mr. newman's singing cats

paul newman. AP photo by ben cooper.

paul newman. AP photo by jim cooper.

Pardon me for veering only slightly off subject for just a few moments. But you will notice the music connection here in just a moment.

I’ll leave proper artistic remarks to the arts and film pros regarding the passing of Paul Newman over the weekend. But i feel compelled to offer my two cents on an artist who was, quite simply, a class act, onscreen, onstage and especially off.

I remember seeing Cool Hand Luke as a kid and being mortified that if I did something wrong I too would “spend a night in the box.” I remember laughing myself silly in college at Slapshot, a seemingly rudimentary 1977 film about an aging hockey pro. And of the many fine films he made over the last 25 years, there was a stark, forgotten work from 1994 called Nobody’s Fool that remains a personal favorite. It’s a story of confronting personal demons and mending family ties set in possibly the loneliest place and time on earth – Northwest New York just after Christmas. It’s one of Newman’s most subtle portrayals. And like most every performance he gave, it was rich in dignity.

Over the past 15 years, Newman became a regular on The Late Show with David Letterman. Sometimes he would talk about home life and charity work. Sometimes it would be about car racing. Sometimes Newman would just sit and stare at Letterman with mock indifference. But my favorite memory is of his surprise appearance on Letterman’s first CBS broadcast in 1993 from his new performance home at the Ed Sullivan Theatre on Broadway.

After “conjuring” the ghost of Sullivan, Newman stood up in the middle of the audience and asked Letterman, “Where the hell are the singing cats?” Letterman replied that he wasn’t in the theatre where the musical Cats was playing. Newman then pulled two tickets from his coat pocket, stared at them curiously and left. The crowd, as they say, went crazy. That memory emerged full blown when I heard of Newman’s passing on Saturday.

So, having provided Hollywood with the kind of character and class few actors could hope to match, we say adieu Mr. Newman. Here’s hoping he’s being serenaded by the singing cats as we speak.

Myrtle Beach, S.C.-Area Residents Rally against Motorcycle Superstore.

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News February 19, 2002 By Natalie Burrowes Pruitt, The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, S.C. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News Feb. 19–Several hundred South Strand residents gathered Monday night to plot ways to keep a motorcycle superstore from locating near their homes.

The meeting at the International Club also attracted owners of the business and motorcycle enthusiasts, who listened as the residents discussed ways to keep them out. go to site builders first source

“We are all neighbors now,” said Rose Jardel, who lives in Cypress Keyes. “This will affect each and every one of us.” It was the first official meeting to organize a campaign to keep out SBB Four Corners — an expansion of the Murrells Inlet motorcycle bar Suck Bang Blow.

Noise, traffic and the behavior of the bar’s patrons are chief among the residents’ concerns.

The meeting ended after about an hour when the conversation turned into a heated debate with motorcycle supporters.

On May 1, bar owners Jimmy Motley and Steve Jackson plan to open the combination motorcycle dealership, restaurant and bar at the former Builders First Source site at the corner of U.S. 17 Bypass and Tournament Boulevard. The location serves as a gateway to a handful of housing developments.

“It’s the front door to all of these communities,” said Ken Grover, president of Suntech, which developed Cypress Keyes. “I don’t think it’s what anybody wants on their front door- step.” Before the meeting, Motley explained how the new SBB Four Corners will differ from the original.

“We are going to give the old business a face-lift,” Motley said.

The 21,000-square-foot, one-stop biker shop would be a place to have lunch, get a motorcycle repaired or browse the SBB clothing line, Motley said. in our site builders first source

Residents are concerned that the huge crowds who attend the spring and fall Harley-Davidson motorcycle rallies will cause havoc near their neighborhoods. Plans to have vendors at the site also upset the residents.

Motley said he will hire two people to prevent motorcycles from driving down Tournament Boulevard during the rallies. He will also keep the bandstand inside and shut the bar down at midnight.

“I think people need to realize I’m going to work with them in any way I can,” Motley said.

Motley and Jackson have a 15-year lease for the 5-acre property zoned highway commercial. Under that zoning, there are 82 permitted uses, including bars, restaurants and motorcycle dealerships.

Horry County Council members and county staff attended the meeting.

Councilman Mike Ryan, whose district includes the proposed business, said zoning laws need to be changed.

“What you are doing today is laying the groundwork,” Ryan told the crowd, “and that is good.” Much of the discussion focused on how residents could keep Motley and Jackson from obtaining a liquor, beer and wine license.

Pam Hobeika, who lives on Lee Circle not far from the proposed bar, stood on a chair and told the residents some developments had agreed to underwrite the cost to hire attorneys.

“We will continue calling on your support in the coming weeks because we are going to need it,” Hobeika said.

Petitions will be sent to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission in Columbia.

Bob Thompson, president of the Greater Burgess Community Association, encouraged all the subdivisions to join together through the association.

“We will all fight together,” Thompson said.

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