But all my thinking about her caused me to recall various times she has been a marvelous force in my life. For example, part of my love of classical music derives from time spent with my aunt. When I was 8, she took me to hear the Harrisburg Symphony perform in the Forum Building. The auditorium there has the most marvelous ceiling--a representation of the constellations and a suspended chandelier depicting the solar system. I would sit, gazing up at this ceiling while strains of Beethoven's 7th filled my ears. Who wouldn't be thunderstruck with the majesty of music?
I thought of another time I visited my aunt. By then, she was living in New York City, having gone there in the mid-1950s. She took me to the Lincoln Center to see the 1976 revival production of Kurt Weill's Threepenny Opera. This particular production starred Raúl Juliá, in his heyday as a performer. He was lusciously and villainously sexy as Mack, (see photo at left).
When we got to my aunt's apartment, she was not home. Naturally, I had not thought to TELL her I would be in NYC and could visit. I left a note for her. I learned that after she read the note, she was very upset that I had been so naive.
I do remember looking for your aunt's apartment during our trip to New York City with Ken (the music teacher who had organized the field trip.) It's been over 40 years since I read The Catcher In The Rye, but I've always considered that my "Holden Caulfield experience". The man sitting beside me at the opera put his hand on my leg several times (that was a new experience for a young man from Lebanon County, Pennsylvania) and after the opera we went back stage to visit with Ken's favorite soprano -- Zinka Milanov.
When Zinka saw Ken she grabbed him, gave him a big hug, and buried his face between her ample breasts.
Zinka shown at right