June 22, 2012
dialogue – marian day6th entry – 8th grade
Francesco Bitonti and I have been talking a lot about our experiences in 8th grade and I keep being surprised by how different the two sets of memories are. He had lived in the West End and done most of his elementary schooling at St. Veronica’s. I came in 8th grade and did one year. He knew everyone in the class; they had been together the last six years. I knew no one and I don’t even remember how Frank and I met.
So, I asked Francesco if he was interested in conducting a dialogue. He’d write about topics and memories as I would, and we would comment on each other’s remembrances. Here is one of his first entries. The rally was in May of 1964.
Marian Day Rally and My Second Strap at St. Veronica’s
I don’t know if you recall this, but the Marian Day Rally was a Catholic procession in praise of the Virgin Mary held on the first or second Sunday in May. We had promised Sister Drusilla to be part of the rally with other students. However, on that Sunday, my dad needed our help, Joe and myself and even Nicky Porco, to nail down some roofing shingles on the garage. I don’t recall how Mike Rossi got into the picture. He was probably just watching us doing the shingling. Not one of us – Joe, myself, Mike Rossi or Nicky Porco – attended the Marian Day Rally that day. We had all committed to being there. On Monday, we were grilled by Sister Drusilla, who then proceeded to call in Mr. Tokar to strap the four of us because of our spiritual indiscretions. When my dad got wind of this, he was livid and was going to go down to the school. We begged him not to go. He took our advice. The scars healed easily.
I have no memory of a rally or of being invited to participate. Joe is Frank’s older brother, Nicky Porco lived across the street from Frank and Mike Rossi lived down on Douglas. The three of them were a year older than Frank and I. Also, I vaguely remember a Mr. Tokar. Frank says he was the 7th grade teacher.
The actual date of this entry is Thursday, March 7, 2013.