Then of course there was the Snack Bar. And the regular get-togethers at the Snack Bar, which to me is Williams, gathering around the Snack Bar and just discussing current movies, current events. Everything from the Beatles to baseball I suppose. There was a regular time I went there, which was 11 o’clock every night of the year for four years. I was an historical Snack Bar figure.

He would be there late afternoons. Maybe after class he’d walk over with students or in some other way sort of meander in there. I don’t think he went by himself but definitely it was sort of an alternative meeting ground with him and one in which, you know, in an odd way, it was no less rigorous in terms of your communication with him. But the breadth and field of discussions was much greater. One in particular I remember was an intense discussion about whether at the end of the movie “Blow-Up,” the Antonioni film, whether or not there really was a tennis ball or not. To me I suppose it was fairly self evident, you know, that there was not. And Gaudino’s position I think was, “Yes, there had to be a tennis ball.” And the reason there had to be a tennis ball was because Antonioni was a Marxist. It was just that there needed to be a tennis ball because it had to do, I suppose, with making tangible people’s illusions and then examining them, but looking at them sort of from a dialectical perspective — the back and forth of the ball and then the ball going over the fence and seeing it there and then not seeing it there. And then the notion of photography–the whole movie is about in a sense perception and what’s real and what isn’t and how you reveal it. But the wondrous thing of course was having a discussion with this great intellect about this movie. That was not an atypical discussion. Generally four or five students, maybe three, just sitting around one of those booths in the back. Sometimes there’d be people standing. He would attract a certain crowd, but it was never a mob.

I remember one of the Snack Bar discussions I just wanted to ask him, “What should I do with my life? What’s my life about? What does it mean?” Because I just knew he had the answers. You know, I didn’t want to bother with years of looking or therapy or stuff like that. No. “Dear Professor Gaudino, please tell me what my life is about?” What I should do, what I’m good at, not good at and how I should proceed, because I knew he had the answer. Of course, he wouldn’t give me the answer even if he did have it.