A Little-Known Section of the Emma Willard Curriculum

Jane Fonda and Carol Bentley at Emma Willard
Jane Fonda and Carol Bentley at Emma Willard

My Life So Far by Jane Fonda is a great read which I picked up for background information when Sarah and I went to Squam Lake in New Hampshire, where she made On Golden Pond with her father Henry and Katherine Hepburn.

You would think that growing up as the daughter of a big movie star would be wonderful and happy, but you’d be wrong. Jane’s mother was confined to a mental institution where she committed suicide by cutting her throat with a razor blade  when Jane was 12 years old. Jane was told that her mother had had a heart attack.

All the other students at Greenwich Academy were instructed not to tell her the truth, which they all knew, but she found out when she read a movie magazine.

Later she attended Emma Willard School in Troy, New York.

“I remember times at Emma Willard when someone would pass around a list of every sexual act we could imagine, and we’d check off what we’d done. Carol Bentley could check off just about everything: French kissing, intercourse, oral sex, and all sorts of other things that made my breathing change just talking about them.

“I was in awe of her. All I’d done was kiss (no tongue) and pet, so I’d check off things I hadn’t done, like French kissing and intercourse.

“I had two boyfriends (one after the other), and with each one I tried to have intercourse. But in spite of all the huffing and puffing and rug burns, it didn’t work. My body didn’t seem receptive. It wouldn’t let them in.”

Geez I wish I’d known about those checklists when I was a young feller.

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