Memories

The Reunion Committee invites you, all St. Mary’s High School class of 1965 members, to share your fondest memories from the good old days. We hope to fill this page with nostalgia.

Please provide your name, email, and memory/message below. Your name will be visible but your email address will be kept private. We will never share your contact information without your permission.

We hope you’ll leave a comment below with your best story from our time at St. Mary’s!

Please share your memories here!

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51 comments so far ― Add yours!

  1. Lance Hylander

    I remember Brother Francis, Principal, stopped distribution of the Crusader because of an article my brother Gary wrote that referenced Sisters of Notre Dame concealing uzi machine guns under their robes. Freedom of the press was not a consideration.

  2. Paul Sullivan

    When Bob Cook surprised me with a phone call today our long conversation brought back a flood of memories…the Saturday dances with pizza at The Chateau afterwards, Brother Leo’s “Take out a piece of paper!” pop quizzes at the start of history class, cruising the streets of Waltham with Dave McArdle, Bob Vellante, Gary and Lance in my dad’s white Ford Falcon, Brother Daniel coming into science lab to announce president Kennedy’s death, the phenomenon of the Beatles’ arrival in February of 1964, wondering what went on at the other end of the building that was off limits to us…good times with good people.

  3. Anne Collins

    I remember being in Sr. Denise’s typing class and leaving notes for “the boys” who took typing after us! She caught me and made me read it out loud!!

  4. Paul Sullivan

    Memories…volunteering as Chick Navien’s page turner while he practiced Richard Addinsell’s “Warsaw Concerto” on his family’s piano for a performance at our graduation event. Envying quiet Art St. Germain, who got to just stand in the shot put pit and practice his throws, while “Rocky” (Brother Jerome; “Does anyone play squash?”) had the rest of us work up a sweat running laps. Brian The Rat, who liked to catch me in the parking lot and talk pop music before first class. I remember thinking that he would probably work his way into show business in some capacity; a class clown type of personality, as Paul Kelly commented in our recent conversation.

    To them and the others now departed, to their families and friends who loved them, my condolences. And thanks for the memories.

  5. Charlie Regan

    I remember, in our Sophomore year, Mike McHugh was trying to kill a fly and put it into his desk inkwell. Brother Jerome called on him, brought him up to the front of the room, picked him up, by his suit coat collar and slammed him into the blackboard. The blackboard shattered into a hundred pieces. From that day forward nobody gave Brother Jerome a hard time.

  6. Charlie Nutile

    Playing stick ball after school, I was late for work more times than I could count

  7. Charlie Nutile

    how brother Bernadine could take a simple sentence and convert it into some kind of sexual encounter without adding or subtracting words

  8. Charlie Nutile

    I believe Brother Bernadine was the pioneer of interpreting a sentence in many different ways. Somehow he was able to make it into a sexual description.

  9. Charlie Nutile

    Brother Bernadine was the original pioneer for being able to convert a simple sentence into a sexual encounter without adding or subtracting a single word

  10. Paul Sullivan

    You may remember this too, Charlie.

    Brother Bernadine was “not pleased” when he heard Ray Charles’ “Hit The Road, Jack” at one Saturday dance, with us singing along, “Jack” being the name he had for any of us when we annoyed him in class.
    🙂

  11. Paul Kelly

    Brother Leo’s timely wit. “If this snow keeps up………….it won’t come down.”

  12. Paul Sullivan

    Brother Leo: we all remember him writing “AIR!” on the blackboard when he walked in the classroom, sometimes doing it upside down and backwards.

  13. Don Gillis

    I remember the blackboard incident but I seem to remember McHugh had given Brother Jerome a one fingered salute after being called out for something.
    . .

  14. Bill Saulnier

    Does anyone remember Brother Louis beaning someone in class with a lead bullet, because he wasn’t paying attention? Charlie, I remember the Brother Jerome incident. Ah, good times :-).

