Trying to Catch the Wind : Memoir of a Love That Was More Than Love

ISBN 13: 9781475969146
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High school students started forming Greek fraternities for guys and sororities for the young ladies.

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Most of these fraternities and sororities were limited to particular schools, but some became the envy of all the others. Fraternities were not gangs for fighting but rather exclusive clubs for partying.

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Without question, the most popular and successful fraternity in the entire era of these organizations in all of Western New York was Kappa Phi. Every fraternity and sorority aspired to be like K. Its members were a wide assortment of athletes, musicians, bright kids, funny kids, cool kids, and well-known kids. Through the process of careful selection of individuals and mergers with other popular and cool frats, Kappa Phi emerged as the ultimate in-crowd.

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The best sororities sought to have joint excuse the double entendre meetings with K, and no other frat dared to disparage or physically challenge Kappa Phi members. It was an axiom of the era: every frat tried to be as cool and successful as Kappa Phi, every guy wanted to be a member of it, and every young lady wanted to date a member. It was the benchmark against which all other frats and sororities were measured.

Once a frat was organized and had enough members who paid weekly dues, quite often an unfurnished apartment was rented.

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Members donated chairs, rugs, lamps, old couches, and anything they could find or scavenge to furnish their frat-house apartments. Parties were held where drinking was sanctioned and sexual encounters were encouraged. It was a prelude for the upcoming free-love movement, but with a membership restriction. My best friend in — was Artie P. Joe L. Artie, who was closer to me than my own brother, wanted me to be a pledge along with him, so he asked Hawk if I could pledge too.

Hawk replied that I could pledge with Artie only after he met me in person to see if I had the right stuff. Artie excitedly gave me the news and told me I was to meet the Hawk at the weekly dance at Mount Major Hall on Friday night. Artie was certain that I would be impressive enough to be asked to join the exclusive ranks of Kappa Phi. I didn't give it a second thought and looked forward to meeting this legendary person, whom Artie idealized. Throughout the time I worked at Scadutto's Corner Market with Artie, he raved about Hawk's prowess as a street fighter and his couthness Artie's word with women.

On Fridays, Artie and I worked at Scadutto's after school for a few hours before going home to get ready for Mount Major. It invariably was the highlight of the week and was talked about daily at school. Once in a while there was a fight, but usually it was a place just to have fun, hear live music, socialize, and dance.

On the designated Friday, Artie and I arrived wearing bleeding madras shirts, tight white jeans with short pants legs, Addler socks, and British Walker shoes and heavily doused with English Leather or Canoe cologne. No two madras shirts were alike, and Addlers came in every conceivable color.

All of us looked similar but different, and all of us attempted to be unique within the range of the popular style. Once we passed through the doorway and paid our one-dollar admission, we carved our way through the center of the gyrating crowd. The stage was on our right, and West Ferry Street was directly behind us as we angled past the pulsating dancers.

Artie locked his sights on someone in front of us and moved quickly toward him with me following close behind. Suddenly, Artie came to an abrupt stop and pushed his hand out toward a well-groomed, dark-haired, deep-staring young man. Artie said his name in a proud and reverent manner: "Hawk! As Hawk shook my hand, he looked at me intensely and said: "Artie's told me a lot about you. How do you do? Hawk's voice was raspy like that of someone who had just been to a concert and had been yelling too much.

I told him I was glad to finally meet him too, and inquired about his raspy voice by asking, "Do you have a sore throat? As he said, "No," I detected a slight look of embarrassment on his part. We spoke about general things for several awkward minutes and then walked off in different directions.

The interview was over. I was furious with Artie. Artie, in his blind idolatry of Hawk, had completely forgotten that one little, pertinent detail. It would've been great to be in that frat, but my world wouldn't end if I wasn't. Besides, I had been asked to join several other frats; although none was near the stature of Kappa Phi, they would suffice if need be, or so I thought.

It was going to be a large helping of sour grapes. After school on Monday, Artie came by my house to tell me about the aftermath of the Friday meeting with Hawk.

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I expected the worst but was surprised to hear that Hawk wanted both of us to come to the next weekly frat meeting to be interviewed by the whole membership before being formally accepted as pledges. The night of our interview was the next night, Tuesday, at seven in the carriage house of the president of Kappa Phi, Rick S.

He was the ultra-cool leader of the iconic local band the Buffalo Beatles. Artie and I walked to the meeting dressed in our best Friday night Mount Major outfits.

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When it was published, in , she felt more apprehension than elation. Yeah, we go back and not in a good way. Gifts and Stationery. Tensions begin to mount, but are people afraid of the killer, or of their own guilty pasts? Americans are so steeped in the message that we are what we think, and that a positive attitude can banish disease. The killings seem so personal that Lottie is convinced the girls have been killed by someone they knew. Though he says like that he never commit.

Both of us were excited about this upcoming mysterious and frightening ritual. We had a date with fate, and if it went well our remaining high school time, two and a half years, would be filled with incredible adventures and memories. My understanding of the process, according to Artie, was that each pledge candidate would be called by name to stand in the center of the seated assemblage of thirty or so members.

Each aspirant would be questioned and tested for poise and grace under verbal fire. What questions would be asked was unknown, but nothing was out of bounds. The half dozen candidates selected for this night's festivities were unaware of what they'd be asked and the order of who was to be interviewed. And not everyone would be selected to pledge.

We had no foreknowledge of any particulars of the criteria. It was all quite secretive and intimidating. Rick's carriage house was an old nineteenth-century wooden structure located behind his family house on Rhode Island Street. It had electrical service but no heating system. Human body heat warmed the room on this mid-November night. The members sat on odds and ends including chairs, wooden grates, and old benches. A discernible patina of dust coated every object and surface, save the people in the building.

Rick sat behind a beat-up old desk with Angelo M. One by one, the pledge prospects were introduced and fielded the questions randomly hurled at them by the feisty fraternity brothers in the gallery.

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It was quickly apparent this was not a normal interview that sought serious responses. After the publication of her first memoir, Home , which detailed her difficult childhood and her earliest days as a performer, fans and friends had urged her to dive into the next phase.

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The book is a dance between candor and diplomacy, as Andrews navigates the imperative of honesty with the courteousness that seems to be her governing instinct. The steel panels of the harness Andrews wore to film flying scenes for Mary Poppins left her hips badly bruised, and in one scene, the wires suspending her failed, leading to a catastrophic fall.

If the book was going to be a memoir, Andrews told me, then it might as well be frank.

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Those years had instilled in her a powerful foundation for life as a performer, thanks to singing lessons and the pressure of having to work to support her family financially. But these years robbed her, she felt, of an education, and of the chance to make an active decision about who and what she really wanted to be.

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