“Can NOT TELL, what is going on”

                     “Are ‘YOU’ in this 1947 Photo?”


This is the  “Auditorium”   at St. Vincent’s   – “If you are in this picture – you just may be, as of today… in your  late –  seventies  and 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  also have a younger sister, Phyllis Whitney – a year younger than me – and  she was always 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  on – “Visiting Sundays” and  there was  only one ” Visiting Sunday ”  per month.

And then,   sometime later  – they  decided to have  “Visiting Sundays” on the second and fourth Sunday of the month!  

Maybe this change was made, because  of my parents, they would come out to visit us any  day and also at any time  – and as often as they felt like it!

We, KIDS  just “LOVED” it   – but, I guess some of the NUNS didn’t.

 Then  too – you never had  an idea of how… to contend with my “Father”   when he wanted to do things   – “HIS WAY!”

To follow up with “Yesterday’s story”…

The next  “Visiting Sunday and every  Visiting Sunday for almost a year, there  would be a “NUN” standing right next to where my Mother and Father  and us three kids would be sitting in our chairs rounded together.

Their idea was to hear just exactly, that which I would tell my parents about the conditions and all about … what was going on.

My Mother would still ask about what I was doing and all about a lot of other things, but I knew that…  that “NUN” was only posted where,  I and my parents were, so as to know what I told them… before it would be reported to the Court System in Saint Louis.

 There would always be a NUN or two walking around and standing near some  “VISITORS” –  and I pointed that out to my MOTHER, that because I had told her some things, that they did not  want told … to the  general public.

In this  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! 

 “When my Mother would ask me  something… I just had to tell her… and learn to suffer the consequences, no matter what!”

So, NOW…  on  some very special occasions – and  in this auditorium!

Like a special  “Feast Day of a Saint”   – there would be a movie shown in this auditorium – which was a real treat for all of  the kids!

Some times  –  which happens…  the film would break and the auditorium  lights would  all –   go on –  and maybe  and maybe not someone would  be able to fix the problem   – and I believe we went to bed and never got to see that movie – due to technical problems.

So, some time later  – an enclosed area was built, so that the movie projector and the full standard  set-up  – was  all in one place and ready and a  less chance for future failures???

When “Television”  first came to the Orphanage – there was an area in the far right and center  of the  auditorium – along that wall – looks like a radiator there – if you look   closely  – which was just enough room for a small enclosed room for the “TV” – to be built and kept  under lock and key.  

This change was in 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  so much more and real – “FUN!”

Posted in Childhood, Grandma, Today and tagged with no comments yet.

“I Learn to KEEP My Mouth SHUT”

“Back… in the 1940’s …there was a “SUNDAY  LAW”  – –

Business was closed … so that the Boss and all  of the Workers… could be at home for  that  extra special time… that would be needed…  for  all go to Church and enjoy a full DAY of REST.

With these arrangements… then the whole FAMILY would have DINNER – – celebrating  –  together that  special day and time, with the Almighty’s help all week  long.

In the Bible… we are to work six days and REST on the Seventh!

With the  WAR over now… now WE  can rest up and start all over… doing all the things that make for a very interesting LIFE… and sharing quality  TIME…  always and forever with the whole FAMILY… all being together!

But… in this next PHOTO…. here we are still in the Orphanage and it is a “Visiting Sunday.”

It was a good thing that my Dad would remember to bring his box camera so that he could take a picture or two, and some how or the other,  that I would get to see the pictures on a following SUNDAY!


Denny with the RED hair, ME with the old Brown hair, and TOMMY with the Blond hair.

I would have loved to have  had either of the colors of hair, that my brothers got, but being first in this family… have to be satisfied with what I did receive… as there is always… the possibility of getting no hair at all!

I’m thinking that all through my LIFE, I did learn to keep my mouth shut and like that which was going on, as there was no way… that I was in a position to ever change  anything!

When you are in an Institution,  as we were and in those years… there was one  thing  that I did learn very early.

If and when someone is asking you, what you  do from day to day, and you start to answer, you need to remember… that what you say could get you into lots of trouble.

In the above photo, I may be in the third or fourth grade of school, but when I was first here and in the Second Grade, my Mother asked me and I did tell her… that my job is working on the ground floor,  “GIRLS” bathroom and that I am to wash the toilets out as part of the work that I do.

“How do you wash the toilets?” There were six to eight toilets and I have a bucket of water and a rag and a bar of brown soap, I soap up the rag  and wash the inside of the toilet  bowl and flush and go to the next.

“Do you wear any kind of gloves to protect your hands?”  No… I just go to the next and the next and move on to whatever the next  part of  the work that needs to be done!

