Sunday, October 5, 2008

School Days, Part 2

Grammar school in 1947 was nothing like today. We wore uniforms, sat in rows of desks with folding bench seats, and inkwells, that's right, inkwells. In first grade we wrote with pens that had a nib point and you had to dip them in ink to write. Then, along about third grade came fountain pens that had a rubber bladder that you filled with ink and you were good for a couple of days. The down side of fountain pens was that they leaked, and every boy's uniform shirt pocket had the blue splotch to prove it. Finally, in the 7th or 8th grade came (wonder of wonders) the ball point pen by Papermate. No ink, just click and write. We actually changed the refills when the pen ran dry. Nothing was thrown away.
Around third grade we made our First Communion. Boys wore stylish outfits like the one pictured, while girls wore white dresses with veils. Today First Communion parties are elaborate affairs costing more than my wedding. For my First Communion, I cleared around ten bucks and felt like Donald Trump. For Confirmation a few years later, boys dressed more conservatively in dark blue suits. My mother dragged me to Klein's Department Store in Union Square to buy a suit. She made sure it was a big enough fit to last me a few years. (Mom, you'll be happy to know that the suit fits me to this day!)

While attending Our Lady of Lourdes, I met my two best friends in the world, Rich Bilello and Phil Simeone. We remain good friends to this day and recently reunited in Phoenix for the wedding of Phil's lovely daughter Claire to Marc. (From left, me, Phil and Rich).

Rich and I tracked down and recently had lunch with one of our Lourdes teachers, Brother Jude, along with our wives Joann and Jasmine. He was an exceptional teacher and person who had an immeasurable impact on both our lives. He also coached all the sports teams, so we saw a good deal of him, both during and after school. He looks great, and we had a wonderful time. (But look out if he takes off his means he's coming down the aisle for you).


LOOKING FOR A WORTHY CHARITY? TRY THESE FOLKS: Children's Craniofacial Association

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