Thursday, September 20, 2007

St. Gabriels

There are a number of us in this blog circle that attended St Gabriels for elementary school. When I attended the teachers were all nuns. They commanded respect by their habits and discipline. Looking back, I admire how they liked this Country and it's institutions. We were warned about communism, fascisim and nazism; they were all believers in democracy - even though their personal lives were in a commune. From time-to-time I remember some of the lessons that they taught, particularly aboout personal integrity, honesty, truthfulness and bravery. They clarified questions about religion very well for my adolescent mind and set the stage for my adult mind. I remember distinctly some of the instruction about Washington, Jefferson, Wilson, Pierre Marquette, Columbus and Nathan Hale. (Some of this was absorbed at the time when I read a great deal of comic books: Superman, Batman, The Green Lantern, Plasticman, The Torch and many others. Most of the books were suppplied to me by Danny Christman. His mother had a liver disease and died. Shortly after that he and his father moved away, I never saw him again.) Sister William taught music and chior and I was put into the chior to sing in Church. My position was next next to Robert Letters, another sopranno. This chior sand so well that a benifactor gave Sister $200 for music books and to take us all on a picnic. We went to Belle Isle. One day, while we were singing in Church, she asked Robert to not sing, then she told him to sing and asked me not to sing, she alternated this for a few times, and after that episode I was no longer invited to the chior practices. From Sister William I learned Gregorian Chant, both to sing and to write. The Gregorian Chant has been invaluable to me at every stage of my life. I was a rule follower and if Sister said to do something, I did it. Unlike me, Donald Harms never did what he was told to do. He infuriated some of the nuns, got more than his share of rulers on the palm of his hand or on the knuckles. I recall he was once hung up on a coat hanger in the cloakroom and switched on his bare legs. He cried and yelled but did not change his behavior. At the time, I thought it curious that he did not modify his behavior to keep from being hit. I did not feel sorry for him. He did not come back the following year.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


The Atlanta Braves do not show up on television very often in Jacksonville but they are my favorite team to watch. They were scheduled to be on last Wednesday at 7:00 PM and I looked forward to watching that game. I had a very light dinner so that I could enjoy some popcorn during the game. The game would follow the Seinfeld show and so that is what I watched while waiting for the start of the game. Promptly at 7:00 the electricity shut off, sputtered a few times in an attempt to restart and then nothing. Pat and I just sat there waiting for it to come back. After some time we realized it was not coming back on. She lit some lamps and candles and we sat doing nothing. There is no way that reading could be a pleasure with such dim lighting. (How did Lincoln get an education by lamplight?) About 8:00 we decided to go to bed and would watch the game there if the power went on. Both of us fell asleep and awoke only when the power returned, at 11:00. I turned the TV on and the game had just finished. Is there a name for the loss of time that exactly coincides with a desired event?