  15. Paul Kelly

    I have a wonderful memory of Art St. Germain. Art, Tim Hawes, Frank Harris and I drove to the World’s Fair in NY in Art’s family station wagon. We stayed at the Mid-Town Motor Inn across from the old Madison Sq. Garden. Besides the Fair, we went to the Peppermint Lounge, Mama Leoni’s, Greenwich Village and all over the city. The drinking age was 18 in NY. I hadn’t crossed that age threshold yet but…….! Art was in charge (all the time). Art was like a big brother to us. His laugh and his sense of humor were unique which made him a special person and friend. Paul

  16. Paul Sullivan

    Bill,

    My aging memory thinks it does remember “Lou” keeping a collection of “attention getters” under his cassock. Fortunately, none of us happened to be staring straight at an incoming when it found its mark. And I share your comment: some good times were had back then.

  17. Don Gillis

    I made a reservation a the hotel for the reunion. One night cost more than my first year’s tuition at St. Mary’s. ($140.00) St. Mary’s and Mission High School were the same and the least expensive amongt Catholic HS’s. . It turned out to be a good deal. Don.

  18. Tim Dougherty

    Bro. Leo’s humor stays with me even today. I remember him repeating an Ogden Nash poem in class: “A one “L” – ama, he’s a priest; a two “L” – ama, he’s a beast; and I will bet a silk pajama, there isn’t any 3 “L” – ama.” He then went on to ask “did you see the news last night. There was a fire in Brockton and the reporter said it as a 3 “alamah”! He, of course, laughed as hard as we did.

  19. Bob Cook

    I remember having to watch the 1936 movie “Romeo and Juliet” starring Leslie Howard and Norma Shearer one late afternoon in the assembly room downstairs. The end of school day bell rang and everyone started leaving even though the movie wasn’t finished…..all except Burnsie who wanted to stay “to see if……” (fill in the blank yourself…if you remember it).

  20. Paul Sullivan

    Tim,

    As much as I appreciated Brother Jerome, being probably his worst math student, I loved Brother Leo. I’ll always remember his upturned palm, mocking the Boston Globe’s logo.
    And one afternoon…one snow-covered, silent, winter afternoon, when he has us read a Jack London short story, about a man lost in the wilds. The last sentence in the story was one word: Wolves. That chilled me to the bone.

    Requiescat in pace.

  21. Paul Baillio

    I remember when they played a practical joke on Phil Gallager , a group of the guys lifted up his car and wedged it between two trees!
    I think it was Brother Leo, or it could of been Jerome, who said at graduation practice to Bernie Mullin” ok Bernie move the body”
    I remember burning a hole in my tracksuit , smoking a cigarette on the way to a track meet and wondering how I would explain that to Brother Jerome.

  22. Cheryl Duprez {Monahan}

    i have a few..Sr. Germain’s cooking class. She started a fire on the stove and blamed us! Another of her classes she wanted us to bake something and there were BUGS in the flour…she said bake anyway..and then wanted us to eat it!!!

    Sr. Germain’s French class..Jane Whalen brought in a forged note that she had to take medication. So, she would get up and when she got near the the door..would turn around and laugh…she was off to the ladies room to SMOKE !!!!

    Near Christmas in Sr. Denise religion class I decided to play Santa. Joan Stankard had on red pantaloons and we took them off her..I put them on and my maroon parka..took someones white ear muffs had them upside down to make like a beard. after the class bell rang I knocked on the door and went in. Sr. Denise was shocked …but she did laugh {she didn’t think a lot of things were funny}….so I was safe..that is why in the year book Santa is under my picture.

