83 yrs young today.
He is a quiet, unassuming man. Coveting privacy in a very public world. He oozes dignity, and garners a respect from friends and strangers alike that is unprecedented.
He carefully winds his way through the paddock and the pits on his scooter on any given race weekend. Notorious for not signing autographs, he is now rarely asked. Mostly folks are just happy to be in his presence and admire him from afar.
If you’re lucky, you will catch him in a moment with his guard down, animated and flashing that movie star smile. (wait what??? someone high up in CC talking to RM?? say it ain’t so!!)
He is everything good that a man can be. Dedicated to his craft. A racer at heart forever. (rumour has it he gunned it for a few laps around the hospital parking lot when he was released) A philanthropist. A committed husband.
Hospital? Recently (and erroneously according to his rep) it was reported that our iron man underwent life-saving cancer surgery, a headline that, true or not, stopped me in my tracks. We all want to believe that this amazing ambassador to our sport, to our world, will be around forever. But the reality is that we need to enjoy and appreciate this great entity now, and not take any moment for granted.
Today’s milestone is but one Mr. Newman will celebrate this month. On Tuesday he will celebrate 50 years of marriage to Joanne Woodward. 50 yrs. That is hard enough for regular folks, but for a Hollywood marriage, it is virtually unheard of.
Happy everything Mr. Newman. May we all learn from and follow the example you lead us with.