I always enjoy thinking of my former classmates. We were a
tight knit group. We shared the pain and gladness of growing up, as nothing
was hidden from us, which made
our life's experiences a stark reality. I was a patrol boy for three years and a alter boy for four years
assisting mass for Fathers Mahoney, MacDonald and Lane
I became a "gofer"
for our school principal Sister Olivette. Since I knew Chicago like
the back of my hand. For something to do I rode the El all day long in the summer. My
buddy and I used to sneak on the El platform and ride all the transit lines back
and forth all day and never got caught.
Oh the sisters always sent me downtown for flowers around Wabash
and Van Buran. I was also
like some kind of courier between schools picking up or dropping off envelopes ( email was't
invented yet). The flower thing was
more frequent. I never had to pay for them....I just picked
up a bouquet and gave them to the Sisters. They did give me carfare
which was about twenty cents for a two way ride. Although at times I
flipped a truck and saved the fare to spend at the penny arcades that lined State down
18th Street from
Minsky's south of Van Buren.
Once as I was returning with a bouquet of flowers I flipped a
truck down 18th Street but the driver stopped suddenly which signaled he knew I was back there. I took
off running down Canal Street followed by a man. After five blocks
I stopped and waited for the man. I figured he thought
I stolen something from the truck. When he approached I showed him the flowers but he
grabbed my t-shirt and took me back. He saw that the
truck was still locked so he kicked me in the rear and I walked back to school.
One cherished activity
was the choir. We had a three voice choir in our class that really
excelled. For a bunch of street rats (we likened ourselves to "The Dead End
Kids") we really had it together. We sang for the nuns, Sunday mass, Benedictions and stage
performances at St Stanislaus
hall. However; Christmas day and midnight mass was the best honor to our class.
As we grew older another activity we enjoyed
was getting out of class to clean the church. The girls
polished the wooden pews while the guys used a machine to polish the floor.
All the guys took turns sliding that machine back and forth.
During lent the school got to see the passion
play at the local theater. One year we went to the Palace Theater
on Halsted Street between 18th and 19th Streets. Another year the whole school
marched down to Thalia show on 18th near Allport Street..
In the school auditorium we had visiting orchestras, movies,
class plays, and ringworm exams. By eight grade the church began to
allow roller-skating in the church basement. It had a great wooden floor which
was comparable to any skating rink. It was also used for dances and seasonal
parties such as Halloween and Valentines Day..
Another time a few of us eight graders were allowed in the convent
to move furniture and clean the floor in their reading room. Afterwards ; we were brought down to the
basement where the cooking and laundry was done. We were given a slice of apple
pie baaked by one of the nuns. I was floored. I didn't know a nun could bake
so damn good!
kept in touch with Father Lane until he died as pastor of
Santa Maria Del Popolo. Some of my classmates like Manuel Adame went to California, Jim Sheeh to the Army and went to
New York, Beverly Mihalek ended up in Colorado, I went to Arizona,
other classmates stayed in Chicago ot it's suburbs like Ruth
Omalley, and Maryjane McCarthy, and my sister to New Lenox.
During the war years our school sold enough war bond stamps
to donate a jeep to the army. One day two soldiers brought
a jeep into the school yard and invited everyone
to sign their names allover the olive drab vehicle.
Since there was no school cafeteria, once a week I
went to Walsh public school (two blocks south) and bought lunch. It
was milk, with ground beef and gravy over potatoes, which is still
was one dollar per month in 1949. We had 33 students in our
class which meant 33 dollars a month
to the teacher......that's why they had the sisters of charity running the
Through the years I
couldn't see the girls. I will
send 7 pics from third grade wearing high-top laced boots to high heels in
eight grade, and the guys from wearing surplus army boots to loafers. The
class of 1949 was quite a trip, I wouldn't trade for anything."
YOU CAN HELP US!!!!!
As you can tell, our work has only just begun, and we will accept any help
from an alum or friend that attended Sacred Heart High School on 18th Street in
Chicago. Facts, photos of the school, the fate of the school building, and
memories are wanted. Please send your information to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or thru the mails at:
High School Glory Days
6439 North Neva
Chicago, IL 60631