Grammar School Plus 10 + 10 + 10 +10 +10

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

There is a seeming urgency to the pending 45th reunion of my high school. It’s certainly my own concoction as I realize that we’re more than half-way through the reunion cycle mainly because a 90th is pretty unlikely. In a separate post, I recited the selection process of Jesuit High School where 90+ rising eighth graders (we didn’t have this term then. I think we said, “I’m going into 8th grade.”) were permitted to attend Jesuit as pre-freshmen.

About 15 of us were so selected from Holy Name of Jesus Elementary School based upon performance in an related entrance exam. While considering this admissions process and its implications for my adult, I counted that this year is the fiftieth (I cannot write the number) anniversary of the year that I left Holy Name for Jesuit. So, I’m at the mid-point of today and just before the Russian Revolution. You know, the presidency of Woodrow Wilson; when my grandmother was 9.

I’m sure that I could come-up with 50 Jesuit recollections. I’ll begin with 10.

1. Jesuit High School is a montage of streetcar rides, touch football games at recess and living for dates on the weekend with Mount Carmel girls or any girls. #FarhadGrotto

2. My homerooms were S-3, 12, 2B, 3B, 4B. Of these lots of young and younger boys, who became what is hardly a surprise as I believe that when you know someone in high school, you know that person forever. Are Jack Neville, Mike Farrell and Mike Casteix really gone?!

3. I failed French in my sophomore year. The misdeed that probably pushed me over the edge was that I copied many or too much of John Cooper’s answers in our library exam room only to meet him in summer school. The summer session teacher, Gary Medina, was not fond of me and my streectcar-buddy, Jimmy Colomb. By only a few points, I passed the summer make-up course and JC failed the mark. At the Naval Academy, I earned 5 As and 1 B in 6 classes of university level French. #TheMorelock

4. Our Senior Year Graduation Party was organized, i.e. money collected and tickets sold, at an apartment complex in the French Quarter. At 11am on the morning of, the owner forbid such a party as he saw us packing one of the bathtubs with ice and beer. Fortunately, Mrs. Casteix let us use her home in Gentily that same night. #Pettingill #RoomKeyIntoPool

5. #4 caused me to miss a baseball team practice which put the coach at his wit’s end with me. I was kicked-off the team. #MissedStatePlayoffs #MasperoRandoMisuraca

6. Every time that I think of the narrative of my life and how it could have turned-out, I am grateful for the endorsement of Assistant Principal John Rice, a commander in the Naval Reserve. I had no plans for college until we spoke at graduation. #MunicipalAuditorium #PowerBlueTuxJacket #NotLSUNO

7. In hindsight, how good and patient were most of my teachers. Joe Dover, Jimmy Breaux, Mr. Ruffino, Father Leininger, Mr. Steckel, Mr. Canton and Father Koch.

8. I had to be the most misfit cadet (sic) in the JROTC program. It used to make Colonel Boehm USMC furious if he caught us walking down Carrolton Avenue not wearing our Marine covers (hats). #ButItsNotCoolSir #NavalAcademyAlumPresident

9. Jere Peterson of the Jesuit class of 1969 shepherded me through my first three years at the Naval Academy. He was clever, well-liked and so had the system there misdirected. Stunned at his suicide.

10. How the Lakefront seemed far from Uptown with Jesuit at Mid-City. Actually, my New Orleans world was such a small segment of the city and its population as my 9th Ward cousin in New York likes to remind me. #CameliaGrill #Valencia #PontchatrainBeach