My Mother could not get home fast enough. She immediately sent a letter to the Courts System, and in those days…  they received her letter early MONDAY, and someone did contact the Orphanage by telephone  this same day and this  letter highly outraged the NUNS.

The next morning as we are getting in our places to go  to the Chapel… as Mass will start at Six o’clock,  I just so happen to be at the first couple of places in the line-up, and called by name to step out,  and that “NUN” asks, “What is this…  that you had to tell your MOTHER … about cleaning the toilets…  WHAT EVER you are told to do … you will do… and YOU will not tell your MOTHER!”

That was what she said… and with that, The NUN used her bony hand to slap my face a couple of times, so that I started crying… and after that I was afraid to tell my MOTHER about anything that happened.

(More on this story… to come)


Posted in Childhood, Grandma, Today and tagged with no comments yet.

“Swinging in the VERY GOOD ole 1940’s

On the swing and seated is “Patsy Counts” and standing on the swing behind “Patsy” is “Gail Porter”… both real good friends!

This is not the best of PHOTOS – it is doubled exposed and old, maybe  late 1940’s.

When you have a Camera and learning to use it…  it is a real shame not to be able to use it correctly.

But… “Gail and Patsy”  were just so happy,  for me to take their picture – as I was  just LUCKY to have a  new camera and some film – but,  not very well informed as to the – correct,  know-how to take  “GOOD” PHOTOS!

It was on these same  swings, one nice and warm day of the week,  and I was sitting on one of these swings, when a “Famous Barr” truck was coming into the side entrance of this  “ORPHANAGE” to make a delivery at the receiving door – right there at the “KITCHEN” and in “eye shot” and “hearing” of me, swinging – and immediately – “bells and whistles” went off in my brain!

On the last “Visiting Sunday”  when my MOM came to visit us,  I was asking her,  if she would get for me, a record player, so that I could listen to all of the records we had at home.

  We had in the basement of our HOME, maybe two or three bushel baskets of long playing records, and I felt that at least,  we could play them  at the Orphanage and  we girls could even dance to the music.

Knowing that my Mother did shop at the “Famous Barr Store” downtown, Saint Louis – I jumped off the swing and went close to the truck – to see and hear better – as they were having the “NUNS” sign for the package that they were delivering for “ME” – and of course they would not give to me – said that, they had to take it to my teacher, “Sister Florence” and that she would let me know when and what and  that I should wait – till she gets in touch with me?

The next day, I was informed that when the next “Visiting SUNDAY” came around that I was to inform my “MOTHER” that I could not have the “Record Player” … that she had sent out, because it would get broken by some of the kids – and or that most of the “records” would be broken and or destroy – and there would be too many broken pieces of records all over!

“So the “FAMOUS BARR” truck came out another day to pick up the “record player” and when I got to see my MOTHER on a later  “Visiting Sunday” – had to try to talk my MOTHER into buying me a “radio”… one  that could be used with the electric and also have a battery pack.

The reason for this… if I were in the “ORPHANAGE” in an area where there was no electric outlet available?

It is the “Pitts” when you have to almost beg for something, that you think would be nice to have – and of course, no one else had any such thing.

I am  most Grateful and Thankful – that my MOTHER did bring  with her on another “Visiting Sunday”…  just the very best radio which I used and vaguely remember finding a PHOTO of it – which I can not find now, but when I do,  will  add it here!

“Had it for years and always so able to use it  –  with  electric or not!”


“Just Lucky  for “ME” to  remember where this was posted!” 

“WHO said, that “PRAYERS”  are not answered?”

The  very next “VISITING SUNDAY”  there my MOM is, walking in with a “brand new portable radio,” just like this PHOTO –  as seen  below!

Sparton 6AM06

This “Sparton Radio” looks just like the one I had  back then.

It did take a couple of days  for me to recall the name. The one above,  looks as if…  it has been restored.

The one that I had,  I never had any  problems with,  and had for a good many years, even in moving  from place to place, no problems, but I  am guessing, “someone” must have liked it better than me,  and just  helped their selves to it.

Posted in Childhood, Grandma, Today and tagged with 1 comment.

“A GOOD PLACE to have a MEAL”

“Are WE Ready …YET?”


Getting ready for  any “Holiday Meal” starts with having the “DINING ROOM” ready!

“A holiday is a day set aside by custom or by law on which normal activities, especially business or work including school, are suspended or reduced.”

The  above photo is of the  “DINING ROOM” on the “BOY’s” side of the German St. Vincent’s Orphanage…in Normandy, Missouri.  

That table at the far  right corner of  this room … is the table where my two brothers and I would have our meals.

If you were the photographer taking this photo – you  are only getting to see where the children sit… for their meals.

