Mother Erentrude and Mr. McClarren

Time travel back to the 1940’s – and pick a day for a “PARADE in Saint Louis, Missouri” – July 4th, 1946 – now add the character, Mr. McClarren!

Mr. McClarren, my father was a “Veteran of three stints in the US Army” – and one thing he loved – was a Parade!Just because his three children were in the German St. Vincent Orphan Home – that did not mean that they (his children) would not get to see each and every Parade taking place in the downtown St. Louis, Missouri area.

Early in the morning, my Father was at the door of the Orphanage – telling the Nun- in- charge – that he was taking the McClarren children to see the “Fourth of July Parade” – NOW! “Get them ready!” The Mother-Superior being Mother Erentrude, was an older NUN – and was not able to argue or state her reasons – strong enough with my Father – in order to have him leave – so she just had the two Nuns in-charge of our clothes – Sister Michael for my brothers, and Sister Seraphine for the girls side, which took care of the clothing department and I was working under her charge.

Before you knew what was going on – the McClarren children and their Father was on the bus and on our way to pick up my Mother on our way to the “PARADE ROUTE” downtown. While riding the bus we were all hugging and so glad to be together again – I always get so sentimental about being together as a family and always wished that it would last forever – but that kind of a deal was not in the cards. It was a long ride to the downtown area and we had to switch to a couple of different buses – nothing straight through in those days and long waits – on the transfers.

When we arrived in the general vicinity of the areas to find a place to stand and watch the Parade, my Mother suggested that – she and I go to see a movie that she wanted to see and after the Parade – that we all meet at the “Forum Cafeteria” to get something good to eat. This sure was a good idea to me and seems that since we all agreed – we went our separate ways. We saw a good movie in one of the best theater’s downtown and my brothers and Father watch the Parade – and they enjoyed the entire time together, too!

It was Summer time and not a time for us to miss too much at the Orphan Home – so as on several other occasions – when my Father took us home for a Parade or some other occasion to get back into the “GOOD GRACES’ of my Mother – we stayed home until – the COURTS placed an order with the “social worker” to pick us up and take us back to the “Orphan Home” – and each time that happened – it was like the end of the world!

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