Dear class, (1952)
Fifty Years! Annunciation is the only school I have ever attended and I have many memories of those years.
I don't know if I can keep them in any kind of order, so bare with me as I recall the happiest, saddest and most carefree days of my life.
Do you remember air raid warnings during World War II, hiding under our desks or rushing to the basement of the school, buying War Stamps, rationing?
We also bought Pagan babies! How many and where are they now?
Carl, do you remember asking me to a Boy Scout dance in the Fifth grade?
It was my first date. How special it felt!
It was held at a church on Jefferson, across from Memorial Park. My daddy drove us to and from the dance.
I had a great time, but I always wondered why you never asked me out again.
In the sixth grade, Richard Mott had the first boy & girl party.
We played Post Office, Spin the Bottle.
Then I had a boy/girl party and so did Annette.
Such innocent times.
Annette, do you remember parading up and down the street on Easter Sunday with Marie in our new outfits?
Or going downtown with twenty dollars each to buy a school outfit for our first day in High School?
We dressed alike in pleated skirts, pull over sweaters, dickies, saddle shoes, and bobby socks and still had enough money for a hot fudge sundae at Sanders plus streetcar fare back and forth.
Entering High School was exciting and terrifying, going from the first floor of the school to the second, changing classes, with new teachers & students to meet.
The only sadness I had entering High School was losing my first love, Red Roskopp!
I loved him from the first day he came to Annunciation in the sixth grade. He left to attend DeLasalle for High School.
They say you never forget your first love, and they are right.
My brother, Connie, was a very cute senior and a big jock. Therefore, I had an “in” with all of his friends. The senior girls were very nice to me and the girls in my class were also. I thought I was really popular but only later did I realize that they were really after him, through me!
How naive I was!
The first two years of High School were spent walking to all our events. How lucky we were to be so safe.
The football and basketball games, the Carroll club, movie theatres, parks, Yum Yums, each other’s homes.
No matter how far, all the time getting to know each other better.
By our junior year, we were becoming more secure and gaining upper classmen status. Cars started to appear and how popular the drivers became!
Who had the first car? Was it Frank Amicone?
He was very willing to give you a ride, if you had cigarettes, and could push the car to get it started.
How come Marie never had to push the car, Frank?
After our summer vacations, going into our Junior year, Mike Belanger came back to school. So tall, so cute!
I couldn't believe my eyes. Where had he been?
I don't know if he ever knew how hard I worked to get him to notice me! It must have worked because he asked me to the proms and important events thoughout the school year. Do you know how many girls were jealous of me, Mike?
I had the jock and the best looking boy in our class! I had to be good and not smoke when I was with him because he disapproved. It was very hard, but worth it.
The last time I saw Mike, we were sitting on my front porch the summer we graduated. A car with no one in it came driving by, remarks and laughing came from the ‘empty’ car.
He left. I guess he had enough of the clique.
Thanks, Mike, for being a big part of my high school years. I am still waiting for your graduation picture. Do you have any left?
P.J. Parties ! Oh God, how bad we were! So many at Carol’s. Do you remember who supplied us with the alcohol?
Margaret, who worked in a drug store, maybe?
I think we had a pint for ten or twelve girls.
How bad we were!
Lois, I think yours was the last one, and the wildest.
Ellen and I wore long johns as a joke. We didn't know that we would be locked out of the house for an hour.
Wasn't it at one of these parties that we made a phone call to the boys on the basketball team to tell them that Coach Boyle was having a very important meeting at the hall? Under cover, we watched as they arrived and realized they had been had!
In return, a month later, they told us there was a party at Bob Suborns. Needless to say, none of them showed up and they had gotten their revenge.
Theresa, do you remember how many girls fit into your car? The time we picked up two boys who were hitch hiking and dropped them off at Belle Isle.
I have often wondered how they got home and did it ever affect their lives.
