“Are ‘YOU’ in this 1947 Photo?”


This is the  “Auditorium”   at St.Vincent’s   – “If you are in this picture – you might be in your  late –  seventies or eighties?” Here’s a help –  look to the center and left of the room – do you see two   “girls” – dressed alike?’ Those are the “Whitney Twins”  – they have a younger sister, Phyllis Whitney – a year younger than me – and a very good friend of mine.  ( Let me know where you are in this picture???)

When I first arrived here – this room would be filled with folding chairs for the families to sit together in small circles – “Visiting Sundays” were only once a month – and later  – they had “Visiting Sundays” on the second and fourth Sunday!  Maybe this change was made because my parents would come out to visit any  day and  at any time  –   and as often as they felt like it! We, KIDS _ “LOVED” it   – but I guess some of the NUNS didn’t –   but then  – you never had to contend with my “Father”   when he wanted to do things   – “HIS WAY!” – Also, there would always be a NUN or two walking around and standing near some “VISITORS” – that would be our family to hear what I would be telling my “Mother”   – exactly what happened in the  new environment – for me –   I would  always tell it just like it happened –    all the details  –  and would get into trouble –  later with the  –  NUNS!

On very special occasions – like a special “Feast Day of a Saint”   – there would be a movie shown in this auditorium – which was a real treat for all the kids! Some times  –  the film would break and the lights would  all –   go on and maybe  and maybe not someone could fix the problem   – and I believe we went to bed and never got to see the movie – due to technical problems. So, some time later  – an enclosed area was built so the the movie projector and standard   set-up  – was  all in one place and ready and  less chance for failures???

When “Television” came to the Orphanage – there was an area on the far right and and center  – along that wall – looks like a radiator there – if you look   closely  – just enough room for a small enclosed room for the “TV” – to be built and kept  under lock and key.  This was the last year that I was there and never watch the “TV” – as I would rather be on the play-ground and since I had my own radio – we girls would listen to the music and dance  on the “Pavilion” and that was   the  real – “FUN!”

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“Sewing Class #101!”


In the previous pages of our “Schedule” at St. Vincent’s” – one thing that we do not teach our young girl;s is    – embroidery and crocheting   and general sewing by hand – something “creative and decorative   items that will last, forever!

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“Do I Hear?” – “No Haircut Today!” ??


“Now that I think about   “Hair-cutting”   – can not remember any of the  “BOYS” complaining that they did not want their hair cut  –  today? When I was a kid at  “St. Vincent’s” – my brothers always looked good to me – their hair  was always the same   length   – and everybody knows   –  that hair does grow  – but their hair was always the same  – so I guess that when the  “NUN”   – way back then   – said,   “It’s time  for   “HAIR” to be cut!” – Every boy just got in line   and waited their turn – making sure not to complain   – because – you know that if you do complain –  “OOPS!”   and the scissors could sure slip   and really do a  “terrible number”   on your head  – something that you’d   remember – forever!

One of my brothers’ had  the best shade of “RED HAIR”   – if you wanted “RED” hair this was the color and shade to ask for!   My other brother had “BLOND”  – and you know what they say “Blonds” have more fun!   They both had freckles  and you could tell that they were from Ireland  they were also full of “Blarney” with the gift of gab – some people are so “LUCKY!”

My hair was the standard  “BROWN” – I’ll never know who ordered that color for me   – but I would rather  –  have had  either of the other colors  – – that my brothers had  and –  looking so good   – and “NO”  – on the “freckles” – too!  You might say that if  you  –   don’t want something – you will more than likely  – get it  — but if you ever ask for something – you definitely  will not receive  it   – so at this age   – you become   very – “GRATEFUL”   for what you receive   and   learn  to “LIKE” it!

This picture  of the   “NUN”  and the   boys are unknown to me –  as this was taken after I left!  The “BOYS”  – look like  having the “WEEKLY” hair-cut is  no big thing   –  and that they sit and wait each week for their turn – “NO BIG DEAL!”

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“The Bakery” – the best place to be!


This picture has been taken after I have left “St. Vincent’s”  –  but  Sister Augustella – still makes  this Bakery the best place to be! – I know because when – I was finished working  – where I was assigned to work   – if there was still time   – I would go to the “BAKERY”  and help out  – however I could?  What I thought at the time was  – that I would like to “BAKE” some of the good things  – that  Sister Augustella would make  – and so easily – never a failure!

My “BIG   MISTAKE” – while I was there  – why didn’t I ask for the recipes???Crumb-cake  and another similar cake served only on Sunday morning for breakfast was the Apple-cake. Then once in awhile for “RECESS TIME” Sister Augustella made  a round do-nut type pastry  – the best that I can recall – looks like a baseball size –   ball of dough and cover with  “Sugar”  and only one (1) per child. Everyone could have eaten several at one time.

When all the work was done  – Sister Augustella and the group of girls – who had just finished working – would sit around in the next room to the above picture – and we would just talk about everything and anything – and this  special  time spent in the “Bakery”  was the kind of time –  that makes   “Memories”   forever!

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“BIG” – Girl’s Dormitory – 1952


In 1952 – when I left St. Vincent’s   – this is what the Dormitory looked like and the bed that was mine was on the left side near the windows – since the beds are so close and my eye-sight  – not that good – the bed I had was maybe the 7th or 8th.???The cubical in the back right corner in where the NUN, slept.

Back – then – we did not have air-condition and as you can see no fans – and in the summer  –  we are on the third floor  –  it was “HOT!”  Since we had to get up at 5:30 AM – we went to bed at 8:25 PM – the last year that I was there “Television” came out – and in the evening after Supper – which was from 6:00 PM to  6:30 PM there was a short period time you could watch  “TV”  or play on the Play-Ground – but if you were watching “TV” – that would  be turned off  at  –   “Twenty-Five after Eight”   –   and you never  did  see the end of  any program  – that they had on. So, when I  left  St. Vincent’s – I never missed not having a “TV” – as there was no enjoyment  – I would prefer a movie at the Theatre!

The above time for going to bed was  for the   “BIG” kids – those in seventh grande and under   –  all went to bed at  “TEN after Seven”  –  and   we all went and liked it! ??There was some good   “SUN-LIGHT”  still out and we could hear the NUNS and the older class still up – but you soon fell asleep ???   Those were the days when you tell a child what to do – when – and how –  and   –  that’s  –   the end of the discussion!

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“Orphans enter “SOAP Box” Derby!”



This newspaper article gives all the information about the boys and their work to enter the   “Soap Box”  Derby! It sure is good that a real interest was taken in the boys – at  “German St. Vincent’s Orphan Home”  – I know that  my brothers were included  in this activity   –   really gave them a  “hands-on”   –   as to what you can do in  “LIFE”  when you receive inspiration from men in the Community  – the men who are interested in young boys getting a good chance to learn a few new  skills   and hopefully make something of their selves.

Once again –  my Thanks for all the boys who benefited from this happy activity while at   St. Vincent’s   – and found that all the help received   was something to remember for all  of their life  – also  – a very special Thanks to all the participating  “Chevrolet Companies,”   who so generously gave financial and personal support and all those men who “volunteered ” and  had a  real hands-on with the boys in the actual building of the  “SOAP-BOX”   –  I just feel that this was  a terrific  venture  for all!

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