“NOW… I Lay Me Down to Sleep”

This Photo is of the “BIG GIRL’s” dormitory… and the “NUN” that slept in that small cubicle …in that far right hand corner… was “Sister Seraphine”. She was also the “NUN in charge”  of the third floor dormitories and all of the “Girl’s” clothing – – that is the numbering of  each girl’s identification number  into each and on  every piece of clothing – – and my number was … #91.

Looking down this row of beds – – near the windows – – count down about six beds – – and that would be where I slept for the last three to four years – – till GRADUATION DAY – – and then I  left. Before this “BED ROOM” – – I was in another DORM and the  “NUN in charge”  was the same NUN in charge of the LAUNDRY . I slept right next to her cubicle when I first came here – – and later was moved to a bed in the opposite corner of the room – – and that is the spot for this part of the story. 

When I received the “Sparton Radio” I would plug it in to the electric on the Pavilion – – so as to re-charge the battery – – so that we could listen to music and dance. Some of the girls that like music and had lots of “get-up-and go” would do all kinds of dancing – – some of the dances the older girls would do – – we younger girls would copy. 

If you watch any of the old time movies – – the ones of the “Army Canteen” since we had just finished WWII – – and most of the movies featured  music and dancing – – and that is what we ‘girls’ were  doing – – so much Fun – – and the time went by faster. At… ten after seven every day – – it was time to head for the dormitories. When you were in the ‘eight grade’ – you were allowed to stay up till … “twenty five  past eight” – –  as everybody would get up at “five-thirty” in the morning – – since we had to all be in CHURCH for Mass at “six o’clock” – – rain or shine.

So… I would undo the plug from the electric and plug it into the back of my radio – – and get in line carrying  my radio. We had a procedure which we do follow – – each night – – saying our set of evening prayers aloud and unmaking the bed – – folding the spread just so…so – undressing and hanging our play-clothes correctly on the chair beside our bed- – even the socks hung on the rail of the bed. Your clothes never hit the floor – – you did have to wear them tomorrow – – except for Church and School –  – and each place and time they were hung with care!

In a short amount of time…all lights were out – – a few vigil lights would be burning in front of different statues of SAINTS on high pedestals throughout  the corridors – – a night light in the bathroom – – and the NUNS were all off for PRAYERS and or recreation?

So… now I would turn my radio on very low – – had it sitting on my chair – – right near to my bed – – and would have one of the terrific story programs on — and in the day – – they were all “top drawer” stuff. Well “Linda Crow” was in the bed next mine – – and she whispered…”Can I listen…too?” – – “SURE’ – – “Just pull the head of your bed closer.” So , for many a night the two of us would listen to stories – – until… we would hear the “NUN” coming down the corridor – – each  “NUN” would have a certain way of walking – – and the way they walked and the way their “Rosary and beads” would rattle along with their  garments – – each NUN had a distinctive sound – – and you would know “WHO” and how much time you had – – so that you would not get into any trouble.

“Radio off… my dress thrown over the chair and radio – – and I slept like a “new-born baby” – – finishing the story as I fell asleep!”

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“1947 Sparton Radio – instead of record player”

The best time in all the seven years of my LIFE – – of being an ORPHAN – – would be – – when “VISITING SUNDAY” would finally get here!  At first in the Orphan Home there was only one Visiting Sunday a month – – and then that was increased to the second and fourth    SUNDAY of the month. 

So NOW…after the “record Player” was sent back to “FAMOUS BARR STORE” – – I had to wait till my MOTHER would be out to see us – – and ask for a radio – – since there was no hope of using the records at home on  a record player – – but would MOM want to go to the expense to buy one – – and would it be something that would be approved of by the NUNS?

When my MOTHER would come to visit us – – she would always bring a shopping bag of all kinds of good stuff – – especially some of the things that I would ask for – – on a “POST CARD”  – – a regular grocery list – – sent just the week before visiting day. I liked “Hi HO Crackers” – – “Bosco Chocolate Syrup”   – – “Sardines”  ans “Grapefruit” – – and sometimes my MOM would  also bring a pan of homemade “FUDGE” – – which was always the best.  And… since my MOTHER was a saver of “mail” – – she had some of my old “POSTCARDS” – – and  of course – – years later going through stuff – – when moving – – found some of these old cards – – and still have somewhere – – just good old memories… today!

