Snippets from my five-year diary.
*1970 (age 11): Went to school. It’s Monday.
Nothing like stating the obvious. I can feel the “Oh man, it’s Monday, blues” coming through the page.
*1971 (age 12): TUES. Gym day at school. 5 days till my birthday. At school for gym we played dodgeball.
One of my least favorite things in gym was playing dodge ball. I usually spent the gym period running from and being smacked with the ball – which hurt like heck. Whoever invented that game should have thought about all the kids like me that had nightmares about playing the game for years afterwards.
*1972 (age 13): Thurs – Hamburger and Gym day.
Hamburger Day was a big deal. In Catholic school, we didn’t have school lunches each day, just special days for hot dogs and hamburgers. I much preferred hamburgers over hot dogs, but both we better than a sack lunch. Must not have played dodgeball, as no sport was mentioned.
*1973 (age 14): Fri – Well today dad left for 3-Rivers – a retreat house – he’ll be gone until Sun. night.
Dad going away for the weekend meant several things: 1) Sleeping in my parents' room with Mom – a huge treat. 2) Pancakes for dinner – also a huge treat. 3) No chores on Saturday – the best treat of all.
*1974 (age 15): Sat. Boy it’s really been raining a lot. Today Me, and mom, & Sue went shopping. I got a bra, and gum, and birthday invitations. My party will be next Saturday. I’m gonna get a 6 foot submarine sandwich from Little Anthony’s. YUM.
Getting a six-foot sub sandwich was all the rage back then. My parents loved the idea of a pre-made birthday meal. Just add something to drink and a cake, plus balloons and streamers. Everyone would get a 3” hunk of sandwich and there were always leftovers for the next day.
Note to self: Treasure every moment you can with Mom. Soak in her hugs and learn as much as you can from her. You don’t know it yet, but in 1975 she’ll be diagnosed with cancer and by 1978 she’ll be gone.