Sunday, June 12, 2011

Gully's Guppies Graduate LaSalle Academy: June 12, 1972

39 years ago tonight, 208 seniors graduated LaSalle Academy at the Seaman's Institute in Chelsea. Thanks to Patrick Cullinan's photography, below are a few black & white pictures of the event. For me June 12, 1972 carried additional significance because my parents had not seen each other in over two years. Forced to be in the same space for the first time they took photos with me. After the ceremony and the picture taking, they talked in the back and my father approached me and told me they were going to dinner. I had mixed feelings.

406, our class, was known as Gully's Guppies. We were in a constant state of possibly having us asses kicked by the other five freshman classes. We loved every minute of it and welcomed the insults. The nickname was a tribute to Brother James Anthony Gully a man we all loved, a great teacher.

Gully's Guppies broke up during a teacher's coup that transferred several students in the middle of our sophmore year. The class of 1972 co-mingled well, fights were infrequent. We shared a common love for school sports & music and shared an intense curiousity for the world exploding and expanding right outside the doors of 44 East 2nd Street, LaSalle Academy, our school in the East Village.


I absolutely, positively, you bet, should've failed Geometry at LaSalle in June 1970 and spent my 16th summer in a hot 2nd Street classroom exploring my corollaries. My teacher, Patrick Cullinan, recognized the astronomical odds against me going to Cooper Union, and let me slide. Thank you, cool Pat, the summer of 1970 was a keeper.

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