“Your families are extremely proud of you. You can’t imagine the sense of relief they are experiencing. This would be a most opportune time to ask for money. “

The sun is gone and clouds have taken over. Maybe rain they said in the paper. I’d be fine with that. It hasn’t rained in a long while.

My neighbor and I get together every Monday. She is Brazilian and wants to learn to speak English better so we just chat. First, though, I had to explain that you don’t need a computer to chat. Face to face works even better. She said that was good to know. Today was a strange word day. We talked about jimmies and sprinkles and frappes and milk shakes and rotaries and roundabouts. We also talked about singular verbs sometimes needing an S as she is prone to leave it off. Good to know she told me. Nicee, my neighbor, and I share a love for coconut ice cream. Her favorite in Brazil is corn ice cream. I was dubious but she swore it tasted the best of all. Her son is graduating from high school this year, and she showed me his new suit and wanted to know where the bottom of the pant leg should be: above the shoe, at the top of the shoe or covering the shoe. I told her I’d check on-line.

I graduated from high school in the days when girls wore dresses and boys wore suits and ties under their gowns. The girls wore white gowns while the boys wore green, our school colors. We sat on one side while the boys sat on the other. Our graduation was outside in front of the school. Some of us were on chairs while those in the back sat on a small bleacher. The Class of 1965 sign was hung above the top-tier of the bleacher on the front of the school. It fell during the ceremony and a few guys were knocked off the bleacher and one guy was knocked out for a bit after he hit the ground. The news traveled fast among us whispered one to another. It was the highlight of the ceremony. I remember the speaker was from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and he was quite boring. We chatted a bit while he spoke and were careful not to be too loud. Scholarships were given out, and I remember reading my dad’s lips after getting mine and he was asking me how much. After what seemed hours came the awarding of our diplomas. My parents gave me a party, and I remember my mother made chicken and eggplant parmesan. My gift was a typewriter to take to college. I was thrilled. I still have it stored in the cellar. I last used it during my teaching years before the computer made it a relic.

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14 Comments on ““Your families are extremely proud of you. You can’t imagine the sense of relief they are experiencing. This would be a most opportune time to ask for money. “”

  1. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I remember bits of my graduation. We were outside on the football field and seated on folding chairs. We wore dark blue gowns and board hats with school colors in the tassels. It was hot. Our families were on the bleachers. It was really hot for them.
    I don’t remember doing the walk and receiving my diploma though I remember watching others do so. It was surprising to find out a classmate’s entire name was not the one we had used all through high school. The girl most of us called June was really Thalia which I thought was a much prettier name. The boy we all called Eric G— also had a middle name and three very Germanic sounding last names all of which I can still remember.

    Today started well but has turned cloudy. It looks like possible thunder weather. My Weather Widget must be having a breakdown because it insists that it is 57ºF here and it most definitely is not.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I was at so many graduations as an administrator I remember days so hot I got a sunburn and perfectly nice days but, luckily, never once did it rain.

      The bleachers were the hottest spots just standing there in the sun. I used to see parents fanning themselves with the programs.

      Most graduated added their middle names to their diplomas. I had to collect the names and order the diplomas and used to check odd spellings of common names to make sure they were correct.

      The clouds came in and I expected rain but now the sun is back.

      Have a great evening!

  2. olof1 Says:

    We dressed much the same when I graduated but we don’t wear gowns here. Scolarships is nothing they hand out either, we can apply for them from special funds though. All education is free here so we don’t really need it when going to the University. The education is free but living isn’t so there are special student loans that are given to anyone that applies for it though.

    Yes those S’s 🙂 I’ve never really gotten that either, I guess I sometimes make it right and sometimes don’t 🙂

    Really warm here today but it won’t last for long, some days will be rainy others sunny but the temperatures will stay slightly above 50F

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      The cost of higher education here is beyond belief. Most everyone graduates with student loans outstanding. I was lucky that my parents paid for everything except books. Whatever I made all summer went for those and for other small things I might need.

      English isn’t the easiest language to learn with all the weird pronunciations and exceptions to the rules. You also have different words for the same things across the country.

      It is getting humid right now so maybe it will rain. The day is ugly.

      Have a wonderful evening!

  3. greg Says:

    I refused to march with graduation and showed up to the ceremony with a wagon full of books ..revolution for the hell of it. steal this book , gary Snyder that some friends of ours had sent us from san fran….I think the system was happy to see me go.

    • katry Says:

      greg,
      Some of my kids, some boys especially, had so many problems to overcome they deserved to walk singly across the stage and hear their names. It was to honor themselves and their achievements. They were amazing those kids!

