Monday, December 21, 2009

Mondays with Mother


School pictures. 

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.    


  1. Thanks for your visit and nice words. I enjoy seeing your mother's photos.
    Have a warm holiday.

  2. Sandy, your Mom looks so pretty here, and those school pictures usually never came out great. You can see the excitement in her face. She was ready for this one. I attended Catholic school, too. Grades 1-8 at St. Elizabeth's. Some of my best childhood memories come from there. An all girls Catholic High School for 4 years, some of my worst growing up memories :(
    But, the 4 years of a Coed Catholic University that followed was pure bliss! I'm sorry to hear that your Catholic Primary school did eventually close. That is so sad, especially when the whole family attended. But you all have the memories at least. Our grammer school is still hanging on, but it was just recently announced that my Catholic High School is closing down. I missed my Monday's with Mother this week, and my Friday's with Father will be taking a backseat to Christmas. Hope you and your family have a Merry and Blessed Christmas.