That Gay Summer (Book Thoughts: ’74 And Sunny, A. J. Benza)

18143761There’s a lot of memoirs out there, but “’74 And Sunny”  stood out for me: writer/television personality A.J. Benza: he writes about the summer of 1974 when he was twelve years old, and his ten year old cousin, Gino was sent to spend the summer with him and his family. But his cousin Gino is a bit different from all the other boys he hangs out with: he is a little frail, not into sports, and listens to Liza Minnelli records. Not to stereotype, bu tit doesn’t take a genius to figure out what kind of boy Gino is. Benza writes about his hard-headed macho Italian father has to deal with that fact, and in turn we see compassion seep through all that testosterone.  Benza writes with a brusque style, probably not unlike his real persona, but there is a lot of tenderness and poignancy here, especially as he tries to understand and accept his cousin.  I do question how he is quite quick to accepting, a boy in that day and age would not have been.

P.S. – I remember in the 90s, I was walking in the street, when one lady stopped me and asked me if I was A.J. Benza of E! channel.

One thought on “That Gay Summer (Book Thoughts: ’74 And Sunny, A. J. Benza)

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