Sunday, September 28, 2008

So Long, Paul.

Dear Paul,

I can call you Paul, right? I mean, it only seems fair, since I've been in love with you for the past 40 years. The first time I saw you was on television, in a movie called What A Way To Go, with Shirley MacLaine. I originally wanted to see the movie because my previous love, Gene Kelly, was in it. But then I saw you, and I had to break Gene's heart and dump him for you. I was ten. I do realize I'm not alone. I'm just one of the legion of women (and men -- not that there's anything wrong with that) who fell in love with you and never fell out.

So, before you go on to wherever it is you're destined to go, I'd just like to list a few reasons why I... why we... why we all... loved you.

We love that you were so incredibly beautiful, and yet, according to everyone who knew you, you had no idea, and when the topic was brought up, it merely annoyed you.

We love that you were more interested in being true to a character and turning in a good performance then you ever were about the way you looked or the likability of your characters.

We love that you were married to the same woman for fifty years, which has got to be some kind of movie star record as far as we're concerned. And we love that the two of you seemed to genuinely still love each other after all those years together, and that you grew old together, and that you were the example that it can be done.

We love that you were able to look at the blessings you received and be gracious enough to give back when you could, and that you found a way to do it in a way that will continue to generate charitable income (hopefully) for years to come.

We love that, no matter your age, your eyes stayed every bit as blue as ever, and that there was always a bit of the demon twinkle in them, even if you weren't smiling at that moment. And we loved that you were almost always smiling.

We love that you were here, that you were one of us for a while and that you worked hard and played hard and loved your family. We love that you gave us your performing self, but kept your personal self private. It preserved our mystery.

We love that we were able to love you for a time and we are a little melancholy that we must now love you from an ever greater distance than before. But we will go on loving you, because it's what we do, regardless of the people we love in real life.

So, safe journey. Peace be with you. And thanks again for all the great good fun.


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