It's a time for joy
The song was popular that year--and the entry will prove that it's not entirely accurate!)
Breakfast: Special K
The Elegant Gathering
We're attending my
POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE
13 June 2004
You know how certain dates stick in your mind? I was looking at the calendar today, and realized that it was 44 years ago today, June 12, 1960, that I graduated from high school.
Oh my lord, does that make me feel old!
Im trying to remember what our graduation was like and only getting bits and pieces.
The awards ceremony, as well as the speeches, took place a day or two before. We were a class of 60 women and I was 3rd in the class, so it fell to me to give the "class prayer," which I cant even remember now. I suspect that I had lots and lots and lots of nun-type help writing it, so felt little pride of ownership and just read it, nervously quaking as I did. I never was a public speaker.
The graduation itself was held at St. Marys Cathedral. It was a huge gothic building on Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco, which burned down a few years later and was replaced by the building we now refer to as the "washing machine agitator" because thats what it looks like (check the link if you doubt me!). That building was built on the site of my high school, which was torn down.
(We always suspected the bishop hired someone to come in and torch the beautiful old Cathedral so he could get a new building.)
Its funny but all I really remember about that day was that my parents bought me a lei of beautiful red and white carnations to wear over my white robe.
And I remember saying goodbye to my classmate Ruth Rose. Funny that I dont remember any other interactions with anybody else. Ruth was one of a handful of African Americans in the class and we had a kind of joking respect for each other. But our lives were significantly different and somehow I knew that when we said goodbye on the steps of the cathedral Id never see her again.
I might have been right, except that I attended our classs 25th anniversary and, amazingly, Ruth showed up. She had gone on to major in French and had some high-fallutin government job that took her to France and she remarked about how the French she met were so rude it made her angry that she had wasted all those years studying their language.
The group of us at the reunion all went out for drinks afterwards, but Ruth left early. Not wanting to see her go so quickly, I walked her to her car and she made some comment about how now that shed seen how her classmates had turned out, she had no desire to associate with them again.
Recently, I volunteered to be the "class reporter" for our Class of 1960, and to get in touch with my former classmates to find out what theyve been doing lately. I was not able to get Ruths e-mail address, but I did get her snail mail address and wrote to her. I suppose I shouldnt be surprised to hear that there was no response.
My parents had a party for me after the graduation ceremony. At the time I was both dating my leading man from our senior class play and preparing to enter the convent in 3 months.
With my parents and my "Big Sister," Joycie Rodriguez
I dont really remember much more about the day other than saying goodbye to Ruth, and having Randy be at the party. I didn't go into the convent because Sister Anne thought I was too serious about Randy, and as soon as I left San Francisco and went off to college, I dumped him. (I suspect he was just as glad because I suspect he was gay.)
Funny how there are these momentous occasions in our lives and we think were going to remember them in minute detail for the rest of our lives, but in the end, they become just little snips and snaps of memories, all mixed up with the other snipettes of memories from throughout our lives.
The memories I have of my high school graduation are as clear as the memory of peeing on the library floor because I couldnt get to the bathroom, sitting on a bench in the playground in grammar school watching a guy named Joe Tufo (who I think I only saw once in my life, so I have no idea how I remember his name today) play basketball, and deciding he was going to be the man Id marry, stealing bits of chocolate from the little store near our house, the instant I realized there was no Santa Claus, breaking my mothers marble book ends, and a host of other snippets, all of which have been given the same level of importance in my brains filing cabinet.
I guess that should teach us to savor the moment to its fullest because no matter how much you think you can go back and relive the memory again, you probably cant.