In my last column I wrote about my honeymoon in Hawaii, specifically about a magical afternoon I spent body surfing and chatting on a secluded beach in Kauai with Ali MacGraw who essentially told me her life story. Meanwhile, at my wife’s insistence, she was on a shopping adventure in town. Getting dressed for dinner, Katherine excitedly showed me what she bought and began describing her day. “Let’s wait until dinner,” I said because I was nervous how she’d respond to my day.

The restaurant was beautiful and romantic. After we ordered, Katherine finished about her day and asked, “So how was yours? Any great waves?” “A few,” I replied. “That’s all?” she asked as I took a large sip of wine. (Actually more a gulp than a sip.)

“Well, there was one unusual thing, I met Ali MacGraw.” Katherine immediately stopped eating and I immediately had more wine. “How did you meet her?” I explained how Ali approached me in the water asking if there were any dangerous coral reefs and we got to chatting.

Cautiously I shared what Ali had told me about her difficult childhood, college, modeling, her movie career and failed marriages to Robert Evans and Steve McQueen, Katherine seemed fascinated. (Or contemplating using her knife for something other than cutting her Hap’upu’u sea bass.)

I even mentioned that at one point Ali said, “ It’s so weird, you and I talk the same language.” But I still didn’t detect an ounce of jealousy. Just the opposite. “You realize you could have scored today. No woman tells a man what she told you who doesn’t want to have sex.” Suddenly I went from worried Katherine would be jealous to offended she wasn’t.

“So if I’d have had sex with Ali MacGraw you wouldn’t be upset?”

“Just the one time?”

I nodded.

“It’d be a great story that my husband was attractive and appealing enough that Ali MacGraw wanted to have sex with him.”

The subject of Ali never came up again. That is except during an argument when strong-willed Katherine made an adamant statement I couldn’t refute, I joked, “Spoken by the woman who insisted Ali MacGraw wanted to have sex with me.” (That actually got a laugh from her which was always music to my ears.)

Sadly, seven years later we got divorced, albeit amicably. (Eight if you count we lived together for a year.) Soon my female acupuncturist (who cured my tennis elbow) insisted on introducing me to a number of attractive, age appropriate girl friends, some who even lived in my neighborhood.

One she felt that couldn’t miss was an avid Seinfeld fan as was I. This was the first season when there was talk it would be canceled so being a devoted fan was definitely a bond. Plus I played tennis with Seinfeld’s business manager which intrigued her no end. At dinner she asked, “So which character do you identify with the most?” When I said George, she was horrified. “You’re that neurotic?!” I could have said, “Waiter, check please” because it was all downhill from there.

Even though I bombed over and over my matchmaking acupuncturist refused to give up on me. The last blind date was with a beautiful widow of a famed rock pianist who shall remain nameless. She also mentioned she was one of Ali MacGraw’s closest friends which intrigued me no end. We talked on the phone and agreed to meet at Starbucks on Main Street.

Finally the conversation steered to my time with Ali in Hawaii. Almost laughingly I mentioned, “My ex said I could have scored.” As I drank my coffee she replied, “Jack, you’re now the third man who has told me of meeting Ali on that vacation. And I can only tell you the other two, did.”

Suffice it to say, I came very close to duplicating a Danny Thomas spit take.

Forgive the awkward segue, but this brings me to the double standard about sex. If a man on vacation sleeps with numerous women likely he would be regarded as a stud. Even today, if a woman does the same with men she likely might be regarded as a tramp.

I’ve wanted to write about that afternoon with Ali for years but didn’t out of respect for her privacy. That is until I read her remarkably candid autobiography, “Moving Pictures.” Courageously she shared her life struggles, including alcohol and sex addictions for which she sought treatment at the Betty Ford Clinic. She’s always been very open about it, even in recent interviews from her home in Santa Fe where she moved over 20 years ago.

For many reasons I admire Ali MacGraw enormously, including how she’s embraced aging. Frankly, I consider her heroic. (And I can personally attest she was fearless body surfer.)

To see beautiful images Google “Photos of Ali MacGraw’s home in Santa Fe.” Jack is at: facebook.com/jackneworth, twitter.com/jackneworth and jackdailypress@aol.com