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Thread: Tales of Catholic Grammar School

  1. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Spokane WA.

    Default Bcw

    Glad you enjoyed it, but that was when the HBZ was in his element, St Patricks School in Weston West Virginia,taught by the good Sisters of Mount St Joseph of Cincinatti, who dispensed Faith, Knowledge. and Love in equal proportions with discipline. Those Ladies loved us kids, but were very quick on the draw with a ruler across the knuckles.
    [/QUOTE]“Sometimes a player's greatest challenge is coming to grips with his role on the team.”
    ― Scottie Pippen

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Just north of I-80


    Bump ( after the shocking discovery in an abandoned footlocker of a cache of photos previously unseen by Reno ). . .

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Arrow Montana Experience

    Realize I am reading this thread quite late, but the stories are so memory stirring I have smiled the entire time.

    We had St. Francis nuns(huge habits, small headgear) and Jesuit priests. Entire Parish central was set up on one city block with inner area dedicated to school hour playground and event/mass parking other times. Gym, high school(120 kids), church, priest house/rectory(4 priests/ 5 bedrooms), grade school for 8 grades(approx 480 kids), Janitor's home(1000 sq ft/5 kids) and the nuns convent were buildings comprising the outer edge around the entire block. So big then, hard to imagine all that activity on one square block in the 50s and early 60s.

    1st to 5th grade used inner area as playground, 6th-8th(no recess of course) used an actual city street for lunch hour play. The "publicans", as we called all non-catholics, didn't really approve but Catholic voter turn-out was always the strongest so council and strategic police and fire positions were often under God's province if you will. Approved playing in the street must have escaped the city's insurance man in those days...hookie bobbing was world class all winter so long as you weren't caught. Lumber yard trucks from across the street to the north allowed up to "8 across" to catch a ride the entire block and you knew the trouble/punishment would be less since there were 8 of us.

    In addition, somehow the boys of my class, 60-68, were the apple of the nun's eyes(early on they could tell we were going to be just possibly the best athletic class to go thru 1928-2009, when measured in terms of all-state football and basketball players(I was the first with Division 1 scholarship offers in both sports only because my recess buddies played so hard)). Nuns loved all of us boys like little brothers for our competitive natures and gave us a little more latitude when it came to "symbolic" punishment. Sometimes as punishement we would have to come to the convent on Saturday mornings for work detail. Work lasted about a half an hour and then 4 or five nuns would take us into the high school gymnasium for great games of all kinds. Finally, they would get the key to the high school "candy store" and treat us to one 10 cent pop and one 5 cent candy bar...we loved them more than they ever understood.

    My mother, a Lutheran convert to Catholicism always questioned how my father approved of my evading Saturday morning "chores" in the name of "nun's Saturday punishment". He also could see something special in my group of guys and figured any "gym" time was well spent. And, the high school closed at the end of our 8th grade year so our awards were accomplished at the highest level of Montana high schools at the time---we loved our "publican" teammates by then and they welcomed us even though we had no tackle football experience till freshman year with them.
    Some unique experiences:

    All during Lent if you attended 8am mass you got to eat breakfast(no eating before communion) in the classroom during the first 20 minutes of school. The non-mass goers envied you until Easter.

    Milk was 3 cents if you brought your lunch and no chocolate milk was sold. Some would save the 3 cents to spend in the candy store on penny candy...tell me some of us weren't sugared up till school got out, especially if you started breakfast with Frosted Flakes.

    Being an altar boy had great benefits. Learned to do in Latin in 1964, had no idea what I was saying till English was adopted years later. Spring picnic( no school) with actual prizes donated by merchants, baseball gloves from an actual sporting goods store were the best. Summer detail included 1 week solid of 7am and 8am daily masses. These 5 days were memorable as first priest said 7 am mass in 18 minutes and took you to rectory for full hot breakfast he would prepare while smoking the largest cigars I ever encountered in my life. 8am priest would grab you at 5 to eight and this mass lasted the usual 30 minutes, then you would bike home.

    You've probably all seen the tv program "dumb crimnals", while I really wasn't in trouble much, I would have qualified for the program more than once. 6th grade first snow brought a quick 5 inches covering the entire playground/parking lot. As the snow stopped, math individual quiet work began. The good news is I finished 40 minutes of problems in about 15 what to do without letting the nun know I was done and ready for more.

    Just then my friend in front of me, a future aviation engineer, finished as well. As we sat in the row nearest the open windows, approx 14 inch openings, I had the Idea---who could make a paper airplane fly out the opening, glide the farthest, and stick in the snow. We still had a good 1/2 hr to get this competition going. Remember, the grade school had 8 classrooms overlooking the playgound and the high school had at least 6 classrooms who could also watch the aeronautics...I forgot all of this( I was a B student).

    As the contest heated up, I never realized just how fast I could make a paper airplane and hitting the opening was a piece of cake. Within about 20 minutes the 2 of us had flown about 40 planes into the snow, most of which were quite visible, AND THEN IT HAPPENED, simultaneously 2 priests came out the back of the rectory and 2 nuns came out the back of the high school.

    The light went off in my head as I looked across at the high school windows and could see half the high school and nuns at the window watching the competition, some laughing noticeably. A rather stern knock at the door and I knew I would never live to hear the word Boeing.

    And, as your life flashes before your eyes you realize your sophomore sister is one of the high school observers and your MOTHER WILL KNOW BEFORE THE PRINCIPAL EVER CALLS HER. Levels of punishment began immediately. Parish Pastor went first; we had to clean up all planes now as at least 300 high school and grade school kids watched...visual punishment/embarrassment would make an impression on all 300...their comments continue after all these years when we meet.

    Even my parish council father wasn't able to provide any leniency at school or home, and I was big enough for my mother to whack as she knew she wasn't actually hurting me, but it sure did make her feel better.

    More later, as I ended up going to a Mormon college, Catholic College, and GU Law.
    Last edited by RenoZag; 11-20-2009 at 05:51 AM.

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