The quiz at the end of this post is pure fluff, silly stuff. But it stirred memories of Jennifer Cavalerri's nickname for Oliver Barrett IV.........
Anyone who was young or coming of age in 1970 is certain to recall that Ali MacGraw's character nicknamed Ryan O'Neal's character "Preppy" in the wildly-popular film LOVE STORY. Based on the novel by Erich Segal, the movie was released in the United States on December 16, 1970, and throughout 1971 in other countries, where it was known by these titles according to imdb:
Love Story--Argentina/Finland/West Germany; Ask hikâyesi--Turkey (Turkish title); Historia de amor--Mexico; Istoria agapis--Greece; Love Story - Uma História de Amor--Brazil; Rakkaustarina--Finland (TV title); Sipur Ahava--Israel (Hebrew title); Une histoire d'amour--Canada (French title)
It's difficult for me to describe my feelings when I look at the movie trailer. LOVE STORY meant the world to me and I was as caught up in the beautiful, tragic romance as much as any other fan of the story. I wanted to be Jennifer Cavalleri, and even the dying would have been alright if I'd been able to jump into the pages of the book. I thought that Ali MacGraw was the coolest, smartest, prettiest actress I'd ever seen, and I marveled that she played a college student at the age of 32. My mother remarked that she could tell MacGraw wasn't in her early 20s in a scene where Ryan O'Neal stroked her cheek and her skin "wasn't as firm as a girl's," and I wondered what in the hell that meant, being then clueless about the aging process.
What I loved most about the movie was the music. I'd had a taste of classical music from home records and television programs, but the presentations in the film of pieces by Bach, Mozart, Praetorius, and Handel were responsible for igniting my passion for classical music. The original score written by Francis Lai soared right up there with the classical offerings, and no wonder it won the Oscar for Best Music Original Score.
I also loved the scenes, the filming locations in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at various locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Long Island, and on the campuses of Fordham and Harvard.
As we were leaving the theater my boyfriend began calling me by my last name as Oliver had called Jenny by hers. He never seemed hotter than when he called me by my last name. Such is the power of Hollywood.
I have the book here with me now, a 1970 hard copy that has a dustcover with the title typeset in pseudo-psychedelic letters colored nearly-fluorescent red, green, and blue that make me a bit dizzy to look at now. Still trippy but just in a different way. Inside the book is the gift card written to me by one of my best girlfriends in high school. She wrote: .... As for my present to you -- it's special. It's a beautiful story, one with meaning. May you find times of pleasure with it. Love, Debbie
Debbie moved to Oregon for college, married her college love, and never left. For decades now she and I have lived approximately 40 miles away from one another. We've exchanged Christmas cards all through the years (hers have included photos of her daughters from the time they were born to leaving their parents the empty-nesters they are now). I've visited with her at two high school reunions in Reno, which seemed ludicrous to us at the last one and we vowed to have lunch in Portland. We did, in 2001, and it was wonderful to spend time talking. She was about to become a grandmother and has since then become a grandmother three times. I can celebrate that for her but I cannot relate. I cannot relate, either, to her having become an evangelical Christian, and, though we didn't discuss politics..... well, why go there? Debbie is retired from teaching now and it would be simple to arrange a get-together. Maybe one of us will do that sometime later. Our lives have taken different paths in the same part of the country yet she'll always be my friend, someone who knew me when I wanted to be Jenny Cavalerri making snow angels with the love of my life before making love in our college apartment before dying.
This is Kiki, signing off, so that you can take the quiz to discover your own Preppy Name.
My Preppy Name Is...
Chaplin Pratt Emmons the Fifth
But most people know you as Kiki