The years go by, the backgrounds and the faces change, but the excitement of “school picture day” is still the same. From the minute the teacher sent home notice of “picture day” the only thing on your mind was which outfit to wear and how to “wear” your hair. Everyone came to school that day all polished up. Two months later, the teacher handed out pictures. No such thing as a “re-take” or a “make-up” day. The photographer came ONE day ONCE a year – that was it, period.
Mom is 8 years old, 3rd grade maybe. She attended St. Stanislaus Catholic School, Grades 1 through 8. Notice they haven’t invented the “school year” yet (1946-47), you simply wrote the year. The nuns wore habits, all teachers were female and the only adult male seen in school was the old janitor. There was no bus service and no cafeteria. You carried your lunch in a brown paper bag and had a milk ticket. If you lived within 2 blocks of the school, you were allowed to go home and eat lunch and you could take a friend if you wanted. You went outside to play, with the streets blocked off, after lunch every day unless it was raining or the temperature was below freezing. A big old bell called you back inside.
Fast forward 20 years and her daughter attended the same catholic school, grades 1 through 8, and the first class to begin a “merged” catholic school, 3 parishes using all 3 school buildings. Within 6 years the decline in enrollment brought all grades into one building.
Fast forward 50 years and her grandsons attended the same “merged” catholic school, grades K through 6, before the school finally fell victim to the economy and closed its doors for good.