Archive for January, 2012

Places to Get an Education in Bojon Town

I was a sponge when I was a kid.  I still am actually, but the sponge doesn’t absorb as fast as it used to or hold things as long.  I love to learn about things.  Not all things.  Just things that interest me.  They don’t teach many things that interest me in schools, so I learned a lot of things in places that aren’t exactly on the list of accredited educational institutions.  The Pool Hall.  Vet’s Tavern.  Down by the tracks.  Wading through the Crab Ponds.  The Station.  The Liquor Store.  Hell, I even learned a thing or two at good old St. Mary’s School.

St. Mary’s School.  I still have nightmares about it.  Actually, I have 3 separate recurring nightmares about it.  Anyone know a good psychiatrist?  Where do I begin.  How about the nuns.  They influenced us.  Some good.  Some bad.  Some just scary.  Here’s a nun story.

First grade.  I never realized how little I was until I had a grandson that age.  It’s about the time you start remembering things.  At least for me.  I have a few memories from kindergarten and before, but I can remember a lot from the time I started first grade.  Unfortunately.  Sister Leocadia.  That’s not a misspelling.  That was her name.  It sounds scary.  It wasn’t nearly scary enough to warn people away, it seemed, because they put this vicious person in charge of 5 and 6 year old kids.  About 5 years ago, St. Mary’s School had a reunion for everyone that had attended.  I saw people that I hadn’t seen for almost 50 years.  A few of us guys were talking, and we started bringing up the nuns.  Someone mentioned Sister Leocadia, and we all got quiet.  One guy snapped his head around like he was expecting to see her behind us.  It was eerie.  I asked the other guys if they ever remembered an incident where the nun picked up one of us boys by his ankles and held him in the air and shook him for about 20 seconds before she dropped him.  I always thought it was just a nightmare.  Nope.  We all remembered.  Not a one of us had mentioned it to anyone for almost 50 years until that day.  That’s how bad she was.  I still see the kid that she shook.  I never asked him about it.  I know he remembers.

On the other end of the spectrum, 2nd grade and Sister Caroline.  She was the ultimate cool nun.  She was an old bojon lady, and I believe she was actually the sister of Father Daniel, the coolest priest ever.  I saw Father Dan walking across the school grounds one day when I was a kid.  He was praying and walking with his eyes closed.  He almost tripped over things.  He almost bumped into stuff.  It was like stuff avoided him because they knew he was up to something good.  I don’t know if he was peeking through his eyelids or what, but to a 10 year old kid, that was some pretty impressive stuff.  Back to Sister Caroline, she was an angel.  In fact, if that stuff is real, I’m sure she’s an angel now.

On another note, when I was in about the 5th or 6th grade, they brought in a young nun named Sister Pauline.  I know this is wrong, but you could tell with all that robe and veil and socks and boots, there was something hot going on under there!  I mentioned that I have 3 recurring nightmares about the school.  I also have a recurring dream, and it includes Sister Pauline, a French Maid outfit, a trapeze, and a monkey.  I’ll probably go to hell for it, but hey, somebody wrote two different Hangover movies, so maybe I can come up with a good screenplay about it.

Sister Beatrice.  Severe name.  Severe lady.  If you look in the dictionary under Stern, there’s a picture of Sister Beatrice and her ruler.  I was old enough by then to realize that she saw something in me and was bound and determined to wrench it out of me no matter how hard it hurt.  And I was bound and determined to make it hurt as much as possible.  I remember one time when she told me to clean my desk, which was basically a trash can on it’s side with a seat and a writing top.  I didn’t.  She drug my desk out in the hall and told me that I couldn’t come back into the class until I cleaned it.  I sat in the hall for 3 days.  Best 3 days I ever had in that place.  Eventually she relented because she realized that I would sit out there until hell froze over.  Now that I’m getting older, I wonder why my kids can be stubborn from time to time.

Sister Rosaria.  What is it with these names?  How frigging scary is that one?  She matched it perfectly.  I am sure that this lady didn’t hate me, but she put on a very good act.  She paddled my ass.  I stole her paddle and cut it in half.  She got a new paddle and paddled my ass again.  She also learned to hide it.  When we were in the 8th grade, she separated the boys and the girls and gave us sex education.  Anyone see the problem with this?  Thirteen year old boys who literally grew up in the pool hall getting instructions on sex from a nun?  This is past the blind leading the blind.  We didn’t have a lot of experience, but we heard stories from the older guys.  Stories that Sister Rosaria had never heard.  She took the girls out into another room the first day, and a few hours later, they came back, quiet as little mice, and didn’t say anything.  The next day, Sister took the boys out for our turn.  She passed around a box and asked us to write down any questions we had.  She took the first one out of the box, read it, crumpled it into a ball, and threw it in the trash.  She took the second one out of the box and did the same thing.  Ditto for the third one.  There was no fourth one.  She marched us back into class and that was the end of sex education.  I have a strong feeling that Sister Rosaria learned more that day than we did.  What was my question, you ask?  Mine was tame.  “Can a girl get pregnant from a blow job?”  Sorry Sister.  Inquiring minds wanted to know.  I left out the question about if Sister Pauline’s drapes were the same color as her carpeting, but since I never even knew the color of the drapes, it was a moot point.  I’m putting my money on red.  Dad, please make sure mom isn’t going to start reading this.