“Visiting SUNDAY” – – “WOW” – – Now I have to sell my MOM on the idea of getting me a portable radio – that I can plug in – – when I can – but be able to play when not  near any electric outlet?  The good radio stories that they had on radio in the 1940 and 1950’s were terrific  – – the same as we would listen to when we were home – – and then they had “MUSIC”  – – the “TOP FIVE” hits – –  and one song, the  “Twelfth Street RAG” – – which I would like to dance to – – as did some of the other girls in my class – – and even some of the older girls.

Then there was was someone around – – as always some of the other kids had no Visitors – – and always enjoyed being around my MOM – – as she always had lot of good stuff to say – – just like I do today – – part of living is always  to enjoy having FUN and LAUGHTER – -makes one feel good – – even though they are not where they want to be. BUT… someone that liked the listing to the Ball GAMES” – – which I was not really “big” on doing – – and when my MOM heard that – – she said that she was not interested in getting a radio for that. – – so I had to really turn the conversation around – – and ended up promising that – – I would not waste my time listening to ballgames!

So… when my MOM left us that vising Sunday – – I really did not know if she would – – or would not buy a radio for me – – just had to start praying that – – she might – – 


“WHO says that” PRAYERS” – – are not answered?”

The next “VISITING SUNDAY” – – here my MOM is with a brand new portable radio  – – just like the PHOTO… below!

Sparton 6AM06

This “Sparton Radio” looks just like the one I had – – it took a couple of days to recall the name – – of course the one above has been restored – – but the one that I had – – had no problems with and had for a good many years – – and in moving  – – well I guess someone must have like it better than me – – and helped their selves to it.

“Can you dance this fast?”

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“This is the Playground – Girl’s Side”

If only we had the electrical equipment that the children in the world have TODAY – – boy ‘OH BOY’ – what pictures would I have for ‘Show and Tell’ – – but we did not have!

This is my younger brother, Denny – – and he is on my bike – – and is there a story – – for me to tell about that bike???

There are the swings that we would swing on  – – it is the ‘PITS’ – – that only I have a small  and old box camera – – that did belong to my DAD – – and taking  ‘PICTURES’ – –  well … it was just playing a game – – maybe and may be not – – some of these pictures will turn out okay???

You see what I mean???  Someone forgot to advance the film – – and sometimes – – that same someone – – took two pictures and did so on only advancing the film half a turn — – and so we can only guess at what we are seeing?

BUT… and for sure that is “Patsy Counts” sitting on the swing seat – – and standing  on the same seat is “Gail Porter”  and the two would swing just as high as they could – – what FUN… we kids had???

“Gail” was in my same class and “Patsy” was a grade ahead of us in school.”

This is ME – – sure glad that I had an old bike at home – – so that my DAD could bring ‘it’  out for me to ride. But of course having a bike of my own – –  there were always “fair-weather friends”  – – every one has a few – – what  ever you have…  that  ‘something’ – – and you will  share with those – – some of them really do not like you – – only long enough to get to use your stuff – – then they do not  care  later on…  to share their stuff.

When you live in an Orphanage – –  you soon learn “WHO”  are real friends – – and those that can not stand to be friends with anyone – – some have problems – – that will never ever be resolved – – so this type of a place is a very good learning ground – – for you to form  your basic instincts of who to  trust and  how to learn to live with others – – with cool feelings – -knowing that this is only a temporary situation.

Anyway… this was the back drop  – – of finding…  that I had received a very nice record player – – but… that the NUNS – – decided this was not a safe place to have one – – so if  you the reader tune in – – tomorrow – – you may find out what happens … NEXT???

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“Ask – Receive – Can Not Have”

When you are around ten years old – – there is one thing that you will do – – and that is to “ASK” for things that – – you would like – – and feel that by asking – –  you will have fun – – and of course those children in your school class would also enjoy, too.

As an Orphan – – you did get to go home for a couple of weeks visit – – always hoping that these “Visits” would be permanent… but seems that each time – – there is a return to Orphan Home. – – But on one such visit home – – you were in the basement to help to  do the laundry – – and of course being a nosy kid  – – you spend a lot of time looking through baskets of stuff since there is the possibility of maybe finding something you would like – – and just maybe you would be allowed to take to the Orphan Home – – when you have to return – there. 

“WOW” – What a wonderful find. It was hard to believe – – that  there were three or four baskets of records – – and they all looked like they were in good shape – – so I just had to “ASK” if I could have? – – “Well … there is no record player for these records to be played on – – but  – – if you want these – – you can have them – – but wait until we can purchase a record player – – first and then we will bring the records out to you.”

