By Terrence McCoy
By Scott Fishman
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Allie Conti
By New Times Staff
By Ryan Pfeffer
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Kyle Swenson
She breaks into tears at the memory. Georgia cries often. It comes quickly and leaves quickly, like the turning on and off of a high-pitched spigot.
While her mind was preoccupied with to kako, a boy from gym class named Brian Hooker asked her to go out. "He was a good-looking guy," she remembers. "He could have dated anybody -- anybody. He had green eyes, piercing eyes. He spoke to you with his eyes. And he was a very passionate kisser."
She found out that last part during regular stops in an alley behind her house. He would also feel her up, but the one time he tried to unzip her jeans, she stopped him.
There were serious problems with the romance. First, Brian wasn't Greek. Second, she had promised her mother that she wouldn't kiss a boy in high school. So it was all done in secret. Brian would pay his sister to call Georgia's house to trick Georgia's stern father, who wouldn't allow her to talk to boys. The secrecy added to the allure almost as much as it did to her guilt. "I did have fleeting thoughts of love and marriage," she says. "After the third time he told me he loved me, I said it back."
Brian, now a married contractor in Texas, says all he remembers about the relationship is Georgia's fear of her father. "I just thought it was unbelievable how he treated her and how overbearing he was," he says. "She was constantly afraid. He would make these threats, these physical threats, if she ever dated anybody."
After a few months, a neighbor saw them making out in the alley and told her father. She was caught.
"My father said he was going to break my legs," she recalls. "He said, 'We know what you've been doing; everybody knows what you've been doing. Cut it out.' I was ashamed."
That marked the end of the romance, though Georgia, who often boasts that she has a "photographic memory," says Brian also never had "true empathy" for her during her mother's illness and recalls that he didn't buy her candy when they went to see The Howling.
Brian would be the only boy she ever kissed in high school. "Yes, I liked him a lot," Georgia says, "but did I like him so much that I killed for him five years later? Impossible."
Georgia was 16 years old when her mother died. She never got to say goodbye.
"They took her clothes away and her things out of the house, and it was as if she never existed," she says. "Hear no evil, see no evil. I didn't find out she died of cancer until I was 18."
She begins to cry: "And it's very, very, very difficult -- very difficult-- to watch your mother melt away from day to day to day."
The sophomore did what her aunt told her to do. She took on the role of mother, caring for her overbearing papa and younger siblings. To this day, Georgia, a woman prone to Freudian slips, almost always refers to her father, who speaks little English and still lives in the same house in Chicago, as her "husband" before correcting herself.
She tried out to be a majorette, but after only two weeks of practice, her father made her quit. She had too many household duties for such kid stuff. Her social life was largely confined to a group of girls who called themselves the "Greek Connection."
"We ruled. The boys loved talking to us and toying with us verbally," she remembers. "We looked down on some of the Jewish girls and the partiers and the cokeheads. We weren't going to go out at night and smoke and drink to validate ourselves. We went to the mall to drink iced tea on a Sunday and make a day of it. We felt like ladies, not high school gals.
"We had Louis Vuitton handbags, and we all had Gloria Vanderbilt pants, and we shopped at the Limited. That was our thing. That was our life. We didn't go to AC/DC concerts or Ozzy Osbourne concerts and bite the heads off bats. We were 17, but we behaved like 24-year-olds. We used Sweet'n Low -- that was our high."
Brian Hooker, meanwhile, continued a normal high school existence, if there is such a thing. He began dating one of the most popular girls at Mather High, Angela Puccetti, who had blossomed from a rather plain-looking kid with buck teeth and braces into a beauty. With blond highlights in her light-brown hair, she was the head cheerleader and went to all the important parties. Brian escorted Angela when she was voted homecoming queen during her junior year.
But the queen, say her old friends, put on no airs -- she is portrayed as a kind of Everygirl darling of the school, the daughter of a butcher and a nurse, a girl who wasn't just pretty but also kind-hearted. In the 1983 high school yearbook, she was pictured with her crown and sash under the caption "Isn't She Lovely."