    Going to Peggy’s after school {little place between Chateau and the Church} St. Mary’s and Waltham High would pile in after school for cokes, chips, play music and SMOKE!! The owners were nice to us..the husband’s name was Norman..kind of a quiet guy…. we would play the song Norman and we would all sing..it would drive him nuts!!! Memories..a great thing

  23. Gene Capoccia

    I remember wedging a piece of paper in each of the bells over the classroom doors during lunch break! Our afternoon class kept going on and on and on. Brother Daniel finally came into the class and told everyone to change class! I remember Brother Jerome’s pinpoint accuracy with a piece of chalk. I got bopped a couple of times while sneaking lunch. Talk about lunch. Gary Daley, was on my left, and Ed Cook on my right ate lunch together every day for four years. I had the same salami and peppers every day except Friday when I had tuna fish, (of course). How about the day Aucoin took a shot at Brother Phillip — – – – Brother Phillip made short order of Aucoin! He never came back to class. I have fond memories of “Tony’s Spa” Kathy Cummings taught me how to smoke! I thought she was Sooo Cooool, We also could get a coke for a nickel. How about the day we pulled the desk of our science teacher (forgot his name) about 8 inches beyond the platform, he loved to jump up and sit on the edge, that day the whole desk came tumbling down off the platform. How about dances in the auditorium, then the big dance at the Boys Club. I hope that Charlie Nutile brings his stick for a game of stickball in the parking lot.

  24. Paul Sullivan

    Gene,

    Bill Saulnier introduced me to the coke machine at the Police Dept.; a glass bottle and, unlike Tony’s, no waiting.
    Science class: that was Joe Donovan, with his plaid sports jacket (see Marian ’65, pg. 10), unless you mean chemistry with “Mr. Ed” McLaughlin.

  25. Paul Sullivan

    The harriers of Rocky’s track team: there was Joe Devaney—followed by the rest of us. Ask anyone at the reunion and I’ll bet they confirm it. I remember our oh so cool (I thought) purple “S.M.H.S.”-logo track sweats (see Marian ’64, pg. 75). And those frigid winter afternoons on the Brandeis boards ( see pg. 71). And one race, maybe on a Spring Patriot’s Day, from Central Square to Watertown Square (city-hall-to-city-hall maybe); my aging memory thinks Joe won this one by an embarrassing margin over everybody else. I was too far behind to see it.

    Paul Kelly and I have talked about this: let’s hear from the ladies, about what life on The Other Side was like over our four very special years in that building together. Us guys won’t know otherwise!

    My best wishes to everyone,
    Paul Sullivan

  26. Gene Capoccia

    It was Joe. How about Brother Leo’s promise to give an “A” to anyone that found a grammatical error in the New York Times, his favorite newspaper.

  27. Paul Sullivan

    Anyone remember guys and gals bowling at Wal-Lex on Sunday evenings?

    Brothers and sisters at SMHS, ’61-’65: Justin and Martha Grimes and Dave and Donna Walsh.
    Any others?

  28. Tim Dougherty

    I just read the history piece on the Girls basketball team written by coach Claire Nolan. I knew her well as I caddied for her for many years at Woodland Golf Club. She was quite a woman and an excellent golfer who won the Club Championship multiple times. As a single woman, she had to battle a male dominated game and mindset even to get a decent starting time on the course. She always did it with grace and fortitude … the same sentiments that came through in her article.

  29. Paul Sullivan

    The class photo from grade 5 is really interesting—for all of the classmates I don’t see especially; no Justin Grimes, Chick Navien, Gary Daley, Tim Schmitt, Noreen Bentley, Barbara Beaudoin, Judy Creonte or Gail Raczkowski here, to name a few I remember, all of whom were in the room with Sister Margaret Elizabeth; “You children are abominable!” she’d say when she lost patience with us.

    I remember the fifth grade dance…The day before, Mike Fitzgerald had a group of us boys at his house to teach us how to dance (use your imagination.) Noreen was my partner for the afternoon. When we got to the auditorium she asked if I wanted to lead or should she. I bravely said that I would. No toes were stepped on, I don’t think, Noreen being the far better dancer. I remember having a good time. I hope she did too!

    It seems a lifetime ago; yet, through the power of images, seeing that room takes me right back to St. Joseph’s.

