If you graduated between 1970 and 1979, please share your memories here!
Angela Orlando
8/31/2010

I have so many memories of the years I spent at St. Stan’s.

When I started first grade (there were no pre-school or kindergarten classes back then!) – we had three first-grade classes. My class was very small – on the top floor of the building and is probably now the teacher’s lounge. My teacher was Mrs. DeGennaro. The other first grade classrooms were on the second floor. Across from our classroom was the Nurse’s Office. Yes, we actually had a school nurse!

My second grade teacher was Mrs. McShane – every day after lunch we prayed a decade of the Rosary.

Third grade was Sr. Miriam Elizabeth.

Fourth grade was Mrs. Walsh – she was a St. Stan’s institution! And OMG – she smoked cigarettes! Can you imagine???

Fifth grade – Miss Ireland.

Sixth grade – Sr. Pacifica. I probably would never have learned the words to The Star Spangled Banner if it weren’t for her.

Seventh grade – Mrs. Worth.

Eighth grade – Sr. Catherine Cunningham – who played the Woodstock album (as in record album – we didn’t have cassette tapes, 8 tracks, CDs, MPGs or IPODs in those days!) for our class – it was unheard of! Sr. Catherine bought me a box of saltwater taffy and sent it home with my sister when I couldn’t go on the 8th grade trip to Rye Playland. For that, and so many other things, I’ll never forget her.

You’ll notice that all the teachers were Mrs. or Miss – we didn’t have “Ms.” back then, and I’m pretty sure they all wore dresses and skirts. Pants weren’t that popular for women.

Most of the Sisters wore full habits when I started school and then modified habits. Only Sr. Miriam continued to wear the full habit for as long as I can remember.

Part of our uniform was a beanie cap. This was a necessity as women of all ages had to cover their head in Church and the entire school body went to Mass the first Friday of every month (First Friday Mass). If you didn’t have your beanie, a hat or a veil, you had to bobby-pin a tissue to the top of your head!

In the morning and during lunch we played in the school yard – jump rope and Double Dutch, Chinese jump rope, tag, hand clapping games (like Miss Lucy Had a Baby), cat’s cradle, handball (if you didn’t get caught!), Red Rover, Red Light/Green Light, Mother May I?, London Bridge, Punchinello, The Farmer in the Dell (there were so many!) and, of course, every Spring, we “flipped” Topps baseball cards.

When Sr. Miriam rang the first bell you had to “freeze” where you were in the school yard and when she rang the bell again you got on line in silence (each class had a designated spot where they lined up –in size order). And then one by one, each class walked into the school with their teacher in the lead. We started each day with the Pledge of Allegiance and our morning prayers.

If you didn’t go home for lunch, you ate in the cafeteria (now known as our gym – we didn’t have PE classes back then) – and you could buy tuna or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hot dogs and pretzels.

In the mornings, during lunch period and after school, our parish priests “patrolled” the school area – it sure kept everyone on their toes!

I remember that in first grade we could dress up to celebrate All Saints Day. On Halloween the Mother’s Club would bring cupcakes to each classroom. The best ones had a little charm baked inside – I’m sure somewhere along the line those were considered choking hazards and banned! And at Christmas, Santa came and gave everyone a stocking filled with candies.

I have many memories of my friends and classmates and of the wonderful teachers. It was a wonderful time.

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Nancy D'Errico
6/19/2011

Dear Angela,
Hi fellow 1973 alumni. I hope you remember me. We had some of the same teachers and I used to live on Flushing Ave. and you lived around the corner on 61st street. I also rented the first floor apartment in your Uncle Frank's house in 1993 then he sold it in 2000. What you wrote helped me to remember back in the good days at St.Stan's. I hope there will be another reunion soon. I was not able to make the last one. E-mail me when you get the time.

Reguards,
Nancy

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