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What do you remember?

Tell us about your memories of our time and classmates at St. Mary’s, fall 1960 through graduation in 1964.

Attending 70th Birthday?

Use this space to declare your attendance at the party and encourage others to attend—name names!

What are you up to?

Please share information about what you are doing now (are we all “in retirement”?). Give classmates ideas on how others’ might “give back” to your favorite organizations or causes.


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8 comments so far ― Add yours!

  1. Eddie English

    Some memories of science classes. We had one of the few lay teachers for Chemistry, Mr McLaughlin, I think. He wanted to show us how one of the more active elements in the Periodic Table reacted so in the classroom (not the lab) he dropped a piece of sodium into a pan of water. There was a “most definite” exothermic reaction and the piece of sodium jumped out of the water and proceeded to start to set the desk on fire. All ended well though. Another incident with sodium involved one of the underclassmen, I think. If it was our class you can confess here. Knowing about the “exciting” properties of sodium he scoffed a piece from the lab and put it in his pants to take home. He was discovered however when his pants caught on fire. After another experiment in the lab resulted in several explosions Mr McLaughlin opined that “perhaps the beakers should have been vented after all”. Brother Raymond in Biology was less exciting. Since evidently we didn’t have much of a budget for experimental matter we spent our microscope time looking at maggots from the swill buck behind the Brother’s residence.

  2. Kathy Swerczek

    I was at St. Mary’s Waltham for junior and senior years. I remember Meet Arizona, The Balcony Scene, and Twelve Angry Men performed by drama club. Getting together with boys only for first Friday’s (maybe after mass?). A pancake breakfast. Auctioning off lunches as a fundraiser. French class that was totally in French. All I can think of now. Good memories.

  3. Kathy Swerczek

    A few more memories:
    I Started at SMH as a junior. I was living with an aunt as my parents had died.
    My first day as a junior I was late, knocked on the classroom door. Marcia Gallager opened the door and her blouse looked so sharp. I have always wondered if she had starch on her shirts. They definitely looked better than mine ever did.
    Some girls deciding to wear non uniform shirts under their jumpers. One perpetrator had a note supposedly written by her mother that said her daughter should be forgiven as the mom found the shirt had been in the dryer with a red crayon and what her daughter was wearing was the result. Don’t remember who wore that shirt.
    Miss Carroll! Thought she was lovely and my first non nun teacher ever. One day when a lot of classmates were gone she started telling us about her road trip across the US. Broadened my outlook.
    Miss Carroll’s cousin substituting one day for My sister C. And telling us about her trip to Europe. Again broadening my horizons.
    Sister Germaine had us memorise poems in French. I never did well as I really didn’t try hard and didn’t understand anything that was going on. She was also the drama coach (King Lear was our entry in a competition)
    The Beatles on Ed Sullivan and everyone excited Monday morning.
    There were two “tracks” college or secretarial. I was in college track and we had typing class one day a week or month. I had to pay someone to type my term papers in college. There was one electric typewriter.
    Sheila Fratantuono and Judy Defina and their voices!!! I was a bit jealous.
    There were dances in the lunch room/gym/assembly room. I remember Marcia Gallagher once wore a white leather dress I was totally jealous of that and her amazing sense of style. We ate lunch in that same room (standing up?) ever day.
    Walking across the yard to glee club.
    Fundraisers! We auctioned off lunches one day. Some girls had decorated their lunches and there were cute descriptions on them. Totally new concept to me. We a
    So had a pancake lunch. The aunt that I was living with made the pancakes in a kitchen downstairs. The pancakes were small and I wondered if the nuns told her what size to make. We must have had to pay to eat.
    Some girls left after junior year and went to Waltham HS. As they needed classes that we didn’t offer. I didn’t like that and missed the girls.
    Sr. Joseph Delores (math?) was at my previous high school and she helped me feel comfortable in the new school. She told me I should apply to college because since I wasn’t in the secretarial track I didn’t know how to do anything else. When I got in the first place she said I didn’t have to apply anywhere else. I was so glad as I hated writing essays. We called her Jo Do. We did at St. Mary’s in Cambridge also.
    Grover Cronins on Moody St. Val Delorey and Carol Judge and I worked there at times. Probably lots of others too that I didn’t know about. They sold candy chocolates and you could buy just a little if you didn’t have much money.
    Val Delorey and myself putting nail polish on in a classroom. Why???
    A huge mirror in basement girl’s bathroom and a lot of us standing there putting on makeup mornings.
    For some reason I was told SMHS was not coed it was co institutional. Now I wonder why I just blindly accepted this and believed it. I never seemed to see any boys!
    After first day or week junior year being invited to a small restaurant on Main St. We sat in a booth and I was shocked when Camille Given Goodwin paid for my Coke as a welcome. I remember feeling welcomed by every nun and all the girls were very nice. All in all a good experience for a transfer. Thank you all for accepting a naive new girl and making her feel accepted.