  30. Ellen Costello

    Fun memories of first hearing the Beatles when Patty Cavanaugh brought back a record from a visit to family in England. I seem to remember she played it after school in Sr. Germaine’s classroom.

  31. Edward Hanley

    I remember Brother Jerome’s first math class, senior year. I was the new kid on my first day. The schools I’d attended in California were great, but I was weak in math. So when Rocky asked his first question, “What’s the definition of the sine,” I was out in left field. But Tim Dougherty’s hand shot into the air and he stood up and said firmly, “The sine is the opposite over the hypoteneuse!” and sat down, smiling at Rocky’s compliment on his correct answer. My first thought was, “Wow, that guy’s smart.” My second thought was, “That makes sense. Now that I know that, I won’t get any of the other trig definitions mixed up because they’re based on the sine.” Over the next 50 years I’ve had to use Trig a lot. Whenever I write out a formula, I still hear Tim saying, “The sine is the opposite over the hypotenuse!” and I don’t get things mixed up. Thanks, Tim. :o)

  32. Edward Hanley

    I remember running cross-country track in the fall. Brother Jerome was a tough coach, and ran us ragged on Prospect Hill and Bear Hill Road. But we all got to be pretty good from the hard work. John Devaney and his brother Joe were the fastest runners – I could never catch either one of them. But it was a good season. We all went to a meet in NYC where we were hosted by local families in Queens. There was a local high school mixer Friday night and most of us went. Up there on stage were Ronnie Dove, followed by The Angels (“My Boyfriend’s Back”) singing their hits in blue poodle skirts. The only thing I remember about the race the next day was that there were hundreds of us running through some park in the Bronx and it sounded like thunder being in the middle of it. The weather was perfect, and I don’t think I ever ran harder than that day. When winter came, cross-country ended and indoor track started. But I wimped out, and didn’t run over the winter. Instead, I took guitar lessons after school twice a week. Near my teacher’s studio was a cigarette machine, and I bought a pack. Or two. Or three… Spring came, and I went out for spring track. On the first day, there was no way I could even come close to keeping up with all the rest of you guys, who had worked your butts off over the winter! Rocky knew the score. He gave me a look that said he knew I’d been smoking over the winter. I don’t remember what he said when he cut me from the team that afternoon. I only remember that look of disgust. You’re lucky if you never got that look from Brother Jerome. Over the years I kept running, but it took 22 years to finally stop smoking. I’m pretty good on guitar, but I really wish I’d gone out for indoor track in ’64.

  33. Paul Sullivan

    I wish I could be with all of you in October, but circumstances I can’t ignore prevent it. Two friends, also born in 1947, are having their 50th reunions this year. I urged them, if they could, to attend, as a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As I reminded them, the 75th reunion will be sparsely attended, but not for lack of interest.

    I remember a lot from those years…the made-you-smile times, the embarrassing, I-wish-I-could-do-that-over moments…so much of it.

    I look forward to reading your responses to the questionnaire to see where your lives have taken you since SMHS.

  34. Sharon Rynn Kilpatrick

    OK, so Paul Sullivan has thrown down the gauntlet to be informed about “the other side”. I must say after reading the memories of “the boys side”, we girls were pretty restrained. Anyway, a fond memory is how much we all delighted in First Fridays. As wonderful as attending mass was 🙂 we were just happy it gave us an opportunity to share a lunchtime where we could all spend some time in the “yard” talking with the boys and not receiving a detention.

    Ahhhhh, that imaginary line in the building. There were exceptions to crossing it “legally” however, like having to do some custodial chores . There was a time when two of us were assigned to sweep the hallway floor from one end to the other. I believe I was with Noreen Bentley and we started sweeping on the boys side, but then decided to stand in the hallway and try to get the boys’ attention by waving to them. One problem, the Brother who was teaching sensed something going on and looked around the corner. With that, to our horror, had us come into the room to say “hello” in front of the entire class.