How generous you were with your car, Theresa, and how happy we made Sister Callista, when we gave her those beautiful cherry blossom branches for the May Crowning, but how bare the trees looked on Lake Shore Dr.!
Sister Callista brings up so many memories.
The way she could change a gym into a beautiful ballroom for Prom night!
I'm sure every merchant in Detroit that she asked donations from, knew you did not refuse her request for anything.
There is only one person I ever knew that stood up to her and he paid for it.
Carl, do you remember asking her in religion class to prove that there was a God?
Before we knew what had happened she had you pinned to the blackboard. I thought for sure she would kill you!
In today's world, if a student asked that question, he would be credited with having an inquiring mind!
Eleanore, what a wonderful house you had. Where else could you find a pool table and built in bar in the basement or go to the attic to find formals of all colors and styles. How many did I borrow?
Two or three?
Did I ever thank your mother? I hope so!
There was always something so exciting going on. You had a sister that was a nun, one a beauty queen and a sister who was a concert pianist. Your family really introduced me to a whole new world.
You were so much fun to be with and a really good friend.
Do you remember the vacation we were going to take to my Grandma’s house in Ionia? If you have saved up the money that we thought we would need ($10) for a week and have the time now……
You have never changed, still so much fun and remain a very good friend.
I thank Father Hickey for being a liberal thinker and allowing girls to become cheerleaders for the first time at Annunciation. Two senior girls, Midge and Ann, and two junior girls, Pat and I, made up the team. We were only allowed to do dance steps, no gymnastics or vulgar moves.
I don't think we knew how anyway.
I remember the pep meetings in the hall before a big game, the best was when we won the game and then at mass the next day, Father Carroll would give us a free day.
I would also like to thank Father O'Hara for the beautiful concerts he directed and the classical music he introduced us to.
Annunciation Hall provided us with so many happy times. It was there that Christmas and St. Patrick's Day programs, concerts, pep meetings, basketball games, boxing, Sadie Hawkins dances and proms took place. The best of times were at the Carroll Club where we could play pool, ping pong, shuffle board and cards.
Remember Canasta and …what was the name of the card game where, if you lost, you were hit on the knuckles?
Ouch! I still have scars! It is also where we learned to dance even if it was with just another girl.
Every Spring, the Senior Prom was presented. I think it was then that the whole class came together. Everyone had a part in it. Even my parents, who gave up some living room furniture for a week so it could be used on stage.
Our play “Here She Comes” did not produce any Oscar winners!
I wonder did anyone ever go on to pursue their acting career?
My brother, Connie, kept asking me for the name of that cute blond girl in my class and why didn't I ask her over to our house. I told him it was Mary Ann DeWaegenare and to leave her alone, she was my friend and I wanted her to stay that way.
You, Mary Ann, later only had eyes for that cute boy in our class Bob Osbourne. You were the only one to marry a classmate, but not the only one to marry an Annunciation school mate. Those upper classmen took the hearts of Doris, Marie, Annette and Margie.
How come Bob was the only boy from our class to fall for an Annunciation girl?
Now it is time for me to apologize for this long and rambling letter. When I received the notice for our Fiftieth Class Reunion, like all of the others I had received, I had made up my mind not to attend, but I did want to keep in touch with classmates.
I decided to write a letter to say how much you all meant to me and what great High school days I had.
I then received a call from Margie asking if I would be on her decorating committee. I agreed, but told her that I would not attend because it was too sentimental for me. She said “That's fine”.
A couple of phone calls later, I was making reservations for the hotel and sending a check to Carl.
If anyone needs any counseling, I know a good therapist who is excellent in her profession.
She was also my Maid of Honor, Godmother to our son, Timothy, and my very best friend for over fifty years.
Thank you Margaret, for not letting me miss this reunion with my old friends and classmates.
Gaye Dyke Stilwell
P.S. I had most of this letter written at the time I decided to attend. I have had so much fun remembering these times that I thought I would still give it to you and maybe you will also recall some of these memories, and those that you hold in your minds and hearts.