Confessions I never told a priest!

Updated: Feb 8

St. Martha grade school confessions

I was an air force brat, born in Las Vegas in 1950, and mom and I followed dear old dad to England where we lived just outside London from 1952 to 1955

We travelled over and back to the states on the USS Gen. Wm. O. Darby troop transport, and we stayed in NYC at the Henry Hudson hotel for a month while dad awaited orders. When they finally came, we moved to Savanna, where my dad was stationed at Hunter Airbase.My illustrious career at St. Martha’s school started in September 1957 as we had just moved up from Georgia back to mom’s family home in Akron on Howard St. on North Hill.

Growing up in my grandparents’ home with mom’s 3 brothers meant I had plenty of role models, Jerry a college freshman, Richard, a basketball star from John Carrol, and Ed an actual rocket scientist. So, what happened to me you ask? With all that influence surrounding me, I was still just a kid, awkward, eager to explore the nearby woods, waiting nervously for school to start and be the new kid in school.

That summer I had gotten my best bike ever, which was quite a trade up from the hand me down Schwinn one speed, with wide handlebars I had inherited from my youngest uncle Jerry.

Labor Day meant school was here, so I joined my new third grade classmates and got to explore the many wonders of this big old building. It was attached to the church and had various levels of classrooms, and my 3rd grade class was on the lower East side. I think we also housed the mimeograph machine for all the teachers to use. If I remember correctly, it was also called the “ditto machine”.

That amazing smell of freshly printed, blue ink quiz sheets, or the daily lesson, or lined writing paper to correctly learn upper- and lower-case cursive, and block printing. I remember helping the teacher run many hundreds of copies and I would always take that smell home with me on those days. We also had an Annex for 5th and 6th grade classes in the far corner of the playground, and I got to enjoy Mr. Nash for 5th grade and then next year his mom for 6th grade. I hope I got those years correct.

I do remember Mr. Nash had a perforated wood paddle, to keep us in line, but what I can’t picture was the coat room, or was it just hooks on the back wall? And more importantly, the restroom, did we have to wait and use the one in the main building? Surely, we must have had or own? I just can’t remember, please mention in the comments if your memory is better than mine.

We also had a that fabulous multi-function room that was the lunchroom, (home of the Best Lunch Ever blog I wrote about earlier), and the auditorium with a stage, a band practice room, and also the dodgeball and basketball court. I vividly remember having to take down the many folding tables and chairs in preparation for basketball practice, or gym class for dodgeball. This reminded me of time we were waiting for the gym teacher to show up to unlock the trunk with all the balls and other miscellaneous equipment.