By Christopher Andersen
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Additional resources for Barbra: The Way She Is
Graduating from Boys High School in 1924, he enrolled at the College of the City of New York and supplemented his small scholarship with a variety of odd jobs. At various times, he worked as a lifeguard, drove a Good Humor truck, and worked as a ﬁle clerk at the Brooklyn ofﬁces of AT&T. Darkly handsome—he combed his black hair straight back and sported a pencil-thin Adolph Menjou mustache—Manny threw himself into a number of school activities. He was active in the debating, math, chess, and drama clubs.
She did what a ﬁghter does—she was feinting with her left when she put the gum under the seat. ” Barbra’s love life was also looking up, or so it seemed. Not long before her debut at The Lion, she and Dennen had, after several abortive attempts, consummated their relationship. She was unaware that Dennen, the son of a wealthy California businessman, was also grappling with the growing realization that he preferred sex with men. The awkwardness of their lovemaking only served to fuel what 2 0 C H R I S T O P H E R A N D E R S E N Dennen—and everyone else who would get to know Barbra, for that matter—knew was gnawing self-doubt about the way she looked.
While her peers congregated in the hallways between classes, B A R B R A 4 1 she invariably stood off to one side clutching her books, alone and apart. With the exception of the school chorus, she shied away from extracurricular activities and stuck to her studies. She was an exceptional student, even by Erasmus Hall standards. 5 percent grade-point average—a level of academic performance she maintained throughout high school. Not surprisingly, the other students misinterpreted Barbara’s fundamental lack of conﬁdence as haughtiness.