  4. Hedley Says:

    We didn’t have graduations. Our school careers culminated in sitting some public exams which were staggered over two weeks and when we were done we were gone. The goodbyes were really incomplete and of course reunions or alumni or anything like that did not exist.

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      By graduation, we all knew what we would be doing in September. I didn’t see many classmates over time but I did go to a few reunions, and we are having our 50th this fall. I’ll be there. I also went to the 40th. It was great-on a boat out of Hyannis.

  5. Bob Says:

    The graduating class of Jamaica High in 1965 had 1,130 seniors. The ceremony was held outside in a park on a beautiful late June day. There were so many of us baby boomers that we didn’t get our diplomas until the next day. We had to sit through several speeches by the usual parties, moved our tassel on our cap to the other side and then marched out. My father took us all out to lunch and it was over.

    Today was a beautiful day and a break from the storms yesterday that spawned tornadoes in East Texas causing several deaths. The rain is forecasted for the rest of the week.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      There were 192 graduates, the largest class they ever had. In the 1970’s there would be classes close to 1,000.

      We went to inside graduations for a bit but then the building was sold so we were back outside. The graduations are always lovely.

      That day you can drive around town and see green and white balloons in celebration.

      It is a warm night.

  6. Jay Bird Says:

    My 1965 Catholic Central HS graduation had a “mere” 500 (mere compared to Bob’s, wow!) Held in the local Armory, due to the huge size of baby boom families in those days.

    I most remember the group choral production at graduation. All 500 of us, molded into tight 4-part harmony by Father Fitzpatrick, our musical guru and resident mad genius. CCHS was famous for our graduation day “concerts”. Many (usually boys) were hesitant at first, but two months later, we could put the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to shame.

    I can’t recall specifics, but there was a distinctly patriotic feel, ending in “You’re a Grand Old Flag”. Our parents, including many WW-II veterans, gave us a “standing-O”.

    Caryn made me chuckle… there were several “that’s her real first name?” comments at graduation. Many were Mary (fill in the blank) to fulfill saint’s name requirements for baptism. No “St. Karen”, unfortunately.

    I am very ambiguous about my 50th, this September. High school was not my finest hour, and I was damn glad to be done. Just one of the “unwashed masses”. Never been to a HS reunion, but maybe this one time. We’ll see. If I could just lose 30 lbs. and hit the lottery…

    PS – Hedley’s “graduation” reminds me of my graduate school. Classes ended early due to Kent State. Pass “comps” and you’re a Master. Woo, woo! I skipped graduation (at a huge public university) and played golf with my dad. A lovely day, if I recall.

    • katry Says:

      Jay,
      Before I came to the Cape, I attended Arlington Catholic. Our class, the class of 1965, had only close to 200 students. I don’t think any schools near where I love had anywhere close to 500 in a graduating class. In the cities maybe but I’m only guessing.

      I knew a CCHS in Lawrence. Is that where you went to school?

      We didn’t participate at all in graduation. The band played but we were part of the audience. I wouldn’t have minded a rousing good song. I’m chuckling that “You’re a Grand Old Flag” was part of the festivities.

      We were a noisy group during graduation. Whispering to each other and laughing. I don’t remember the different names but I have to think it was the same with us.

      My 50th is in October, and I’m going, and I’m also going to Arlington Catholic’s 50th. They reached out and invited me. That one is in August. I went to the 10th (I was in Ghana for the 5th) and figured I’d hate it, but I didn’t. I had a good time and also had a great time at the 30th and 40th. I don’t remember having a 20th. You might surprise yourself. As for changing looks over time, I saw a woman at the 20th and wondered who brought her mother. Oops, it was a classmate. There was always the I look younger than to make the night worthwhile. I figure, though, we’re way beyond that at the 50th.

      • Jay Bird Says:

        My CCHS is in Troy, NY (upstate). Common high school name around the country, Current enrollment is down to about 300 students, as opposed to 2,000 back in my day. The population of Troy is half what it was in 1960, so no surprise.

        Maybe you’re right about reunion insecurity. Our class has a Facebook page (175 members!) The women generally appear well-kept, but the guys all look like Santa Claus – big bellies and white beards!

      • katry Says:

        Jay,
        Many Catholic schools have closed their doors or merged with other parish schools. The first Catholic high school ever opened up on the Cape about 5 or 6 years ago. The tuition is pretty high but they seem to have a good enrollment.

        You’ll think you look good, better than many, so it’s a perfect reason to go!


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