    I also remember the time in Sr. Germaine’s French class when we thought it would be funny for anyone wearing those clip-on bows in their hair to take it and clip it to the back of Sister’s veil. I think Paula Nocera was the first to accomplish the task and was followed by a few others. What we soon realized however, was that it was easier to “clip on” than “clip off” and all of a sudden the whole class got involved in attempting to remove those foolish bows as Sister walked up and down the aisles. The mission was successful.

  35. Sharon Rynn Kilpatrick

    Tim Dougherty wrote a nice memory of Claire Nolan, the girls basketball coach. I was familiar with Miss Nolan before I went to St. Mary’s as I was at North Junior High School in 8th grade. I was a member of the SMHS varsity team for four years playing under Coach Nolan. She had high expectations for her players and held us to high standards. I remember having the terrible habit of making a disgusted facial expression whenever I missed a set shot. Coach Nolan strongly disapproved of showing this emotion and spoke to me about it several times finally stating that she would take me out of the game whenever I did it. Sure enough, that time came and out of the game I went. That was bad enough because I hated being out of the game, but she would sit me right in front of her on the floor and point out various plays in the game that she felt should be better or a certain player’s moves on the opposing team she felt I should be aware of. However, while she did this she would constantly be pounding her index finger into my shoulder as she was making her point, not as punishment, but because she was so intense during the games. I learned quickly to keep my facial expressions in check during the games. Playing on the team was a great experience.

  36. Paul Sullivan

    Sharon,

    Wonderful memories…I remember that day!…when you and Noreen were invited into “our world.” I can’t remember who the Brother was who extended the invitation to the two of you, but I do remember being both shocked and pleasantly surprised: “What are they doing on our side? We aren’t allowed to go down there!”

    I certainly didn’t mind and, in fact, I hoped for more!

    Best wishes,
    Paul S.

  37. Ed Cook

    Where to start… I remember the class roll being called on the first day of Sophomore year: my name was called and then “John Cook”. I raised my hand to correct the Brother and then saw John’s hand raised. Then, to my utter astonishment, hearing Bob called and seeing his hand raised. They were the first two people with my last name that I had ever met. I took a bus the entire route from North Cambridge to Harvard Square, the shoe route from Harvard to Watertown Square, changed and rode the length of the route from Watertown to Waltham Center – uphill in both directions and in 10 feet of snow. Seeing a tiny Frank Harris get on the bus on the Watertown/Waltham link on my first day of school. Carrying twenty pounds of books to and from home and school before school backpacks were introduced. Leaving school after hearing of President Kennedy’s assassination, Jose Gonzalez and I stood at the bus stop in front Waltham City Hall weeping with the others waiting for the bus. Dancing to “Moon River,” at school dances. Double dating with Frank Harris at the Chateau and laughing uncontrollably at absolutely nothing as the cheese melted in long strands. Brother Leo mocking the Boston Globe’s masthead hand holding up a globe, saying sarcastically, “The Globe Puts the World at Your Fingertips.” Standing at lunch eating PB&J sandwiches four days a week and tuna on Fridays. Brother Cyril explaining the French preposition “de” as in “DEvaney.” Did we actually sit in the same seats, in the same classroom for almost every class for all four years? I did not go to St. Joseph’s Elementary, did not grow up in Waltham or any adjacent town, hardly participated in after school activities because of my commute and still being able to make friends whose memories have lasted for fifty years. Even more, being inspired by Brothers like Jerome and Leo and Christopher, and Daniel, etc. so that I joined them after high school, got a great education and began my career in education.

  38. Joe Devaney

    Wow What a great weekend! I would like to call out a great thanks to all of the committee members with a special thanks to Paul Kelley. Job well done. Seeing Brother Jerome was terrific. Rocky looks great. I have a lot of great high school memories and seeing everyone this weekend helped remind me of many. We were a special group during a special time. It was good to see most of us in good health and enjoying life. Family has always been my primary focus and it seems to transend most of our class. I enjoyed speaking to as many people as possible and wish that I spent time with everyone. I hope we all meet again at some point in the future. Again thanks for a great reunion.

