By Marcia Kester
The year was 1964 and the future Class of 1968 was adjusting to its new surroundings, its rules and each other at Mount Saint Mary Academy in Kenmore. We didn’t know it at the time, but some of these relationships would last our whole lives.
The Class of ’68 from our all-girls Catholic high school recently held its 50th reunion, reconnecting with our fellow “Christian young ladies,” as the nuns used to call us.
A good education was and is a must at the Mount. We took classes to prepare us for college, and nowadays the students take certain classes to get college credits. They also encourage students to start their own businesses. There is a phrase from the 1960s that comes to mind, “You’ve come a long way, baby!”
Our class was taught we could become whatever we wanted to, as long as we worked hard to achieve it.
At our reunion every profession was represented. We were lawyers, doctors, teachers, nurses and more.
During our time at the Mount, the teaching staff consisted mostly of nuns. Our uniforms were dark blue, accessorized only by very starched white collars and cuffs. Actually our uniforms were very similar to the nuns’ attire except we did not have to wear veils.
But God help the poor Mountie that when she knelt down, her hemline did not touch the floor. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.
Yet our nuns belonged to a progressive order, so when spring sprung at MSMA, we were allowed to wear shirt waist dresses of lovely pastel colors of pink, blue and yellow. We looked like little “June Cleavers,” minus the pearls and high heels.
Every high school has its cliques, as did the Mount. But we learned that the older we got, the more we had in common.
Following our reunion dinner Saturday night it was game time. Who was the most educated? Who came the farthest?
But the best part of the evening was a game of sorts, that only our class would know. “Name that teacher,” or “Name that student.” The answers were hilarious.
We talked about our old classroom games, including “The Pin and the Pencil.” Apparently one of the “Christian Young Ladies” was bored with the subject being taught one day so she decided to amuse herself with a new activity. She decided to insert the pin into the eraser portion of a pencil. She then started to tap it on her desk, and what a lovely sound it made! The activity and sound were so admired by her fellow classmates that they too made the new toy and tapped on their desks. It turned out that the noise was like hearing a very leaky faucet. As luck would have it, this classroom was next to the girls lavatory. The sisters summoned a plumber, but he could not locate the problem.
Being a private Catholic high school, it was fitting that on Sunday we went to Mass right at Mount Saint Mary. The Class of 1968 was honored. After Mass we enjoyed a catered brunch with all the trimmings. Before we knew it, our reunion was over. Months of planning and meetings, long distance phone calls lasting hours, bad times remembered but the good times were cherished.
Marcia Kester, of Depew, cherishes her former “Christian Young Ladies.”