...the Journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

The new magnets are from Jeri's refrigerator. Jeri's fridge has some unusual stuff attached to it.

This is an old Irish curse.



* NEW *

Someone suggested I add a discussion board, so I have.

If you have anything to discuss, go to this link. Feel free to start a new discussion on anything.



WHAT I'M READING...

I'm a Stranger Here Myself

by
Bill Bryson

I enjoyed his Australia book so much, I decided to try the one about this country.

also

Battersea Park Road
to Enlightenment

(this is a book I picked up in London)


WHAT I'M WATCHING...

Biography: Perry Como



That's it for today!

ĎTIS THE SEASON

3 June 2001

If the mailbox is full of invitations, it must be June.

In the past week weíve received a couple of wedding invitations and a couple of graduation invitations. I was the matron of honor at the wedding of the mother of one of the soon-to-be graduates...and the graduate is the second child of the family.

When did I get to be so old?

It seems like only yesterday I was a sweet young thing, dressed in the plaid uniform skirt of St. Vincentís High School, running around the old wood-paneled building, and learning what it was to become over-involved.

St. Vincentís doesnít exist any more. It got torn down to build "Godís agitator," that San Francisco cathedral which looks like a washing machine. St. Vincentís consolidated with Sacred Heart (boysí) high school and the resulting co-ed school is now known as Cathedral High. I donít think Iíve ever been inside it.

I wonder if my name is still on the "Vincenta Plaque" somewhere. It was the schoolís highest honor. Iím not sure what it was given for. School spirit or something, I think.

The decision to attend St. Vincentís had been made because most of my graduating class from St. Brigidís grammar school decided to go to Presentation high school. I wanted to be different. Only 5 of us from St. Brigidís went to St. Vincentís. The school was one of the best business prep schools in town but it had recently added a college prep course, which I would be taking, and I was drawn to the smaller size (250 students in the entire school; 60 in my graduating class).

The school quickly became a refuge for me. I was the darling of the Sisters (we were taught by Daughters of Charity, who are not, technically speaking "nuns," but rather "sisters" -- the distinction now escapes me, but trust me; there is one). I was the kid who arrived early, and stayed late to help clean erasers or whatever else there was to be done.

By the time I entered my junior year, I pretty much had my finger in just about every pie there was (except sports; I never did sports). I sold candy in the cafeteria at lunch time, was on the school council, lead the rosary in the chapel at lunch time, belonged to the Legion of Mary, was the junior editor of the year book and the school expert at keeping the mimeograph and ditto machines running.

I sang in the choir and was part of a speech chorus. Iím not sure what they called it, but we performed a dramatic piece, as you would sing a song, but this was just a script. It had been written by our English teacher and I had one of the solo lines. Ironically, my line was "Why? Why my son?" speaking as the anguished mother whose son had been killed in the war. I thought about that after David died--how prophetic those lines had been, so many years ago.

When Senior year rolled around, I was running most of the activities in school. Pompous little wuss that I was. In addition to all the continuing activities, I also had the romantic lead in the Senior class play, "Trish." We imported the boys from Sacred Heart, but they couldnít find someone to play my love interest, so they branched out to the public schools and Randy arrived. By the time the play was presented, we were dating (though with a gaydar honed through years of association with gay friends, I realize now that he really was probably gay, which explained a lot of his disinterest in our relationship).

I was also now the editor of the yearbook, but in what was to prove to be another prophetic situation that would follow me throughout my life, I was so bad at finding workers and delegating authority, I ended up pretty much putting out the yearbook singlehandedly, with the help of only one or two other friends. Consequently, we missed every single printer deadline and two weeks before the end of school, I received the catastrophic news that our books would not be delivered until the month after graduation.

I will never forget the long walk back to my classroom, afraid to face my classmates. As I stopped outside the door, I heard Sister Zoe yelling at the class about how they were not to give me a hard time about the delayed yearbooks; that nobody had been willing to help with the production and they had nobody to blame but themselves that the books would not be out on time.

That crusty old dame that I was so often afraid of had gone to bat for me and to this day Iím grateful to her.

After the books were published, I learned my way around all of San Francisco because a group of friends and I packed all the books into the car and drove them to everybodyís house. (You can do that when there are only 60 in the graduating class!)

I graduated #3 in my class, and as such had the honor of delivering the class prayer for the graduation ceremonies, which I supposedly "wrote" (with a lot of assistance and supervision from the sisters). It was appropriate that I delivered the prayer. Everybody knew that when graduation was over, I would be heading to St. Louis to join the convent.

But as it turned out, that never happened.

I remember many years later when comparing notes with my friend Gilbert about high school experiences. He refused to say much about his years in high school except, "I hated every minute and couldnít wait to get out." As a gay kid going through high school in the 40s, itís not surprising that he would feel that way.

But for me, high school was really four years of activity, fun, and a lot of pleasant memories. As I look at the invitation to the grammar school graduation of our friendís daughter, I think to the years she has ahead of her in high school. I hope she enjoys her experience as much as I enjoyed mine.


One Year Ago:
The Family Vacation


Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo


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Created 6/3/01 by Bev Sykes