August 25, 1992|
During the summer of 1934 while I was having a good time at camp Mamma and Daddy decided that they did not want me to go to Rahway High School and had enrolled me at Mt. St. Mary's Academy in North Plainfield N.J. So when I got home Mamma took me up for an interview. I decided to act real tacky so that I would not be accepted. I even chewed gum! Well they took me anyway.
My roommate was Jean Burke of Plainfield. My cousin Lee Herrington decided to send Eileen there too. Since the depression was still on there were only four boarders in our sophomore class. I think there were three day hops. Sister Mary Wilfred was principal.
For someone who had decided to be uncooperative I turned into a model pupil and resident. I did all right academically but was a star in sports. Our basketball team was tops. We played a lot of other private schools and won most of our games. I played side center and guard. I was #6.
I became the president of the Sodality and attended mass every morning. I wasn't the best person in the world but I did set a good example. Since my roommates and I were neat and kept our room orderly Sister Wilfred would take perspective students and their parents to see our room and say, "This is the way the girls keep their rooms". Ha!
Professor Montani of Philadelphia came every week to instruct us in singing. Some of us did well and were taught to sing the mass in four parts. I sang alto. Praise Ye The Lord was my favorite.
After study hall at night we would gather in the recreation room. Catherine Van Syckle played the piano and the rest of us would dance with each other. I never led. This was where I learned to dance.
I could write a book on all my adventures there .
Carolyn came when I was a Junior. She was no student so Eileen and I did our best to help her. She and Eileen also played on the basketball team .
Marie Lame was my roommate when I was a Junior and Margaret Burke in my senior year. Some of my teachers were Sister Leonard, Sister Virgine and Sister Mary Charles. Sister Cosmas was a special friend. Father Eagan was the resident priest. Charles Digby Wardlaw was our coach.
We had dances and Teas and all sorts of social affairs. I definitely was not deprived because I went to a convent boarding school. One custom at that time was for the directress to read the outgoing and in-coming mail. I wrote to lots of boys and had lots of return mail. Sister Wilfred tried to ridicule me by telling the whole student body that I told them all the same thing and that I had a rag on every bush, whatever that meant. It didn't bother me one bit!
We all thought that we would enter the convent when we graduated. My name was to be Sister Mary Valentine. Now I can't imagine such a thing. I'm not a good enough person.
I was never what one would call robust but I was healthy. However, while I was at Mt. St. Mary's I developed pneumonia and had to go home. I was very sick. In those days they didn't have the miracle drugs that we have now. The nurse was there 24 hours a day and I remember hearing my sister crying out in the hall. I was at home the whole time and Lee Herrington and other doctors attended me. I was 16 years old at the time. I finally recovered and went back to M.S.M. Sister Wilfred hovered over me and forced me to eat. I hated the food.
That summer on our way to camp in Maine we rode with the windows open in the station wagon and my hair kept coming out--probably caused by the high fever during the pneumonia. Eileen kept calling me " Garabaldie". I never did get even with her for that.
I graduated in June 1937. There were ten graduates that year.
next: Summer of 1937