Pic Courtesy of Butch Wiltey

St. Patrick's 8th Grade Class - 1956

Front: Mary Nellis,  Lois Hadley, Rosalie LaFountain, Father Sheety, Father? Pat Sabol and Julie Elmendorf

Back: John Kiffney, Ed Davidson, Donald Goot, Fred Wiltey, Tom Russo, Tom Corbett, Jim Gravel, and Richard Ackerbauer

The "Great Escape" from St. Pat's

Tommy Russo and I would get in trouble in one of our first classes of the morning and the nun (I think it was Sister Mary Maura) would relegate us to the cloak room for the morning.

Well, one day while sitting in "solitary" in the dark cloak room we realized we could climb up the metal ladder affixed to the wall - Open up the "escape hatch" in the ceiling and get on the flat roof of the school. We brought up a baseball, bat, and gloves from below and played pepper on the roof all morning!

Once we discovered how to get out, if it wasn't raining, we made sure we would be banished to the cloak room almost everyday. Tommy would punch me, or I would punch him. Instantly we were put in what we called our "release time class" (the cloak room).

Once the other kids caught on to what we were doing it was bedlam in the first class period. I'd walk into the class and Jimmy Gravel would punch me in the face. Next day Tom Corbett or Richie Ackerbauer would punch me or Tommy so they could go in the cloak room for the morning. Tried to get Julie Elmendorf to punch me, but she wouldn't saying, if I went in that room with you I'd probably HAVE to punch you! :) 

One day the end came to our escapades when Father Sheety (we called him something else) spotted us on the roof as he drove by in his big, black, Chrysler. Thought he was gonna kill us!

We got even with him while we were practicing to be altar boys. Remember the long handled candle snuffers with a bell like thing on the end? One day we drilled some holes in it. The air would still get to the candles so they couldn't be snuffed.

After bawling us out for not being able to snuff out the candles. He grabbed the "snuffer" from us and went nuts trying to snuff the candles as we rolled on the floor laughing our guts out!  We we the first "holy rollers". He never did figure out what happened. He finally got a ladder and blew out the candles. We never saw him so mad, and we loved it! What made us laugh the hardest was that he wasn't smart enough to see the holes in the snuffer! Next Sunday only the LOWER altar candles were lit!

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