Behind the photographer… is the working part of getting  each meal  served to the children.

On the back wall, are the cabinets –  that hold all  of the dishes…large plates that are used for the dinner meal  and served at 12 noon each day… the cups and saucers that each child had for the milk that was served at each meal…the bowls  were for the hot cereals for breakfast and sometimes the bowls were used for Supper,  when we would receive puddings  and there was a dessert size plate used for Sunday breakfast, when each child received a nice piece of  “coffee cake” hand made in the “HOME”  bakery… where “Sister Augustella”  was in charge and several of  the older girls would work –  because….  when I was older – I would make it a   regular   part of my spare time to be there and help, as she was so nice to work for!

Also, what you are not able to see, and… I  do not believe that any photos were ever taken… was a stainless steel  sink, a long three compartment work table for  the complete clean-up – for the washing and then the rinsing  of  the dishes to be  done by  the children working in the dining room. Also long tables to set with the large containers for food, that was being served at that meal.

They would get each and every dish  collected from the tables –  after each meal… washed… drying, till then hand dried with towels and each clean dish put into the cabinets, stacked in the correct place,  and all to be used for the preparation of the next meal.

The tables would  be washed by some of the girls… who would have the assigned charge of working in the dining room for a six month period and  there were  maybe ten to twelve girls assigned for this job –  working before and after each meal.

When I was there, “Sister M. Emeline” had the charge of the  dining room on the “BOY’s” side –  and I always thought,  that she was the best of the NUNS – – to work for.

There were a few of the NUNS that I kept in touch  with, long after leaving  St. Vincent’s,  as they were so good to all of the children, that I even took a couple  of those NUNS to my home, for a visit for that day, including having a meal at my house, and would  you believe … that even  they wanted to roll up their sleeves and help with the washing of  the dishes.

Like I always said… some of the NUNS were always the BEST of Friends!

Posted in Childhood, Grandma, Today and tagged with 2 comments.

“Prime Rib” “Recipe DAY”

Prime Rib

TOTAL TIME5 hrs 5 mins
SERVINGS10 servings
YIELD1 (10 pound) rib roast

Older cookbooks will sometimes instruct you to remove excess fat from the roast. “Excess” fat is any fat more than an inch thick on the roast. Fat is what you need to give the roast flavor and to make it juicy and tender. Prime rib is expensive and you are paying good money for that fat, so leave it on. Your butcher should have removed any excess fat already.


The most important piece of advice I can give you regarding cooking a prime rib roast is to use a good meat thermometer! I recommend this ChefAlarm by ThermoWorks.

With a remote thermometer, you can tell exactly what the temperature of the meat is without having to open the oven door.


For the Prime Rib Roast:

  • 1 (10 pound) standing rib roast, 3 to 7 ribs (estimate serving 2-3 people per rib), bones cut away from the roast and tied back to the roast with kitchen string (ask your butcher to prepare the roast this way)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Gravy:

  • 1/4 cup fat and drippings from the pan
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 to 4 cups water, milk, stock, or beer
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Salt the roast and let sit at room temp:

    Remove the beef roast from the refrigerator 3 hours before you start to cook it. Sprinkle it with salt all over and let it sit, loosely wrapped in butcher paper. Roasts should be brought close to room temperature before they go into the oven to ensure more even cooking.

  2. Tie with kitchen string:

    If your butcher hasn’t already done so, cut the bones away from the roast and tie them back on to the roast with kitchen string. This will make it much easier to carve the roast, while still allowing you to stand the roast on the rib bones while cooking.

  3. Preheat the oven and season the roast:

    Preheat your oven to 500°F (or the highest temp your oven reaches, if it’s less than 500°F). Pat the roast dry with paper towels (pre-salting should have made the roast release some moisture), and sprinkle the roast all over with salt and pepper.

    Uncooked prime rib sprinkled with salt and pepper in a roasting pan
  4. Place the roast fat-side-up in a roasting pan:

    Insert an ovenproof meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast, making sure that the thermometer isn’t touching a bone.

    There are so many variables involved that affect cooking time, this is why you should use a meat thermometer. A prime rib roast is too expensive to “wing it”. Err on the rare side, you can always put the roast back in the oven to cook it a bit longer, if it’s too rare for your tastes.

  5. Brown the roast at high temperature:

    Brown the roast at 500°F (or as high as your oven will go) for 15 minutes.

  6. Lower the oven to 325°F to finish roasting:

    Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. To figure out the total cooking time, allow about 11 to 12 minutes per pound for rare and 13 to 15 minutes per pound for medium rare.

    The actual cooking time will depend on the shape of the roast, how chilled your roast still is when it goes into the oven, and your particular oven. A flatter roast will cook more quickly than a thicker one. A chilled roast will take more time than one closer to room temp.

