First Grade-St Ann’s Catholic School

By John McElligott

I did not know how to read, write, or even how to count.  I was 5 years old and scared to death. I sat down as straight as I could and interlocked my fingers on top of the desk. I looked to my right. Skipper Goulet was down below me and Joe O’Neill, Harry Miller and Cathy Colligan were at the end of the row. They all were staring straight ahead at a black board with letters from top to bottom. I later found out the writing on the board was all capital letters. A very pleasant Nun introduced herself as Sister Jean Marie, and she called upon me to point out the letter “A”. I stood up and saw the first letter in the upper left corner and the last letter in the lower right corner. Not knowing anything, including my ABC’s, I picked the first letter at the top left. I was so proud of myself for picking the correct letter.  I had become a student!

I looked around and saw a beautiful girl with long blond hair. Her name was Margery Chase, and to her side,a boy named John De Julio. I decided I needed to meet them. There were some big boys in the class, as well, who soon became my playmates. My only saving grace was that I could out run them all. 

 Sister Jean Marie tutored me any time she had a chance. By the time I turned 6, I could count all 10 of my fingers and toes, read at little and could do some addition and subtraction. One day, Sister Jean Marie asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. I soon realized that we were all different.  Joe said a priest, and I quickly agreed and said the same. Harry said he wanted to be a zoo keeper and right away I knew I was in with some really different people. Even so, we all became friends. Some for the rest of my life, others though, came and went.  I am afraid I don’t remember them all. So, I challenge my fellow first graders to continue this story. As for me and Harry Miller, you will hear more stories about us. Especially, when we were expelled from St. Ann’s.  That’s a story I will tell later.

St. Ann’s 1951
Harry is the little guy with buck teeth.!!
St Ann’s 1950

7 thoughts on “First Grade-St Ann’s Catholic School

  1. Admin February 13, 2020 / 6:28 am

    John McElligott
    Jun 28, 2019
    See if you can find someone you know. I found 3 kids who I later went to school with at St. Ann’s

  2. Admin February 13, 2020 / 6:29 am

    W Godwin
    Jun 28, 2019

    The St Ann’s fair was where I learned to smoke. Thank goodness it was late in life ….I was ten ( 10 ). I learned more later in Jr high,

  3. Admin February 13, 2020 / 6:31 am

    There was a drive-in on Illinois a half block from Midland High with a cigarette machine, only a quarter a pack. But the real smoking fest was in OB’s garage apartment in the seventh grade. OB and his brother Brad with Tommy Potter and others would make that room so smoky you would think the house was on fire.

  4. Admin February 13, 2020 / 6:31 am

    W Godwin
    Jun 28, 2019

    Gus I remember that place

  5. Admin February 13, 2020 / 6:32 am

    John McElligott
    Jun 30, 2019

    I found a $20 bill bought 12 pigeons and became “The Bird Man” of Terminal Texas. The they all flew off and I lost my job.

  6. jack sowers July 12, 2022 / 10:48 am

    The boy two to the left of the farthest left nun is me. Sister Bonfilia was the principal and she was tough as nails on the outside, but sweet as could be on the inside. She once asked me in frustration over world news: “What’s this world coming to, Jack?” I was about 8 yrs old at the time and didn’t have a clue. Still don’t.

  7. jack sowers July 12, 2022 / 11:02 am

    I think that’s Marty Buckley to the left of me. Tom Craddick is in there somewhere, too.

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