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St. Joseph's College

Class of 1957 - Vacation Events

4th High Class dinner
A few vacation photos. As always any addition or corrections to my incomplete recollections on this page are welcome. You can use the "comment" form at the bottom of the page.

Perhaps more than most students, we looked forward to vacations since the concept of "weekend" had no meaning there and even the Thursday holiday and Sundays were partially taken up by studyhalls and liturgical activities. The first vacation of the year was Thanksgiving although, at least in theory, it was less than a full day off. If I remember rightly, the morning routine was the usual morning prayers, mass, breakfast and then we would board the chartered buses that would let us off somewhere downtown San Francisco. (Was there also an east bay bus?) Our families would pick us up at the bus stop, take us home for the family celebration of Thanksgiving, and get us back to the bus stop that evening for our return trip to St. Joe's.

Some years (in fact, most I think) we were fortunate enough to get a 4 day Thanksgiving weekend by virture of the faculty applying some mysterious accumulated holidays (I think visiting bishops had the right to grant a holiday) and applying them to the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.

The Christmas vacation was something like 2 weeks. I think many of us played a role in the Christmas liturgies in our home parishes. I know that I did after my family moved to St. Emydius where Dave Pettingill was charged by the pastor Father Motherway (or Mother Fatherway, as Dave called him) with assembling and drilling the server contingent for the solemn Midnight Mass. Dave was, of course, Master of Ceremonies and I got to handle the thurifer duties with the charge to make sure we had a lot of smoke.

It was a long stretch of school year from a day or so after New Years until the Easter break. And that Easter vacation was a short one. It started at the conclusion of the Holy Saturday morning liturgy including (in our high school years before the restored Easter vigil) the 12 readings which were sung by selected Rhets. I seem to recall stern warnings from the faculty against the practice of racing through those readings, but nonetheless they were raced through. After the longish liturgy, we raced up to our rooms to change clothes, pick up a few items, and go down to meet our parents or classmates' parents for the ride home. (After the Easter Vigil was restored, I think we left on Easter morning. I'm not sure if this was always the case, but I believe we may have gone by bus to the Cathedral to participate in the Easter morning liturgy there.

And then spring with the pool opening, baseball, good weather, finals, the graduation ceremony and the nice long summer vacation.

While we very much enjoyed our vacations and the chance to be back with our families, we also tended to spend part of that time doing things together with our classmates and with some of our friends in other classes. The link at the top of the page opens an album of pictures of some of the activities. Here are the ones I recall. Please chime in if you can add details or recall additional events.

Parties. We had class parties in San Mateo and at Distefano's house, both of which are included in the album. Perhaps there were 2 Jerry Distefano parties. My parents (Joe Humphreys) gave me a surprise birthday party to which most of the class came. I think there also was one at Jim Tonna's.

Class Dinners. I can remember 3. A fourth high dinner at Pinelli's. Our Rhet dinner?, in Fairfax (was that Deer Park Villa). And, in Poet year I think, a bus "mystery ride" which would up in Occidental where we enjoyed steak dinner at the Union Hotel. So, have I forgotten any?

Ski trip. Some how I think this was an Easter vacation. A group of us managed to get ourselves to Vallejo where Mike Kenny's father (Arthur Kenny) led us in a caravan with cars from his used car lot up to the new, small Granlibakken ski resort for a couple of days of skiing. Besides skiing that trip featured an evening in the lodge telling spine chilling ghost stories, punctuated by a loud, frightening crash just outside the lodge. It turned out to be one of our number (was it Dan Danielson?) who had slipped on the ice and crashed into the door. I seem to recall that our trip was partially financed by a successful trip by Mike's dad across the line to the casinos. But, the most memorable part was the trip back in heavy snow where one one of the cars (lacking working windshield wipers) left the road and ended up, thankfully, in a snow bank and not in the Truckee River. This greatly delayed our trip home as we had to wait in Truckee for everyone to reassemble and head back across Donner Summit and then home.

Summer choir. Dan Danielson and Mike Kenny organized this activity. Members of the class visted various churches to provide them with what I am sure was an extraordinary experience of liturgical music. Despite Dan's best efforts to figure out how to improve my voice, my role was limited to driving to a few of these liturgies.

St. Joe's Orioles summer team

Baseball. At least one summer (and maybe more -- Fitzgerald probably remembers this better than me), we had a "semi-pro" baseball team -- the Orioles -- that played a number of games.

Summer camp. Many of us worked together at Summer Camps as counselors. I know there was a CYO camp, a camp for students from St. Vincent's in Marin, and the camp I worked at Camp St. Alberts. Camp St. Albert was located between Willets and Fort Bragg and had its own train station on the Skunk line. It was run by the Dominican Sisters who operated the now-closed Albertinum home for boys in Ukiah. About half the campers were from that school and the other half were from low-income families in and around San Francisco. A few pictures from the CYO and Camp St Albert camps are in the album linked at the top of this page.

That's what I remember about vacations during our years at St. Joe's. Your turn.

This page was last modified Tuesday, 10-Apr-2007 04:45:16 PDT.

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