Maria, Pacelli classes of ’69 to celebrate 50 year reunion
Submitted by Jodi Hurrish, Stevens Point
In 1969 we went to a Graduation Party and we sort of spilled out the door and into the streets and covered the world. Hundreds of thousands of us became unified by peace love and freedom. Suddenly youth was a class. We carbonated the flat. We fell in love with each other, sipped in cafes that smelled of comets. Under the pressure of our step the streets emitted the precise odor of a diamond necklace. We carried luggage that reeked of the neurons of Einstein’s brain.
Today we’ve got social networks that encourage kids to make spectacles of themselves for the amusement of others. 18 year olds don’t seem to talk much in person, preferring to obsess over a gadget held in their hands. Nobody was fat. Now there’s a TV show called Family By the Ton. We had 2 channels and TV News lasted 30 minutes a day. Today we wander onto the News Tarmac and sidestep the obfuscation turbines.
In 1969 people who had never sung a note in their lives gained perfect pitch overnight. We snarled into the streets facing down beatings, gassing and grew stronger. Knowing I was one of them feels good now.
In 1969 our Dads made $6,000. In 2019 $63,600. A used/new home cost from $5,000-$27,000 now $377,000 and Warren Beatty doesn’t come with it. Population was 202,677 now 329, 117. Two immigrants lived next door. We called them JaJa and Busha. 1969 Best Picture Midnight Cowboy. Best Actor John Wayne. Best new Grammy Artist CS&N. 2019 Dua Lipa..don’t ask me who that is.. A new car cost $2,000 now $37,600. Gas was 25cents, as was a 4 pack of Toilet Paper and 4 chicken breasts.
Nixon was president. Agnew criticized the media, intellectuals and war protesters “Time to sweep that kind of garbage out of society” He resigned in 1973, tax evasion. I’ll just leave that there.
The only keyboards we touched were Freshman Typing and the piano. Water was free out of the tap. We had no cameras or phones or computers.We had radios and our mouths. And passion.
The Pill, War Moratorium, Hips and Straights, Stonewall Rebellion, Manson, John and Yoko, Smothers Brothers, J.Edgar Hoover wiretapped MLK, Moon Landing, School Desegregation, Chicago 8, ERA, Woodstock. Frank asked me once “How come nobody we know went to Woodstock?” Simple, we had no cars or money and had to be back Monday for work.
47% Females went to college. 60% Males but those were war years. Adults didn’t visit Pacelli or Maria to recruit. It wasn’t a thing. We said please and thank you. We were good kids. I wore my Mom’s uniform, the actual jumper she donned 20 years before me at Maria. The Nuns slapped the vanity right out of us. No make up, no barrettes, or hair ties. Nobody had a car. Walking home from Maria we cut through the PJ’s parking lot and even though our skirts were hiked up by belts, the public school guys hung out the windows and mocked “Maria Dogs”. It’s a wonder we ended up with any egos at all !!
The nuns warned us in Grade School if we kissed a boy we’d get pregnant. We were not promiscuous in High School. After gradation we had lot of making up to do and the the times were certainly conducive. Pacelli and Maria were separate entities, but we fraternized at games and dances. My first week I inadvertently stepped on some insignia of Blessed Mother. The Principal handed me a toothbrush and told me to use it to scrub the floor. Adorable compared to Parkland.
Some of us went on to college, some went to Vietnam, others got jobs. I flew to Berkeley with $4,000 I’d saved from my $1.60 hr job. Some got diamond rings and had blasts of sugar blown into every chamber of their hearts by having kids. Some mewled in aluminum boxes, other swanned in mansions.
I always say I wouldn’t trade our coming of age era for any other. The music! The Beatles jumped off Ed Sullivan and into our guys’ lives.
I am thrilled to report for our 50th Reunion Gray Catz will perform with Jeff Ebel(69), Frank Stanislawski and Dan Alfuth. They will be joined by Circus with Wayne Kostrowski (69) and Randy Glodowski(68).
Some of us died in a war, some got sick, some went down like a sack of meteorites addressed special delivery to gravity. Most survived.
-August 8 Grafitti’s.
-August 9 Sky Club.
Brothers and Sisters, please join me to celebrate the simple sweet irreducible beauty of 1969 and our youth. And as always, Peace.