Skip to main content

Coming Back Home - PJ23

Growing up, my sisters and I went to catholic school. My Great Grandmother was catholic, and she mandated that her granddaughters go to catholic school. Initially, my mom was a little hesitant, but after my sister put a little boys hair in a ponytail at because he had 'girl hair', she went along with my Granny's desire, and we got skirted up and shipped off to Pope John XXIII. Pope John was really just one school in a trio -their was the Primary school, Pope John; the secondary school, St. Dominic, and the middle school, Holy Rosary. When you got to Holy Rosary, you were pretty big time, because you graduated from 8th grade and went on to one of the catholic diocese high schools. This was our life. We went to catholic school and our father was a Methodist Preacher.

Our mother wanted to make sure she selected a catholic school for us that had a nice sized population of black kids. She did her research and found out that Pope John was the place. My Dad volunteered for bingo, drove the sports carpools, and my house was the sleepover house. This was only because we were not allowed to go further than the front porch, so everybody was allowed to come to our house. That's what happens when you are the father of 7 girls. They have to stay within shout distance so you can keep them safe.

My sister and I all graduated from 8th grade and went on to high school. The twins, 5 years older than me, went on to graduate from Father Joseph Wehrle High school. I started out there, but graduated from East High School. The diocese shut down Pope John the year after my 8th grade class graduated, and subsequently shut down Wehrle. Both were closed partly out of a desire to save money, and partly because the kids who attended these schools were predominantly economiclly disadvantaged, and therefore when schools went on the chopping block, these were the first to be shed.

Then Maurice posted that he was thinking about a reunion. Sina and I had been talking about how much fun it would be for a few years. So we posted it on facebook and started putting out feelers for interested parties. And set a meeting date.

You know how you feel when you go back to your childhood home, after you have been gone home for a long time? I had that feeling Monday evening. About 12 of us gathered across the pews of Praise Temple CME Church, meeting to organize
The 1st PJ23 Reunion
- A reunion that is going to span primary, elementary and middle school, and bring back together a family.

The first part of the meeting was spent laughing and catching up, the whole while being videotaped, until we finally got down to business. The magic of the whole thing was that as each person entered the building - whether we saw each other last week or 10 years ago - there was no hesitation. The relationship - the communication - picked up like yesterday.

Yes, the evident maturity of each person was witnessed, but the basic essence of who we were, the structure that catholic school gave us, and the lessons that tied us together - the fraternity of PJ23 - superceded everything.

Then Michael said - whenever I see anyone from PJ23, it's just like I'm already home.


A couple weeks ago, my colleagues and I had a conversation about how you lose track of the people you grew up with, and the people you go to college with. I was amazed at what I was hearing - because I have friends I have known since kindergarten. Friends I love like I love.I credit my ability to develop long lasting relationships to what I learned at Pope John XXIII - this is a family.

Comments

  1. Excellent illustration Elizabeth! I attended Pope John during its last 3 years of operation. I share your uncanny experience of feeling that you've gone back home. Having made friends there that I can reconnect with after many years and feel as if no time has passed at all is part of the unique family atmosphere that was our Pope John XXIII!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

We appreciate your comments - we want to keep the dialogue going. It's elemental that we keep a discourse open among each other. This is our community.

Popular posts from this blog

At Last, Alex Troutt Thriller:Book 6 - Review

New Release....
Alex Troutt Thriller, Book #6
AT Last

Thirty years after losing a parent to a hit-and-run drunk driver, FBI agent Alex Troutt finally confronts the killer--the same man who just murdered the Boston police chief.
And what Alex pulls from him shatters her core.

Armed with little more than hope and a shred of decades-old evidence, Alex chases a memory from her past, hoping that she'll find the mother she never really had. With her old buddy Archie on board --as much as ever can be -- the hunt takes her deep into the foothills of West Virginia. A fanatical religious cult has created its own society. Desperate to right a thirty-year wrong, Alex must out-think and out-duel everyone in her path to right a thirty-year wrong.

Will Alex’s quest to find the truth destroy her life all over again?

My Review

John W Mefford's Alex Troutt Thriller series is a group of books that can be read in succession or each one can stand alone. This most recent addition to the series, At L…

The Asian Slow Cooker - Change Up on the Crockpot Scene!

The Asian Slow Cooker cookbook provides great new flavors to try in your slow cooker. These simple and delicious recipes will have your favorite Asian dishes waiting for you right when you get home. With the press of a button, you can make authentic dishes that are healthier and tastier than their restaurant counterparts. You’ll experience a wide variety of flavors; choose spicy, vegetarian, noodles or rice. There are even recipes that have 5 ingredients or less. Extra long day? Kelly’s fuss-free one-pot and skillet recipes will have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less?and with only one pan to wash, cleanup will be a breeze.Whether you’re in the mood for General Tso’s Chicken, Pad Thai Noodles with Chicken, Beef Chow Fun, Panang Curry, Mapo Tofu or Tom Yum Hot and Sour Soup, you can have fast, delicious meals every day of the week the easy way.

My Review

Most everyone in my family knows that I love to cook, and I love to share; but time is also of the essence. Speaking of ess…

Review: Hurricane In Paradise by Deborah Brown

Set against the steamy backdrop of Tarpon Cove's sun-kissed, tropical waters, sexy sleuths and best friends Madison and Fab are at it again dealing with the occasional dead body. Hidden just below the surface of the small town lies an underworld, one steeped in deceit, corruption, and deadly secrets. It's only a matter of time before Madison and Fab find themselves on a collision course with the police, who consider them likely suspects in a murder.

Ride along on their adventures when the duo realizes that a family member is missing and pull themselves away from all jobs to track him down. Theories: walked away, freak accident, kidnapped? If so, then why no ransom demand?

Hurricane in Paradise is book ten in the thrilling and humorous provocative Paradise series, which finds the two waist-deep in mystery and romance. It is a smart, adventurous read that delivers heart-thumping, non-stop action. Join Madison and Fab as they solve the most twisted of cases, through unconvention…