Image result for vintage record players 1940s

After a week or two  – – of having returned to the Orphan Home – – it was almost this same time of year. School was out and when our  daily chores were done for the day – – I would spend a lot of my free time on the swings – – as you could sing and swing and see all over everywhere

There I was on the swings and a couple of other girls – – singing and swinging as high as possible when a very large truck was pulling into the side drive-way – – and then pulling onto the playground — and then parking near the kitchen entrance. A man got out and went into the kitchen and so a couple of us girls got off the swings and walked over to see what was going on – – since we did not have many deliveries coming to the HOME  this way  – – as there was a front entrance available – – but the size of the truck may have been the problem.

It sure was good – – since I heard my name mention by the driver to the NUN working in the kitchen – – and he had this very large box – – and the store name  sending this – – was FAMOUS BARR – – from the downtown St.Louis area – – which would be where my MOTHER would do her shopping.

Naturally – – I was not allowed to have this package – – I was told to have my MOTHER to come and see Sister Florence – – when the next Vising Sunday would come – – as they were sending this record player back to the Famous Barr Store. I was told that this Orphan Home was no place for a record player – – as everyone would be throwing records all around and breaking the records just as fast as they could – –  so  – – I almost just felt like  dying – – could not even have what I had ask for – – so… will just have to wait for the next Visiting Sunday.

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When you have  had enough TIME – – here on EARTH – – more than likely … YOU have had your picture taken for  just being a BABY – – and then for your FIRST BIRTHDAY – –  and then every YEAR there after – – and then when you enter into the SCHOOL SYSTEM – – you have a new PHOTO – – just to show  that you are going PLACES  – – that is up the ladder to higher education – – and then WORK – – – Of course  “YOU” must be photographed – – and even if or when YOU might enter into  one of the branches of service to your native Country… AMERICA. 

“WOW” – – We sure do a lot  of Photographing of our ourselves…  and  our Families.

So… after all that attention to what we look like – – over the years – – have you ever found one – – just one PHOTO – – that you could say…  that you – – yourself –  you really like??? Is there something about – THAT – –  one PHOTO – – after a hundred years – – would stand out – – this one PHOTO – – after  looking at it – – can you say that it is YOU!

The above Photo of ME – – is that ONE PHOTO of ME… the one I like more than any  other. This PHOTO in a smaller size – – since I had enlarged for here – – is the one PHOTO that I saw of myself – – hanging in the kitchen – –  back in the 1940 and 1950 era… never paid a lot of attention to it – – guess no one did – – but there were times – – when I would wonder… “What am I looking at? – – “What am I expecting?” – – “Is someone talking to me?” “I am trying to figure out what  is attracting my attention… as I have such an inquiring look –  – just waiting for  something to be told to me… maybe – – and or am I paying the correct amount of attention to something – – or…  WHAT?”

“This PHOTO is always  asking me … something… but WHAT?”

The longest day – – that I may live – – I will be wondering – – and I guess that  is what I like about this PHOTO – – since there is an un-answered question – – keeps the brain… guessing – – will the answer … ever come to me?

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“Aunt Irene Riley…PHOTOS FOUND”

Thanks to Jill… for reminding me the other day – – that there was an old PHOTO of “AUNT IRENE” in the house on  “Fenway  Drive” – – she was sure that  is where she had heard of our Aunt Irene – – having never met her – – but remember so much of us talking about an AUNT IRENE – – and if the PHOTO – – that she remembered was still available?

The above PHOTO was inside the frame  and under the PHOTO – – that you see below – – and I am showing it first… because – – that is the face I remember best.

This is the PHOTO of AUNT IRENE – – and it with several other framed PHOTOS – – which were packed for moving so many years ago – – well how does someone look for “stuff ” to hang on the walls – – when the walls just are not suitable for hanging…”your prize winning arts of OLD!”

These “PHOTOS” were taken… and this is my thoughts… the chair that “Aunt Irene” is sitting in…  is a “FAMILY HEIRLOOM” – – there is a MR. and MRS. chair – – and IRENE is sitting in the “MR.” chair and this is the old tapestry material – – some time later Irene had re-covered —  these chairs were “WEDDING GIFTS”  to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F. BRADY  – – I do not have the WEDDING date available – – but  the year 1875 – – would be a good guess.

The “PHOTOS” on the table next to where Aunt Irene is sitting is her husband, Wm. B. Riley  and their one and only son, Bernard Riley.  I believe that they also celebrated  at least “50 years”  marriage as did  Mr. and Mrs. Thomas  BRADY.

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