Travis A. (for Alamo) Kidd, an old friend of mine, never -- ever -- went to the movies. He didn't even watch them on TV. He made no excuses for this transgression in his life because it's difficult to make excuses for not doing what you cannot understand might be worth doing in the first place.

Because of not doing these things that others do, Travis simply had no knowledge of the existence of movie stars. His field was The Boy Scouts of America. He had won all the scouting badges that were to be won, and probably some that were never awarded.

Well, one evening on vacation when Mrs. Kidd just had to see the latest Paul Newman movie, Travis settled in at an empty bar and said he'd meet her later. Seems that Mrs. Kidd adored this Newman fellow, who meant absolutely nothing to him.

At the bar a stranger struck up a conversation with the old Eagle Scout, who was pondering his old scouting days with the Chestnut (Ill.) Beaver patrol. One drink led to another, and the inevitable question came up:

"What do you do?" asked the handsome, white-haired, blue-eyed stranger. "Oh, it's too boring to talk about. But I'm very active in scouting. What about you?"

The stranger began laughing. "Are you kidding me? Do you mean to tell me that you don't know who I am?"

Travis looked him over. "Nope," he said. "What do you do?"

"Show business," said the giggling stranger, shaking his head in total bewilderment. "Movies."

Travis shrugged. "My wife should be here. I have never seen a movie in my life."

The stranger stared at him. His eyes were incredibly pale blue. He grabbed his arm. "I'm Paul Newman!" he said.

"I'm Travis Kidd," said the old scoutmaster. "Nice to meet you."

It was, indeed, Paul Newman. He said, "Wait right here. I've got to tell my wife about this. She won't believe it."

Newman came back with his wife, Joanne Woodward, who also said, "I don't believe it. You've never heard of us?"

Nope, said Travis.

"Will you please be our guest for dinner tonight?" said Newman. "No questions. Okay?"

They went to dinner and Travis talked about his old scouting days. The Newmans couldn't believe it. "Are you sure you don't want our autographs?" they said.

Nope, said Travis.

Later that night Mrs. Kidd asked Mr. Kidd what he had done while she was watching Paul Newman at the movies.

"Some really nice guy named Paul Newman asked me for dinner. He brought along his wife, too, but she had a different name and I can't remember it. They said they were in the movies."

At first she didn't believe him. And then Travis described him.

She went over the whole thing, step by step. It was clear he wasn't lying.

"Oh, my God. You fool!" she said. "OH, MY GOD!"