Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Not-so-Mighty Queen of Williamsbridge

Amy Dickinson is the successor to famed advice columnist Ann Landers, I've been enjoying her column for years because she has such a way with words that you could laugh, but also realize she was being totally serious about her advice. It is good advice too. Personally, I prefer her to the two women who took over Dear Abby's column.

Now I've read her memoir "The Mighty Queens of Freeville" and....
1. I wish I had read it months ago, before she did it a book signing in downtown Binghamton
2. I feel I've known her all my life, although our lives are as totally different as you can be different.

Let's compare and contrast

Where did we grow up?
Amy: Grew up in Freeville, NY pop. 455 (give or take a couple). Part of her childhood was spent on a dairy farm.
AM: Grew up in the Bronx (the neighborhood of Williamsbridge), population approximately 1,400,000, in a low income housing project. The approximate population of my housing project was 1,500.

Amy: Siblings, mother (father deserted family), is related to much of Freeville, including the "mighty queens"
AM: Only child, father (mother died during my childhood), my most favorite relatives were 1 1/2 hours away on the subway

Activities while growing up
Amy: lots of rural and small town activities centering around the local church and family
AM: potsy, curbball, swings, monkey bars, word rhyming games while bouncing a Spaulding, jumprope (although I was never able to do double dutch), riding my bike (especially as a teenager)

High School
Amy: Dryden High School, enrollment about 500.
AM: Thank heavens I DID NOT go to my local high school, Evander Childs. Where I did go, the enrollment was about 2800. And with all its distinguished alumni, I brought paraphrase Weird Al Yankovic in his song "I Lost on Jeopardy" - shame and disgrace to my high school name for generations to come, because I haven't won a Nobel prize yet.

Amy: Once, husband walked out on her, one daughter
AM: married 35 years, one son

Adult Life:
Amy: spent between Freeville, London, Washington DC and Chicago
AM: spent between Florida, Iowa, Texas, Kansas, Arkansas and the Triple Cities of Upstate NY

Perfect Pitch
Amy: Yes
AM: son begged me to stop singing to him when he was about 2

Amy: Yes, and proud of it
AM: Probably not the way Amy means it (activities like joining madrigal choirs-see "perfect pitch" above). In fact I was thrown out of a chorus at my summer camp in 1966.

Amy: Lots, well deserved
AM: Jury's still out on that one

Published Author
Amy: Yes, write more books, please please please!
AM: I do have this blog....

Conclusion: I love Amy! Amy, if you are up here again, will you visit me and have dinner with me? The Mighty Queen of Freeville and the not-so-Mighty Queen of Williamsbridge? There's this nice little restaurant in Johnson City called Caccitore's....

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