Our "For What It's Worth Department" understands that actor Robert Redford is in Santa Fe, New Mexico, making a movie
In and around town between takes
But the lady who encountered him in an ice-cream parlor on Canyon Street was determined to stay cool
She returned to the shop
Overhearing, Robert Redford said, "Madam, you'll probably find it where you put it — in your purse."
[Radovsky and Gillies, 1997]
"I was in an ice-cream shop in Connecticut last summer, and I realized Paul Newman was standing behind me," recalls Debbie Rawlins, a 33-year-old teacher. "Determined not to get flustered by his presence, I ordered my ice cream, paid for it, and walked outside — only to discover I couldn't find it. When I walked back into the shop, everybody was laughing. Paul grinned at me and said, 'It's in your purse.' Sure enough, rocky road was melting all over the inside of my bag while I turned cherry red from embarrassment! But Paul couldn't have been nicer."
- The sharp-eyed celebrity has been identified as Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Jack Nicholson, Tom Brokaw, and Ben Affleck.
- Places the incident has supposedly happened are: Santa Fe, Westport CT, Cohasset MA, Manhattan, the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Colorado Springs, and an ice cream shop in Los Angeles.
Oh, what a rocky road it sometimes is!
Redford has repeatedly denied the tale. As for Newman, despite his daughter, Nell, presenting the tale as true in The Christian Science Monitor in 2000 as something she witnessed at some unnamed date, her father had in 1986 been quoted in USA Today as saying he felt like suing Nicholson and Redford because the tale was his false story of the summer. Nicholson has been at time a bit more coy about the matter, almost half-admitting that yes, it might indeed have happened to him. But with his sense of devilry, who can tell?
The earliest print sighting of this legend is a
Barbara "ice cream cone of silence" Mikkelson
Last updated: 27 December 2004
Brunvand, Jan Harold. Curses! Broiled Again! New York: W. W. Norton, 1989. ISBN 0-393-30711-5 (pp. 173-176). Brunvand, Jan. "Ice Cream Cone Caper Hard to Resist, Hard to Verify." The San Diego Union-Tribune. 5 March 1987 (p. D2). Churchill, Bonnie. "Lively Legend Plans Escape from Acting." The Christian Science Monitor. 21 April 2000. Freeman, Don. "The Grand T.O. — Canada's Gem." The San Diego Union-Tribune. 20 November 1991 (p. F9). Radovsky, Vicki Jo and Barrie Gillies. "Ohmigod, Isn't That . . .?" Cosmopolitan. October 1997 (p. 256). Sloan, Robin Adams. "Personality Mailbag" The Houston Chronicle. 6 September 1992 (p. 6). Los Angeles Times. "The Stuff of Legends." 15 September 1986 (p. B4).
Cohen, Daniel. The Beheaded Freshman and Other Nasty Rumors. New York: Avon Books, 1993. ISBN 0-380-77020-2 (pp. 91-92).