Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog

It's All About Me!

Musings #15 West Side Story – A Love Story

What do Jets and Sharks and a girl named, Maria have in common? New York City – in particular the west side of New York where gangs and racial strife and love came to a tragic end so many years ago. I first saw West Side Story when I was about ten-years-old.

I was visiting my Grandma in Cleveland, Ohio. My Aunt Chick lived with her. She is ten years older than me and was dating her to-be husband, Ed. I used to count the hours until Chick got home from work. She was my favorite aunt – probably because she was closest to my age. (Disclaimer – I love all of my aunts and uncles, too.) One night, Chick and Ed took me to the drive-in with them to see West Side Story. The summer night, the starry sky, the popcorn, and the huge screen were exciting. The dancing, the beautiful girls with colorful, swirling skirts, the even more handsome guys were magical. I loved that love story!

At the saddest part of the story, as tears fell from both my aunt’s eyes and mine, and sobs were heard from neighboring cars, Ed waved tissues in the air – one for Chick and one for me – saying in a sing-songy voice, “Do you need a puff, puff?” Aunt Chick and I choked as we stifled our sobs mixed with our laughter. It’s a night I will always remember.

West Side Story has always been one of my favorite movies. I owned the album and I played that lp record so often there were permanent grooves in it. I memorized every song. Today I revisited those memories as I saw West Side Story on Broadway. It held a different kind of magic, and I still love that love story. Though Aunt Chick and Ed were not there, I did have my puff-puffs … and I needed them.

(Picture courtesy of me.)

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February 17, 2010 - Posted by | Anything Writing, Musings by Donna | , , , , ,

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