Recently, I was lucky to attend an Alumni Meeting in November, while I was home visiting for a wedding. As I sat in our school hall the memories of that place just rushed through me. It was like I was watching an old movies series on a video. So here goes.
What I remembered so well was our “8th Grade Talent Show” that we performed live on stage, for our families and friends. The theme of the talent show had to do with our class performing (singing and acting) songs on stage. These songs had to be from our Music/Song Books that we used throughout our 8 years at Saint Casmir’s School. With very little stage props and costumes we did out best. It was like “Saint Casmir’s American Polish Idol”. I wish someone had caught those performances on tape.
The skit I was involved with was performing a song called “Pasquale”. This was performed with the assistance of 2 other 8th grade students (okay I won’t mention their names to protect their identity, but they know who they were). Since the songbooks were accompanied with records (so you could hear what the songs were supposed to sound like), many of them were played for the show and all we had to do was “lip sync” to them.
I can’t remember if Graduation was the same day, or if the talent show was before the graduation? I can remember that “Graduation Day” was June 10, 1962. I remember wearing a suit, posing for pictures on the steps of the main entrance to the school, and wearing 2 colored ribbons (one gold and one white, tied and secured together with a medal at the top).
I also remember we had an 8th Grade Yearbook, which was reproduced on mimeograph paper and it had things about our class and school in it. It also had special features like future class predictions and taking the first 2 initials of our names and using them to makes some statement about ourselves. Since my two initials were J and P, I was creatively labeled Jumbo Pizza. Boy what I would give if I could find that yearbook now. I don’t remember who worked on that yearbook, only that it had a yellow gold cover and white pages inside. The print was that mimeograph purple-blue with Courier typeset. I am sure someone out there might still have one.
While I sat there I also remembered that many “Sunday Socials” that were held in that building. So many Sunday afternoons were spent there playing Bingo. The refreshments of coffee and donuts were your consolation prize if you didn’t win at Bingo. Were those donuts from the “Donut Shop” on Crumb Ave, or the Arlington or Jamrus Bakery? What about those raffles and prizes from our local merchants? I remember so often seeing an “Infant of Prague” that someone would dress up in an ornate gown and be one of the most coveted prizes of the afternoon. Everyone I knew had an Infant of Prague, and I believe you were never to buy your own, as it was supposed to given to you as a gift (or won as a Bingo Prize). I heard if you rubbed the satin gown it was supposed to bring you good luck. I even knew some ladies who carried miniature ones in their purses to give them an edge at winning Bingo. Oh, did I just let out Aunt Sophie’s secret to winning?