January 13th was my birthday, however in our family it was hardly noticed, no special party, not even a birthday cake. I was a student in the 4th grade at Washington School in our small mining town of Dickson City, PA.
Turning the calendar to the next event which was the coming of the lent season of 40 days before Easter Sunday. We strictly fasted to the Catholic Church restriction of not eating meat on Friday. That was no big deal to our family as we were lucky to have chicken once a week and that was usually on Sunday. It was the custom in our parish that on the day (Saturday) before Easter Sunday, we youngsters carried a family food basket to be blessed by the parish priest. After a morning mass, the priest walked down the main church aisle swishing holy water as we uncovered the cloth cover of our baskets, which mostly contained homemade bread, colored Easter eggs, ham, horseradish and the main item POLSKA KELBASI, which was "laced" heavily with garlic. What an aroma lingered in that church when we uncovered our baskets!
May 1st our teacher, Miss Callahan, conducted a "May Pole" with colored paper streamers attached to a pole. This event was mostly attended in the school yard by the girls of our class.
The first week of June was graduation day. We were happy to receive passing marks to the next grade. It was the rule at this period of time, if one failed upon graduation - they sat back for another year.
Summer school vacation was a joy, all the boys relished. Three (3) months of playful days ahead! However, the good times "rolled by" and came September and advancement to the 5th grade.
October arrived and a boy's interest in Major League baseball was the World Series. Hardly any of the households in our town had a radio except Schoonover's Drug Store. We were attracted to the store's front window and Mr. Schoonover posted a scorecard on the outdoor window, he entered the progress of the game inning by inning.
November 1st was a religious holiday....We attended a service at the cemetery. We lighted candles on the graves of our departed family members. When darkness appear, the view from our homes toward the cemetery (which was set upon a hillside) where the burning candles on the graves gave me an eerie feeling, as the candle flames flickered in that deep mystery of this cold November night. Amen!
|Family photograph||Memoir Index||Vacation|