Paul Newman is dead. I watched Cool Hand Luke at my all-male prep boarding school in the 60s, when he famously said, "Shakin' that bush, boss," and he ate the 50th egg. None of my friends to whom I put those moments knew what I was talkin' about. How out of touch am I?
How about, "What we have here is a failure to communicate," as Newman's character gets cut down by gunfire (this is years before Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with their six-guns blazing charge into the gunfire of hundreds of South American soldiers--and fade away to the command of "Feugo! Fuego!" Freeze frame on Paul Newman & Robert Redford as we always want to remember them).
Can you hear the high-pitched voice of the southern prison warden as he brooks no dissent and has his sycophants shoot the dissident Luke down? Shortly after that I saw Easy Rider, and it confirmed for me the southern attitude towards diversity. Unbelievably, the south has controlled our presidential vote since 1964. I guess us northerners won the war and lost the peace.
Cool Hand Luke, who went to work on that southern chain gang for the misdemeanor of destroying some parking meters, is a hero of mine. I also remember Joy Harmon and her washin' that car. Yeah she put her heart and soul and everything in between into that sudsy scene. To a young boy watching, it seemed like the two sexes could and would get together and always prosper together. That's what love is, right? But now I think it's only blood that ultimately matters in relationships. We're all tribal.
It has been a momentous summer for me. (No, none of the three boys I supported at financial ruination throughout their adolescences has even a disdainful word for me, thanks to modern American (or western) domestic law, but a lot has happened.) Stay tuned.