Sunday, December 8, 2013

first draft -  excerpt from an essay in my book

I was profoundly affected by Cathy’s death as were all my sisters and brother. She was the eldest and we all worshiped her, looked up to her and knew her to be a special person, so pure and kind; we would remark that God mixed up his angels and humans one day and sent Cathy to earth by mistake.      

Cathy and I lived and pursued our careers together as roommates in Chicago, she in business with a firm on LaSalle Street and I started my fashion modeling career as a photographer’s model and runway model. Those were heady days, filled with fun and laughter. The energy of the city was palatable, you could taste it, touch it, feel it all day and through the night. Chicago could easily boast about their glamorous night-clubs. The Rush Street scene throbbed and shimmered with world-class entertainers. And the best and always the most fun: dinning in Booth One of The Pump Room at the Ambassador Hotel; restaurants were everywhere. Often, on Sunday mornings after brunch, we would hop on the Michigan Ave. bus to meet friends and spend a few hours at the Art Institute of Chicago; one of our favorite go to venues in the city; we loved taking out-of-town visitors to Field Museum of Natural History.

Chicago Theatre on State Street—that great street. And there was Oak Street Beach, where the stately Drake Hotel stood to our right, anchoring ‘The Magnificent Mile’, the sand warm under our towels as we gazed out on the gleaming lake, turning our bodies to catch the sun, clad  in our tiny bikinis,  and always, always on the look-out for eligible young men. God, we were young! Lincoln Park with its own zoo, within walking distances from our apartments; whenever we moved, we always stayed in the same neighborhood.  Oh, and I remember the ice shows at the Palmer House on Michigan Avenue, where mom and dad would stay when they visited Chicago.  

Our father had instilled in his children the love of baseball, but somehow, instead of choosing his beloved Chicago White Sox, we became Cub fans; boarding the steps of the Clark 22 or Broadway 36 bus at Wrightwood, we would head to Wrigley Field, step off the bus and almost immediately, each of us had a hotdog in one had and a beer in the other. I introduced my husband-to-be to the art of baseball and the way of the ‘Cubbies’. He loved his first ever professional football game and then he was astounded at how much he liked ‘authentic Italian cooking’, declaring early in our relationship how he did not care for Italian food. He was ‘American’ as my mother called all non-Italian beings, so how could he know, poor thing. (Povorino)