OK, let’s get one thing straight. I am not a gushy sentimentalist. However, when I decided to begin this blog, little did I know how much I would enjoy thinking about various experiences as I grew up. I can’t help but remember the lyrics to The Way We Were. They seem so appropriate for my blog, especially in light of this post’s subject.
Memories, light the corners of my mind
Misty watercolor memories of the way we were.
Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we give to one another
For the way we were.
Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me would we? Could we?
Memories, may be beautiful and yet
What’s too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
So it’s the laughter we will remember
Whenever we remember
The way we were.
What has driven my sudden burst of sentimentality are some pictures I recently unearthed that were taken in 1961. The event was the May Crowing in Grade 4 at Holy Name Grade School. I had just gotten a camera the past Christmas and was given permission by Mom to take to school to be a photo journalist for the day and document the epic event. Mrs. Smith, our teacher, consented and I rather sheepishly snapped away. I remember my mom telling me to not go crazy shooting the pictures since flashbulbs and film developing cost money and we didn’t have money to waste. I complied and was very frugal with my endeavors.
As a Duquesne hunky who was Catholic, the May Alter and Crowing was a BIG event for us. Praying to the Blessed Virgin was a way of life for the hunkys, especially the women. I would venture a guess and say that the vast majority of hunkys in Duquesne were Catholics. The number of Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic parishes in such a small town would probably validate my assertion. I remember always seeing the little old ladies, aka bubbas, in church on any day of the week, with their babushkas in place, and their rosary beads clutched in their hands. Their lips would silently mouth the Hail Mary as the prayed the rosary, even while the Mass was being celebrated. Their devotion to the Virgin Mary made the May Crowing event the big deal that it was.
So take a moment and look back in time with me. Perhaps some of these faces or names are familiar. Perhaps you can help me fill in some of the ?’s!
1. Wanda Jeffries (now Wanda Jeffries Giles) 2. Jane Smouse 3. Karen Dagle 4. ElaineTorres 5. Bernadette Lucas 6. Mrs. Mary Smith (4th Grade Teacher) 7. Carol Gibbons 8. Mary Beth Higgs 9. Barbara Wirth (The May Queen) 10. Amy Mariani 11. Noreen Shanley 12. Debbie Abbatangelo 13. Judy Needham 14. Mary Petrozza ? Unknown ? Unknown
1. Carol Gibbons 2. Debbie Abbatangelo 3. Jane Smouse 4. Amy Mariani 5. Candace? ? 7. Judy Needham 8. Barbara Wirth 9. Mary Petrozza? 10. Bernadette Lucas ? 12. Mrs. Mary Smith 13. Johnny Lalor!! (LOL)
1. David Newmeyer 2. Raymond Lucas 3. Michael Balaban 4. Mrs. Mary Smith ? Candace 5. Mary Petrozza ? 6. Amy Mariani 7. Judy Needham 8. Barbara Wirth 9. Mrs. Geraldine Julianna
Here are some of the same pictures without the number in case you’d like to copy and save them for yourself. Also, here are a few more that I found from the same event. The last, rather poorly lit photo contains a group of children that I am not familiar with. They must have been from the various grades in a group shot. If you know who they, please let me know!
Check back in a few days. I have received some information from Sister Karen at the Sisters of St. Joseph’s Mother House in Baden about the Sisters that taught at Holy Name. Until then… be safe!