Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Friendly Ghosts

This past September, I toured St. Stephen of Hungary's grammar school and church with Principal Katherine Peck. In several locations during the walk I had out of body experiences where I clearly saw full classrooms from the 1960s, nuns, priests, brothers, teachers and custodians moving around, telling us what to do, but mostly what not to do. I could've touched them. I'm a little weird, I liked school, loved playing but school was home, felt like I belonged, learned a lot about junk and life.

Last Friday, I was one of three judges in a Saint Stephen's Student Speech Contest in the school's auditorium. There were eight contestants and they were all amazing. Education is flying high at Saint Stephen's. I had a ball.

The speech contest was in the auditorium space where from 6 to 14 years old, I was in plays, watched movies, I was in the audience, got thrown out a few times. Followed President Kennedy's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Program. I still hate Jumping Jacks. Hung out in Mr. Varga's office, stuck uneatable sandwiches under the lunchroom tables so I could get an empty tray through the nun's careful you must eat everything inspection. Became part of Troop 654 Boy Scouts, sung in Hungarian, played tackle football, field hockey, whiffle ball, and Johnny on the Pony (when the nuns weren't looking). Kissed a girl at a dance in early March 1969. The song playing was a slow one, "Season of the Witch."

I'm happy Saint Stephen's is still part of my life.

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