Monday, May 26, 2008

More at Kimberly Ave School and onto Saint Peter's School

Here is where I met two of my lifetime friends. George Chambrelli and Bobby Caliendo. I guess we just had a whole lot of things in common and it was easy to become friends. First of all we all shared a common Italian heritage and the same kind of family closeness. Not to say that others did not have a history of family closeness. But when you talked about having pasta three times a week, and visiting Nana twice a week, George and Bobby did not look at you as if you were from Mars. Our friendship continued when we transferred to Saint Peter's school. These two guys were tremendous athletes and won many trophies and alkalies. I, a skinny kid who could not hit the ball very far, did manage to make the Saint Peter's baseball team in the eight grade and was privileged to play on a team that hosted these great athletes and many others. These great guys, both on the field and off, allowed us to win the catholic district championship in 1954. Saint Peter's school provided us with a first class education. The Nuns insisted that we learn to read, write, and master math. I still, as many others of my era, can recite my multiplication tables. Mother Matilda was our favorite Nun and we hers. Our class had the privilege of having her both in the seventh & eight grade. Her choice and most of us were trilled. The Catholic church played a very important role in our lives. The church was the center of our activities. We learned at an early age to be God Fearing children and that later transpired into God Fearing adults. To say we were angels would not be true. We did get into trouble and did have to be reprimanded both by our parents and our teachers and, even sometimes, by the police. But we never got into the kind of trouble that required us to be put away. There were kids of our generation that fell in that category, but not us. We never did anything seriously wrong and always make a good confession to a tolerant Priest. We saved the really bad stuff to confess to the Priest at Saint Anthony's that did not have English as his first language. Bad stuff was maybe rated PG in today's society. Our class size at Saint Peter's was 37 all taught by one Nun and we all learned. We did have dumb kids in our class and they were told so. Unlike today you were required to keep up with the class, not just try. I can't say enough about the quality education I got at Saint Peter's. It helped me and I'm sure my other classmates, to prepare to enter into our society as a young adult ready and willing to be a contributor.
More to come on growing up in a tough neighborhood.