  4. John Collins

    Brother Louis, French class. I was sitting in the last seat in the first row.
    It was my turn to recite. I stood up and said what I thought was correct.
    “Zero ” yelled Brother Louis. I muttered something inappropriate under my breath.
    Unfortunately, he heard it. He always carried a bullet with him.
    He threw that bullet and hit me right between the eyes! Almost knocked
    me out!

  5. John Carr

    I haven’t noticed any current information about Mr. MacLaughlin, who did double duty as both a science teacher and a driver’s ed instructor.

    On November 22, 1963, Brother Christopher went around to the classrooms to announce that Kennedy had been shot. Before he made his announcement, he asked that everyone take the news in silence.

    Later that day, I was scheduled for a practice drive with Mr. MacLaughlin. We left the parking lot as scheduled to look for a hill where we could practice starts and stops on an incline, although I don’t remember there being many hills in Waltham. In the end, though, we pulled over at the top of the hill we chose, turned on the radio, and listened to breaking news in the confusion following the assassination. We spent the rest of the allotted time sitting in silence, just listening. I will always remember the pensive look on Mr. MacLaughlin’s face as he listened to the garbled and contradictory reports pouring out of the radio. I always wondered whether he understood what was happening any more than we students did.

    Later on, he introduced me to some friends of his who ran tutorials on international relations for interested high school kids at Harvard. Maybe that’s where I picked up the bug, and why I am still living overseas more than fifty years later…

    Sorry for such a morbid memory, but this is one that has stuck in my mind for all these years.

    John Carr Class of ’64

  6. Joan Lupo Batista

    Wow! Who are all those good looking people?! What a lovely, warm, impressive, caring group of people you all grew up to be! I am so proud of all of you and to have been part of such a wonderful class. What a thoughtful thing to do, have a birthday party. But even though I was a pretty good student, seeing the front of the building always struck terror in my heart. I entered the building by the parking lot side, so that back entrance was not as scary. I don’t even know why, the red brick looked so imposing. Terrified of getting my Latin endings wrong, I guess. Or pronouncing my French verbs with a Waltham accent and watching Sr. Germaine wince in agony. At least I got to wear a letter sweater, even if it was only for being in Sodality!
    Well, speaking of Science, I remember Biology class. Sister Pam had a plastic figure called a Visible Woman which she firmly tucked under her arm at the end of every class as she exited the room. I never thought twice about it. Until one day I dropped a contact lens on the floor and stayed after class to find it. Well, a door opened on the other side of the room from the Boys’ side of the building, and in walked Brother Raymond with a Visible man plastic see through figurine tucked firmly under his arm! Ah, sweet innocence!

  7. Ellen Grimes Aamodt

    Thanks to Judy, we all stay connected! I am living in Arlington with my daughter, son-in-law, and 2grandchildren so there is always something going on. We had a neighborhood arty for the kids on the street with costume prizes, games, races and a movie outside for the 12 kids while adults sat around a fire pit. It was a healthy and happy way to spend Halloween.