Speaking of Mom, this is her in a nutshell.  In the 6th grade, we were clowning around before class, and I was getting a piggyback ride from my friend Gary.  He came around a corner, and bumped smack into the fat, giant, wide, humongous, six axe handles wide ass of Sister Adelaide.  WTF is up with these names!!!  Well, Sister Adelaide didn’t much care for kids bumping into her enormous ass, so she hits me over the head with a metal coffee can.  The edge of the can cut a nice gash in my dome, and like a good Catholic school boy, I did my best to hide it.  It was customary that if you got whacked in school, you usually got whacked at home when they found out you got whacked in school.  The last thing I’m going to do is call attention to this, but I guess my mom noticed the blood or something and I confessed.  I fully expected the ass whipping that usually came along with screwing up in school, and I got the surprise of my life.  My mom went haywire on the nun.  Now nuns were kind of untouchable.  You just didn’t mess with them.  My mom didn’t get the memo.  She lit that old fat hag up  like a Christmas tree.  I remember hearing her say one thing that kind of said that she got it, but not quite the way I had hoped.

“If you need to hit him, hit him on the ass.  That’s what God made it for”.

Thanks mom.  That lady never hit me again.  I know she wanted to, but I think she had this vision of you showing up at the convent and opening a can of whoopass on her.

There’s more.  Check back later for Part II of the epic story of

Education in Bojon Town!!!!!

The House, Part 2

Sorry about the short vacation.  Life just kicked into high gear, and the brakes went out.  It’s all better now, so back to the stories.

The kitchen is probably the one room in the house that’s fairly close to the same as it was when we moved in.  The high,  high ceiling is the same height as all of the rooms on the main floor.

My dad put the suspended ceiling in the living room when I was about 10 years old.  The old ceilings were as high as the kitchen, and there were these old creepy chandeliers hanging from the ceiling from chains.  They were painted to kind of look like brass, but they were pretty grim looking.  There was a door right where the couch is now that went into my mom and dad’s bedroom.  The walls were plaster and it was kind of dark and shadowy.  Nothing like it is now.  When I was a teenager, you could sit on the couch, peek out the window and maybe catch a glimpse of the neighbor lady getting out of the tub.  Funny how if you sat in the spot that my dad used to sit in, you’d get a pretty good show.  I wonder if he ever noticed.

I remember that at one time, the room with the computer was a bedroom.  I remember sleeping in there when I was really little, before all of us kids moved upstairs.  Now that was an adventure.  It was 2 big rooms, and eventually my dad put up a wall to split up the bigger room, making 3 bedrooms.  At one time, I was in the bedroom at the right of the top of the stairs.  I really liked that room.  I would sit there and read and play for hours.  One of my favorite games was taking all of my clean socks and shooting them into the trashcan like a mini-basketball game.  If there was ever an event for sock throwing in the Olympics, I’m in.  From that room, you could see out to the gas station, out to Santa Fe, and all in all, it was a pretty nice room.  Until I got older and moved into the room on the south side of the upstairs.  That was a palace.  I spent my teenage years until the time I moved out in that room.  A lot of things happened to me in that room.  Most of them pretty good.  I had an awesome stereo, a bed, a dresser, and most importantly, a door that I could shut.  There were a few times that I wished that the door had a lock on it, but those are other stories.  By the way, I had roughly the same view from the window as I had from my dad’s spot on the couch.  A bit higher, at a different angle, but just as interesting in the pre-Cinemax soft porn days.

There was another room there that frankly scared me senseless when I was a kid.  We just called it ‘The Attic’.  It was a room that was about 14′ x 14′ with a brick chimney running up from the floor to the ceiling.   When we were little, there was no floor, just some wood planks set up on top of the floor joists.  There was no light, and it was just plain creepy.  My sister Julie and I would dare each other to see who could go in, shut the door, walk around the chimney, and walk back out.  I think I may have made it once without pissing my pants.  Julie was a lot braver.  Eventually, my dad finished it into a walk-in closet.  The chimney is still there, and I swear that there are times that I’ve walked into that room and there is a small area, about 5 square feet, that the temperature will be 10 degrees colder than the rest of the room.  It has a haunted feel to it.  To this day, if someone told me to sleep one night in there alone, I wouldn’t do it.

The yard was awesome.  There were these huge, tall cedar trees.  I seem to remember at least 6 of them.  They were ball magnets.  When my dad finally cut them down, we probably found 15 baseballs and wiffleballs in the branches.  There was also a really cool old spruce tree.  It was hollowed out inside, and the branches came right down to the ground.  We’d climb inside and you wouldn’t know anyone was in there.  It was kind of a playhouse/clubhouse for us.  We could climb up about halfway to the top and there was like a window that you could see out of.  I’d sit there and watch people go buy and pull little pranks.  One day I kind of reached out a little too far and slid out of the window.  It was like going down a sliding board for about 10 feet, and then there was suddenly no tree and a lot of air between me and the ground.  I probably fell about 10 feet and landed flat on my ass.  I remember seeing stars and not being able to walk for a few minutes, and I know that’s one of the things that I feel now that I’m 55.  My mom always told me that the things that we did to hurt ourselves when we were young would come back to haunt us when we got older.  Thanks for being right again, mom.  I wonder now if a lot of my back problems weren’t caused by a little dumbass falling out of a tree.

The House.  There’s far more to it than I wrote.  Christmas.  Easter.  Birthdays.  Sundays.  There was always something going on there.  It’s not just a house.  It’s Home.  It always will be.  Thanks for giving that to me, Mom and Dad.