Thursday, December 18, 2008

a 38 year-old love story




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

11 comments:

distracted by shiny objects said...

Grigsby Coleridge Lenox IV here, but my family calls me Corkie. However, I prefer Lenny, or Four works also:>).
That site had a "Little Black dress" test. Couldn't pass that one up. Said I was "quirky." Now I can rest easy and get on with my holiday wrapping...Hope your week's going well.

Buddha said...

Yep, I remember crying and making out on that music...
Boy, are we old or what?
On an other subject.
I wrote a piece “5 steps to success” and I was wondering if you would like to host it on your clutterquake blog. Let me know.
Be loved!

Elizabeth said...

I am not sure if I have ever seen the movie! That is sad. Another New Year's resolution for me.

Lydia said...

Distracted,
You sure were funny today, both at your blog and mine! Love the comments. I hope your week is going well too. How's the weather? We've been snowed and iced in and my husband stayed the last two nights in a motel in Salem where he works. This area just isn't equipped for blasts of winter, but I think we do better than Vegas..

Buddha,
Gold, not old...
Your memories of the movie were fun.
Absolutely, I'd like to run another of your pieces at Clutterquake. I'll pop over tomorrow in the day to see if it's up at your blog. Thanks for thinking of this!

Elizabeth,
You've just gotta see Love Story. Really. In 2009. :) :(
(both faces suit the movie.....)

distracted by shiny objects said...

Love Story never clicked for me--being the cold-hearted preppy that I am:>),but Romeo and Juliet...I bet I saw that movie a dozen times and cried every damn time. Remember how the theater gave out a fake velvet red rose when you went??
ahhhh...back in the day....I wish I had a fake velvet rose right now:>)

YogaforCynics said...

Gotta admit, I've never seen Love Story...though I recall that, for a long time, any time somebody sat down at a piano in a social setting, you could just about guarantee you were about to hear either "Theme From Love Story" or "The Entertainer."

By the way, I don't need a quiz to find out my preppy name: my parents named me Jay Sinclair Winston....

Lydia said...

Distracted,
I don't know why but I just didn't get around to seeing Romeo and Juliet when it was first released. But some months later my mother and I were driving around and saw that it was showing at the Drive-In just minutes from then and we made a snap decision to drive in and see it. They did not have roses for us. :(

Yoga,
Jay Sinclair Winston, what a positively marvelous preppy name. Pretty cool really.
I've had boyfriends with middle names of Trenmore and Trowbridge and they were both quite preppy I must say.
You might find Love Story sappy and pop. It would be interesting to have it reviewed through your cynical filter.

Jennifer said...

I haven't seen Love Story either, but hearing about it always makes me think of Al Gore (doesn't everyone have this association?? :) )

I have a few friends from long ago that have taken divergent paths. It's a bittersweet feeling to share an old friendship but to have so little common ground years later. Though the one friend I'm thinking of gave me things like a letter written on a roll of toilet paper (I still have it -- she was a very funny letter writer and would doodle amusing things all over the envelopes, too), nothing like a copy of Love Story! Which reminds me -- I need to get in touch with her ...

Lydia said...

Now that you mention Al Gore I have a faint memory of something relating to him with regard to Love Story. I must now look it up to refresh my memory!
The annual holiday greeting arrived from Debbie today (!), a photo of her and her husband with their three grandchildren. Honestly, she looks about the same as she did in high school. Of course she wrote that we must get together. I think we'll make it happen in 2009.

Rhiannon said...

I loved this movie also..they were so opposite..but seemed to have complimented one another with their differences. I used to have thick dark eyebrows just like Ali when I was younger...always liked her modeling and acting.

I had a life time friend named Debbie also. We grew up in Los Angeles county, the valley. She moved to Washington state and I've lived just about everywhere but have lived in Oregon now for many years. We knew one another since the age of about 11 and stayed connected (like you and your friend)we either phoned e-mailed and visits in person.

However when the war in Iraq started and I addressed my concerns and my opinion about why were we going there?..it made to sense to me..well our political views were obviously different and she got very upset with me. She stated that Bush was a wonderful president and knew what he was doing and she was all for the "war and revenge" she said. She said that I didn't know what I was talking about, that I didn't know or understand anything. After that I never heard back from her again (wonder what she's thinking about the war now and my warning thoughts about Bush's decison) she wouldn't even answer my phone calls. she's not communicated with me or been in touch since the start of that war and her anger at me.

Sad that having a different opinion on something so serious got her so angry with me and she cut me off like that. Reading this post about your friend Debbie sure brought back some memories.

Debbie and I had known one another like forever. But as time went on I realize that through I disagreed with much of her opinions in politics through the years I had never denied her her opinions and never told her off..I respected that she felt differently than I. She, on the other hand, I had come to realize had never respected my opinions and had always told me off or trashed me for my thoughts. I had put up with her disrespect towards me all those years because I didn't want it to interfere with our friendship..so I suppose I am to blame for that one!

By the way I took the book quiz and I am a "Watership Down" also..hmmm.

Yes, my teeny fish tank is at "0" as you stated..this has happened with other things I put in my blog and I'm not very good at pc stuff..right brainer, not techincal..but thank you for trying to be helpful Lydia.

Blessings,

Rhi

Lydia said...

Rhi,
Hello, fellow wabbit.....
Exactly. Everything you wrote about happening the last time you shared your views with your friend Debbie is what I worry about occurring if I were to spend much time with my friend Debbie. You refreshed my memory to recall her saying something in favor of Bush when we last had lunch and I let it drop. Our friendship never took on the tone that you described with your friend; I do think it could survive differing opinions. But I've had so many struggles with my husband's family that I am just not sure if it's worth it to me to risk struggling in a friendship. In her Christmas card my friend Debbie gave me her email address. That is a plus, as possibly it's a good way to "test the waters."
You have known your friend a bit longer than I mine, but Deb and I have known one another since we were 13. It really is a pity to lose touch with someone who is that much a touchstone in your life. I wonder if, just possibly, your friend now recognizes that your views were ultimately shared by the majority of Americans regarding the war and Bush. Maybe she even changed her mind about him and is unsure of how to approach you.
Eyebrows like Ali - wow, expressive and dramatic!

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