Friday, September 20, 1996


David & Jennifer Lopez - notes

Do you remember a play in which the narrator sees his town as the center of the universe, in the eye of God? That's how I feel about the T&V country. Our people are the hundreds of faces at the corner of 14th Street and 1st Avenue at 8 A.M. waiting for the 15M bus, the moms and kids going to school in dungarees, in blue ant tartan school clothes, the big highschool kids with tattoos, the hospital and office people going to work. And the thousands out on the street at lunch hour on Union Square, and the gamesters roller blading, having medieval encounters, the musicians and dancers and author reading attenders at B&N, after business hours. They have stories to tell, eight million stories, by those who moil for gold, toting that barge and lifting that bale in the towers of my town.

We all live a drean, la vida es un sueno, and some of them are fulfilled while others fail. My friend Arnie who has toiled for 30 years in daily tasks, with an eye to the stars, has two sons, both fine ballplayers, affectionately known as Adam and Clayton by the office friends. Arnie and Marlene have spent hundreds of hours and energy taking the boys through untold neighborhood Little League matches, ascending to the National Championships. In his office he keeps pictures and blown-up newspaper reports of the feats of the kid's uncle, a 6'4'' pitcher,xx, as as a reminder that it can be done. But after years of the dream, reality struck home, and the boys went off to college to pursue more mundane ideas - in accountancy. and biology. But the love never died, and now both young men have switched to doing physical therapy, sports-oriented. A dream partially fulfilled.

Another friend David, is the father of a little girl wo liked to dance. I met her when she came in the office on holidays, to play computer games, a lively and expressive child. Mom took her to dancing classes and a few years later young Jennifer was dancing on TV, "In Living Color." Having turned into a sultry Latin beauty, Jennifer Lopez went to Hollywood and did supporting roles in My Family and Money Train, then played Robin Williams' fifth grade teacher in Francis Ford Coppola's Jack, dancing between takes when she was happy with her performance. Recently she played a Cuban nanny who cannot decide between her suitors Jack Nicholson and Stephen Dorff in a crime film, Blood and Wine, directed by Bob Raffelson. She is now in a dream role, the story of the Tejano singer Selena, slain by her fan club president, for director Gregory Nava. And another role is under contract, that of a documentary film maker who has jungle adventures, in Anaconda.

Looking at Jennifer's sultry publicity pictures, there are the unmistakable features of David, a gentle person who never misses a day's work, keeping a computer system on track. Soft-spoken, he carries pictures of Jen and tells stories of her phone calls home and the support group that the family provides. Not all kids of her generation have the background that we have given her. And it is evident in her attitude towards the family. She calls home frequently, comes to stay with the family for Christmas, easter and Mother's Day, and recently brought them to san antonio for a long weekend, to see the filming of a Selena concert

This is a long way for a girl who studied for a year at Baruch, hoping eventually ti go to law school. But the many acting and ballet lessons, and auditions that she went to in the supportive company of Lupe, her mother, paid off at the age of 19. Her younger sister, Linda, 24, graduated fro C.V.Post University, and now has a rock DJ prohram on WBAB, in Babylon, N.Y. Older sister Leslie, 29, was a schoolteacher until her recent motherhood.

David, who has worked for the same company for 25 years, has an level-headed attitude towards success in life. A house and a home for the family has to be earned with work. Easy life after retirement comes from saving and sacrificing. Good schoolwork comes with good parenting. If you work, you can succeed in life.

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