    Roast in the oven until the thermometer registers 115°F for rare or 120° for medium rare, and 130°F for medium.

    Check the temperature of the roast using a meat thermometer an hour before you expect the roast to be done. For example, with a 10 pound roast, you would expect 2 hours of total cooking time for rare (15 minutes at 500° and 1 3/4 hours at 325°). In this case, check after 1 hour 15 minutes of total cooking time, or 1 hour after you lowered the oven temp to 325°. (A benefit of using a remote thermometer is that you don’t have to keep checking the roast, you’ll be able to see exactly what the temperature is by looking at the thermometer outside of the oven.)

    If the roast is cooking too quickly at this point, lower the oven temperature to 200°F.

  7. Let the roast rest:

    Once the roast has reached the temperature you want, remove it from the oven and place it on a carving board. Cover it with foil and let it rest for 15 to 30 minutes before carving. The internal temperature of the roast will continue to rise while the roast is resting.

  8. Slice the roast:

    Cut away the strings that were used to hold the roast to the rack of rib bones. Remove the bones (you can save them to make stock for soup later.)

    Snipping the twine off the finished prime rib
    Removing the bones from the prime rib roast

    Then, using a sharp carving knife, slice meat across the grain for serving, making the slices about 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch thick.

    Slicing the prime rib into single servings
  9. Make the gravy:

    To make the gravy, remove the roast from the pan. Remove excess fat, leaving 1/4 cup of fat plus the browned drippings and meat juices in the roasting pan.

    Place the roasting pan on the stovetop on medium high heat. Use a metal spatula to scrape up drippings that might be sticking to the pan.

    When the fat is bubbly, sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour over the fat and drippings in the pan.

    Stir with a wire whisk to incorporate the flour into the fat. Let the flour brown (more flavor that way and you don’t have the taste of raw flour in your gravy.)

    Slowly add 3 to 4 cups of water, milk, stock, or beer to the gravy. Continue to cook slowly and whisk constantly, breaking up any flour lumps.

    The gravy will simmer and thicken, resulting in about 2 cups of gravy. (If you want less gravy, start with less fat and flour, and add less liquid.)

    Season the gravy with salt and pepper and herbs to taste.

Posted in Grandma, Recipes and tagged with no comments yet.

“From Day to DAY, We are Learning”

“We are getting ready!”


Of all the places to  WORK…

The above photo shows a small area of the BAKERY… and that is Sister Augustella, the one NUN  that  could be called , the BEST of  NUNS, as  everyone enjoyed working for and with her… and would WORK , 24/7… if that was a choice.

This photo is for the … Anniversary Edition I would have  to check the correct year … where I have an old copy, and I am so glad to have this once in a LIFE-TIME  EDITION… all of the old photos…  from those years when I was there…  which – just go to show… how things were… way back and when!

Sister Augustella would have a large “laundry  size” basket, just full of the treats… that we would get at “RECESS TIME” – in the morning and afternoon RECESS times – and that would be a  full basket for the GIRL’s side and also a full basket for the BOY”s side.

That was a real treat for each of us to be able to get something  so extra sweet!

We did not go to the BAKERY, as you see in this photo, as Sister Augustella and her workers were busy  “baking” and there was no room for interruptions –   as you can see… all those loaves of bread!

Back then… when I was the size of some of those girls in this photo line… I would work in the BAKERY – and one of the jobs that I had… was putting those loaves of bread in the bread slicer.

Then … one or two girls would spread each  slice of bread  with “HOME-made  grape jam”… which was also from the grape vineyard on the Orphanage grounds – and we also had “HOME-made Apple-butter” – from the green apple trees… also growing on the Orphanage grounds.

When you think back… these jobs that we had when we were very young…were very good training for all of the things that you may consider doing when you would be older and had left the Orphanage –  as we all need to work at some point in our LIFE.

What better way is there … than for young children to learn how to develop skills in a variety  occupations  being  a self-assured person  so as to get an idea of the  types of work, which  would be of a benefit in more ways than, one can think of – the motivation factor is in the  determining  just  what  natural talents do I have  that will provide the exact “road” in LIFE to pursue!

When it comes to this time of the year… a Monthly Holiday  TIME…  my having had the chance to work in the BAKERY with, and for Sister Augustella … has been of a great benefit to me, as I have such good memories of getting ready for these HOLIDAYS, and I sure do enjoy telling everyone how and why I do what I do,  since everyday of my LIFE…seems… that each  and every day was   and of a  special learning lesson, just for the next  time … each day and  for every year to follow!

Posted in Childhood, Family, Grandma, Today and tagged with no comments yet.