Anna was in fourth grade and I was in second grade. We were in Catholic school of course and it was all nuns in those days. The nuns were nice to us for the most part. But of course there was always the strict, you will follow all the rules to the letter, nun. She was the one who cracked your knuckles with a ruler. I, personally, never had my knuckles cracked and I was always grateful for that!
The nuns in the lower grades all thought that I was a timid soul who would burst out crying if I got yelled at or got my knuckles cracked. So I let them go on thinking that way, because it worked for me. It was in second grade that I decided I was on the road to hell for what I had done.
Now the sisters were always trying to drum up ways to make money for different causes. It could be for something they needed for the convent, or for the Missions and the poor children in other countries, or any number of things. Sister name in second grade was Sister Innocent. She was very sweet if a bit old. Well Sister Innocent started a lollipop business or suckers as we called them then. They were all flavors and were really good as I recall. I know I loved them! One of the Parish women made them in her kitchen and also sold them from her house. She always donated some to the school.
First thing in the morning Sister Innocent would ask who was going to buy a sucker? She wanted those who were getting one to pay first and collect the sucker at lunch time. Never having any money I knew I couldn’t have one. So one day when lunch time rolled around, Sister announced that the boys and girls who had paid for the suckers, come up to her desk and pick one out.
Thinking she would never know whether I paid or not, since she didn’t keep a record and her memory wasn’t that good, I marched up with the other kids and picked out a sucker. My heart was pounding and I was really nervous but I really wanted that sucker! I relaxed after I realized Sister was none the wiser. I went on with my life of crime for some time without being caught. I never knew whether Sister was just letting me get away with it, or didn’t even notice, assuming we were all honest. Each time I did it I was nervous but it didn’t stop me from getting that sucker! I don’t remember how long that continued.
Things at home were going along well until Paddy showed up one day asking to come back again. He wasn’t working and his mother had thrown him out telling him to get a job and go back to his family. He was very pathetic and Mother caved in and let him come back. I think she thought he would be a help to her and she was so tired of being alone with only the kids for company.
So he behaved himself for a while but soon enough he was having his friends and his brother over for poker and beer. Which was alright Mother said if he was working. He could not seem to find a job though and I think he actually was looking for work. But the effects of the Depression were still plaguing the country and even though Roosevelt was doing many good things to get the economy going, it was going to take some time before there was a significant turn around.
After Father was home a few months, Mother found out that she was pregnant again! Needless to say no one was happy about this.
To be continued.