Thursday, May 6, 2010

Freewheelin' In The Bronx 1971 (ii)

Since my cheap, $57 per month rent-controlled slum 1 ½ room apartment was located only a few blocks southeast from Fordham University’s campus off Fordham Road, I would sometimes check out the scene there in early 1971—even before I quit my Writers Guild Office Boy job in early March 1971. Although by early 1971, Fordham University’s campus in the Bronx had campus gates and security guards or campus cops by each entrance, to keep non-student community residents from the Bronx from entering it, I was still able to walk onto the campus without getting stopped by the campus security guards or campus cops. Probably because I was white and still looked young enough then to pass for a Fordham University undergraduate or graduate student.

Also, by early 1971 a minority of the male students at Catholic universities like Fordham, St. John’s, Boston College, etc. now had long hair and/or beards and now looked more like hippies and freaks. So by 1971 when a bearded, long-haired hippie freak like myself walked onto a then-predominantly white Catholic campus like Fordham University, he no longer stood out as much or was as noticeable to the campus security guards as he would have been during the mid-1960s.

So on one weekend evening, during the winter in early 1971, I had no difficulty sneaking onto the Fordham University campus. After walking past some of the dormitories, I then stumbled upon a big room where the Shirelles female singing group was giving a concert and where it sang the “Soldier Boy” song hit of the late 50s or early 60s.

I don’t remember much else about the Shirelles’ concert, probably because I had drunk some beer and smoked a joint in my apartment before walking onto the Fordham campus. But I recall that I felt that while many of the Fordham University women undergraduate students in the early 1970s seemed physically attractive to me, they didn’t seem to give off as hip a vibe as did the women undergraduate students at the non-Catholic colleges such as Barnard-Columbia, NYU-Washington Square, NYU-Uptown, Richmond College on Staten Island, Indiana University, Radcliffe-Harvard or Queens College of that historical era. And in early 1971, you still didn’t get the sense that the students at Fordham University were smoking pot and using psychedelics as much as did the students at Columbia in the late 1960s.

Fordham women undergraduates at the Shirelles concert did remind me somewhat, though, of a blonde-haired college-age woman from College Point whom I had met at a bar when I lived in Jackson Heights in the Fall of 1969. No longer do I recall the name of the blonde young woman from College Point. But after we danced a few times I felt physically attracted to her enough to offer to take the subway back to Main Street Flushing with her, where she could then catch her bus to College Point, where she still lived with her parents.

But by the time we arrived at Main Street Flushing, I realized that she had pretty much been unaffected by the Vietnam War and the Movement of the 1960s; and she seemed to realize that my future financial prospects didn’t look promising enough for her to ever consider me for the role of potential husband for her and potential father for her children that she was apparently looking for some guy to fill. So I felt there was no point in asking for her phone number before we kissed goodnight and she got on the bus to head back home to College Point.