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Straight to the White House is a special read for a variety of reasons. It's a story of a young boy whose repressed childhood trauma emerges later in his adulthood and impacts his personal and professional life choices. A combination of personal strengths allow him to survive the onslaught of psychological demons that emerge. His intellect, perseverance and spiritualism are characteristics that allow him to manage his life successfully but his insecurity concerning his sexuality continues to haunt him. After graduating from Cornell he enters a catholic seminary, fulfilling a long held desire for becoming a Jesuit priest. From this point on his life is made more complicated and interesting when he finds himself attracted to a beautiful woman just before he is drafted into the army during the Vietnam war. Moving forward his life is being challenged by competing forces that pull him in different directions, while his sexual insecurities persist. His search for his true identity continues to evolve while a series of events change his life forever. His mentor, a Jesuit priest who knows him from childhood, plays a key role in clarifying his life ambitions upon his return from Vietnam.
Amerigo Merenda is the son of Italian immigrants whose father inspired his story telling as a child. Throughout his 45 years of teaching history in both high school and college levels, he has enjoyed incorporating history with personal drama and currently conducts seminars in public libraries where controversial issues are discussed and analyzed with members of community libraries. Merenda is a native New Yorker and has always spoken highly of his excellent teachers throughout his educational experience throughout the state, both upstate and now on Long Island. When he is not reading or writing, he's gardening and has also enjoyed sailing for over thirty years.