Stinkin’ Linkin’

lincolnThis is a terrible picture of my old elementary school. I only had my iPhone with me and I wasn’t really geared up for photography during that particular walk. Next time, I’ll have to try to get up a little closer and do a slideshow. “This was my kindergarten room.” “This was where my little brother broke his wrist.” (And subsequently learned to use his cast as a weapon.) “This is the door that all of my 1st grade classmates once used to enter the school *before* the bell rang, giggling away rapturously. They didn’t get caught but when *I*, the cautious rule-follower tried to follow them a few minutes of deliberation later, the dim-witted janitor pointed and yelled, ‘YOU, OUT!!!!'” Sigh.

We covered a lot of topics at the high school mini-reunion the other night and one of them was where people went to grade school. And I kept hearing myself say (obnoxiously enough), “Oh, I walked by that school [or house or whatever] last weekend!” Because I had been up there the weekend before and walking is one of the things that I do. Back then, there were six (and then seven) grade schools in town and several township K-8 schools that fed kids into our large comprehensive high school.

In those days, we also had two thriving K-8 Catholic schools and, Loretto, our Catholic high school. It’s odd that, as a heathen with a Methodist upbringing, large Catholic families seem to be my lot in life. I have been linked by marriage to a wonderful Catholic family for many years and have plenty of history hanging around with similar families.

So, I went to Lincoln School as a grade-schooler and I had plenty of friends there, despite what I might sometimes say on this here blahg. But the friend that I probably spent the most time with in those days was my friend Laurie, who attended St. Joseph’s School a couple blocks away. We lived about a block away from each other and we fought wars with the neighborhood boys many days after school and absolutely every Saturday throughout grade school. And I mean *wars*. There was a family of four boys on the other side of my alley who regularly threw *rocks* at us. As well as other neighborhood families of disrepute that we would interact with occasionally. She was supposed to clean her room before she could play on Saturday and I always had to wait for that although her mom would usually relent and allow me to “help”. Roight…

Laurie wasn’t at the dinner the other night. I don’t think she lives near enough. But almost half the people that were there had gone to the Catholic schools up there in Siberia. A couple of things happened halfway through my high school years, between sophomore and junior years. One was that our terribly overcrowded high school population moved from an ancient fire-trap of a school to a new building on the outskirts of town. The other was that the local Catholic schools closed due to financial problems and a state-wide no-vote of aid to non-public schools, so all of the kids from Loretto joined us at Sault High. At one rather late point in the evening, it seemed as though all of the Catholics (who may not all be Catholic any more for all I know) were on one side of the table and us heathens (speaking only for myself) were on the other side. Well, except for the GG, who *did* attend Catholic grade school. He was invited to move to the other side!

I haven’t fact-checked this but I *think* that the Soo has Catholic schools again these days and I have to say, more power to them. And the old Finlayson School is now a Native American charter school. It has been expanded and it is beautiful. And more power to the Indians. I believe that my grandfather would be happy to see who is running the school that was once a public school named after him. Maybe another time, I will tell my old schoolmates about Grandberry’s history. I couldn’t do it this time and that is okay.

3 Responses to “Stinkin’ Linkin’”

  1. gg Says:

    I is interesting that all of the schools in Sault Sainte Marie were named after presidents, except for Finalyson school!

  2. Margaret Says:

    I haven’t gone very far from my roots either; I live near to my old elementary school and teach in the high school from whence my husband and I graduated. (he was in the first graduating class of 71) It makes it fun to reminisce with my classmates, since I can see the changes. Some of them are kind of depressing though.

  3. Tonya Says:

    I attended a whole BUNCH of different elementary schools because in the midst of the baby-boom, lots of new schools in our district were built and the boundaries were constantly re-aligned. All within the same town, but from K-6 (elementary) I attended 4 different schools. What is so very cool is that I am still good friends with a few of the CHILDREN I went to those schools with. Margaret I met in 7th grade (junior high) since we didn’t attend elementary school together. The dynamics and memories of those years really have an impact. Like remembering EXACTLY where I was in my 2nd grade reading group when we got word that President Kennedy had been shot, and our teacher breaking down in tears. What’s weird is that a lot of the schools I went to were brand new at the time, and now are considered OLD. Jeeze.