  39. Paul Sullivan

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for the post-reunion update. As one who couldn’t attend, I congratulate all of you for what you accomplished.
    I have to admit though that, as I scrolled through that page of photographs from reunion night, I was frustrated, not knowing who I was looking at!—until I got to one elderly gentleman at the bottom of the page…I pulled out my magnifier, checked the photo badge and, sure enough…Rocky was in the house! It was such a pleasure knowing that Brother Jerome was able to be there with all of you, realizing how much that probably meant to him.

    And Brother Jerome,
    I’ll always remember that year end report card you handed me, with a math grade of 59—erased and replaced with a 60—but erased carefully, so I wouldn’t miss that 59. And your suggestion that I open a math book over the summer.
    You and your colleagues were more important to our young lives than I can express in words. Bless you all.

  40. justin grimes

    I am still in “reunion recovery”, still in the bubble, the time warp. What a weekend!

    When we first started reunion discussions I worried we couldn’t find people where people did not have telephone listings, the girls went by their married names… But then I got in touch with Bob Cook on facebook and he was a tiger at finding people and an expert. Every day he went at it. thanks Bob.

    Then Paul Kelly et al. got on board and did an awesome job.

    My heart was pounding for two days. Awesome how those bonds are still there, the affection felt. And to have a mellow version of Brother Jerome there!

    We were all lucky.

    Love. Justin (time)

  41. Bob Cook

    To be fair, I can’t take all the credit for finding people. Cheryl Duprez Monahan took on the initial responsibility for the girls and I did for the boys. In reality, however, I did the internet research for boys and girls and Cheryl specialized in hunting down girls and boys through still existing local friends/relatives networks as well as managing the physical on site tracking down of people in Eastern Mass. The work was actually a very complementary, collaborative effort which worked extremely well……and a great pleasure to work jointly with Cheryl on this treasure hunt. So actually, half the credit really goes to Cheryl.

  42. Charlie Nutile

    Although I was unable to attend the pictures say it all. Our generation is one of stories. We can get together after many years and it was just like yesterday. We bonded as one and no one can take that away. Love each and everyone of you.

  43. Paul Sullivan

    Paul,

    If keeping the website up is a matter of us chipping in a few bucks, I’m in. Searching for the most appropriate word to describe it’s value for me, “therapeutic” seems too clinical—but it may be accurate.
    Long story…

    Best wishes,
    Paul S.

  44. Stephen Cassidy

    I wish I had known about the reunion, I would have come (even though I left after my junior year). I have a lot of memories:

    Standing out in the cold while Brother Christopher tried to get someone to admit to writing “Cheese Rat” on the side of the building. I wonder who did it.
    Paul McHugh and the blackboard. I thought it was because he threw a spitball.
    Gary Daley getting hit in the back of the head with a book because he didn’t stand up to ask a question.
    Brother Jerome trying to teach me algebra (I still don’t get it).
    I also remember that I liked all my classmates which is kind of odd, there’s usually at least that one guy. Good memories.

  45. Paul Sullivan

    Thanks to classmates for the additional St. Joseph’s class photos. Fifth grade in particular was memorable, being my first year there, coming from a public school. Also, some of the guys, like Tim Schmitt, Mike Fitzgerald and, I think, Gerry Riley didn’t follow us across the parking lot to SMHS. I remember complaining to Sister Margaret Elizabeth, to no avail, when she insisted that everybody hold their pen in their right hand for the photograph, telling her that I was a lefty.

  46. Kathy Ferrero Swerczek

    I am from class of 64 but didn’t Sheila Robinshaud appear in a TV movie with Beau Bridges and his dad? I seem to remember watching it on tv and didn’t understand much of it. I was so envious of Sheila. Anyone know of this?