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(OR....was I ever that young???)

24 August 2002

I was rummaging around the house the other day, desperately looking for something of Dr. G's that I'd misplaced and suddenly I came upon my senior high school yearbook.  In truth, I didn't realize that the book was in a cupboard.  Last time I remember seeing it, it had fallen behind the cupboard on which rests the printer and I have no memory whatsoever of retrieving it.  But there it was...the Vincenta.  My baby.

I was yearbook editor.

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Vincenta Editor

Legion trea$urer..."Will I ever finish?"... Tip-top typist... avid Judy Garland fan ... definite aversion to dreams of ??? ... another member of the clan..."Oh yes, Anne!!"...feature writer for the N.N.N. ... ambition:  DC



Talk about being an over-achiever.   The thing that's interesting about that yearbook entry is that not much has changed.  I'm no longer treasurer of anything ("Legion" was "Legion of Mary," a religious club), but I'm still overcommitted, a "tip top typist" and an avid Judy Garland fan.  The N.N.N., as I recall, was an underground newspaper we called the "Nasty Noogie News."  I can't remember now what its purpose was.   But I'm still writing for a newspaper.


"Ambition:  DC"  This didn't mean that I hoped to visit our nation's capitol some day (something I've done so often I feel completely comfortable there and know my way around).  In this instance, "D.C." referred to Daughter of Charity.  I was going to join the other sisters following graduation.  For this reason, I was chosen to be dressed in the habit for a vocation tableau.  It was the first--and last time--that I would wear this garb.  I changed my mind about a month before I was scheduled to fly to the motherhouse in St. Louis.

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I was the romantic lead in the school play, "Trish."  A look at the yearbook page I designed for that play show hints at the potential I had as a scrapbook designer.  Actually, as I look at it now, it looks like something I just threw together.  But it was quite innovative in 1960.

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We were the leads in the cast.  I'm on the left holding the hand of Randy Jones, my leading man (whom I also dated--and who was gay.  Was this a hint?).  Rose Lewis, on the other side, is now a plastic surgeon.  I've lost contact with Helene and Judy, the other two.


One thing about going to a Catholic school is that religious celebrations were part and parcel of the day to day life.   Mass was offered frequently in the school chapel.  I got to be an "altar girl," though as a lowly female, I wasn't allowed to be inside the altar rail while Mass was being said.  But I did get to give the prayer responses (in Latin) and ring the bells at the appropriate time.

We had "retreats," where priests would try to increase our level of spirituality and where all of the questions seemed to be about "how far can you go with a boy?" 

A group of us met in the school chapel each day to recite the rosary, and we belonged to the "Legion of Mary," which had daily prayers to say and which were supposed to, I think, do good works.  I don't remember that part.

Walt loves to hear about our "living rosary," where the students ringed the periphery of the cathedral which was our neighborhood church.   Each student represented a bead in a rosary (No, we did not carry bowling balls), and recited the first half of the Hail Mary.  The seniors formed a cross down the center aisle.  Those who weren't part of the rosary itself sat in the pews and said the responses to the prayers.  Anything to keep religion alive.

And then there were the yearly May festivities which culminated in crowning a statue of Mary.

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Oh Mary we crown thee with blossoms today
Queen of the angels, Queen of the May
(i think those were the lyrics)

I was such an overachiever I was involved in just about everything.  Again, nothing much as changed. 

WEST, Beverly...St. Brigid; PR 5-8792; Class Treasurer 1; CSF 3,4; Low Honors 1,2,3,4; High honors 2,3; Sodality 1,2,3,4; Secretary 4; Councilor 4; Legion of Mary 1,2,3,4; Treasurer 4; Catechetical Work 3,4; Parish Teen Club 2,3; Vincenta Staff 2,3,4; Underclassman Editor 2,3; Editor 4; Spirit Staff 3,4; Publications 3; Essay Contest Winner 1; Dance Committee 4; Decoration Chairman 4; Pep Club 1; Drama 1,2,3; Senior Play 4; Freshman Choral 1; Glee 1,2,3,4; Junior Achievement 3; Service Club 4; Oratory 2,3; Christmas Tableaux Co-Chairman 3; Traffic Council 3; Secretrary 3; Library Club 1,2,3,4; Secretary 3

But it was such a special time.  I know people who hated high school.  I didn't.  I went to this little school, total student population 200.  I knew everybody, don't remember being disliked by anybody.  I was teacher's pet (they always liked the kids who had "vocations").  I got to school early to help the teachers set up for the day, or to work in the school store.  I stayed late to work on the yearbook or the newspaper.  I came in on weekends to go with Sister Anne to bring lunch to some of the poor people in the neighborhood.

That place was my whole life.  I even had my first auto accident there, trying to make a sharp turn into the yard from the street, hitting the fence, and wiping out both doors on the car.  I still remember having to sit in the office and make "the call" home to let my parents know that I'd just wiped out their car!

I remember graduation day, June 13, 1960.  Funny, but what I remember most about that day was standing outside with Ruth Rose, one of the five black girls in the school, who hugged me and said "I suppose we'll never see each other again."  I poo-poo'd that comment, with tears in my eyes.  But she was very nearly right.  It was 30 years before I saw her again, and then it was briefly at a reunion.  I hoped to contact her by e-mail, but have been unable to find her e-mail since that time.  (She's registered with "Classmates" but it's not worth it to me to pay $20 just to get her e-mail address!)

They tore the high school down a long time ago to revamp the neighborhood. It's now an upscale place to live and there is a new cathedral standing where my high school once stood. It was a whole 'nother world, that four year period of time.  I was a different person then.  But sometimes it's nice to remember.


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Thank you for nominating my entry, Moving On for a DiaristNet award!

Quote of the Day

Leftovers in their less visible form are called memories. Stored in the refrigerator of the mind and the cupboard of the heart.

~Thomas Fuller

Picture of the Day

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(this reminds me of myself
trying to get into a car a year ago!)

One Year Ago
Come to the Circus!
What we didn't know was that we were directly in the path of the elephants. There we stood, two women and six children huddled up against a piece of cloth which was the only thing shielding us from the lions and tigers, and the elephants were headed right toward us.

Two Years Ago
The Problem
It’s a frigging computer error and it’s taken me half an hour of my time today to find out they can’t help me because I didn’t take the right notes at the time of the incoming call.

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