passed time in those days was to quiz each other with trivia questions, usually about popular culture. Once, during a CART media day at MIS, I was fortunate enough to have lunch with racing broadcaster Paul Page and three-time Indy 500 winner Johnny Rutherford.

About mid-meal, someone approached Rutherford and asked, “What was the name of Sky King’s plane?” Johnny immediately answered, “‘The Songbird,’ of course.” After the man left, Rutherford turned to Page and me and asked, “Doesn’t everyone know that?”

A year or so later, I walked into the MIS press room shortly before a CART race and was called over to a small group of people by a former high school classmate who worked in the MIS public relations department. She told the assembly that I could probably answer the question, which turned out to be, “What was the name of the movie in which Paul Newman played an alcoholic lawyer?” Unfortunately, I couldn’t supply the title, instead suggesting they try to track down Johnny Rutherford.

About that time, the woman who handled media relations for Newman’s race team came into the room and was sucked into the discussion. Sadly, she didn’t know the answer, either. “They hired me to do his race team PR, not because I was an expert on his movies,” was her lame defense.

She soon disappeared, and we laughed at her lack of knowledge of her boss’s career. But we were about to find out what a PR professional she really was.

About ten minutes later she walked back into the press room, up to our little gathering, and announced, “Paul says, ‘The Verdict.’”  You had to give her credit for bothering Newman with such a trivial question. And I always wondered what his reaction was when she asked.

I still imagine that Paul probably thought we were a bit nuts to be concerned about such a small thing. But movie trivia is important stuff. Heck, that’s why no one will ever forget Paul Newman.

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