And so the years passed and of course we kids were growing like weeds. Anna was a good head over me and very healthy looking; where I on the other hand, was skinny and short at that time. The doctor even wanted Mother to keep me out of school for a year. My ribs were actually sticking out and the doc thought I might have the rickets.
He told Mother to keep me home and let me rest and fatten me up. I did not want to stay home because it was much warmer at school and I got hot lunches there. Besides, I would miss all my classmates; we had all gone to school together for quite awhile and they were like family. So I begged Mother to let me go to school and of course she would rather have me in school because I was a handful at home. So she decided to let me go with the doctor’s approval of course.
Now the Catholic schools were known for their plays and recitals on every different occasion. And one of the big Holy Days was coming up. It was the Annunciation. The school needed someone to play the angel Gabriel in the upcoming play. Since Anna was tall and had a good voice and of course was good looking, she was picked for the part. She had long blond hair and blue eyes, which did not hurt her chances either. She, as the angel was to announce to Mary, the Blessed Virgin, that she was to be the Mother of God.
The Magnificat, which was the announcement in Latin, had to be sung in Latin, and of course Catholic school children knew their Latin. Especially the songs, as they were sung in church every Sunday. Anna was studying diligently and Mother was making her costume, which included wings. In fact, Anna was singing the song so much that we pretty much all knew it by time the play rolled around.
The evening before the big day arrived and Anna was washing her hair in preparation for the big night. She had to look the part. She did have beautiful blond wavy hair and everyone complimented her on it. You could say it was her crowning glory. Anna was very excited!
Now we didn’t have hot water in the shack, so we had to warm the water on the coal stove whenever we needed it. Anna was bent over the sink with her head over the basin of water and her hair was all soapy; she had put a pot of water on the stove to warm it for the rinse. I happened to be in the kitchen at the time and she asked me to get the pot of water from the stove and pour it on her head to rinse the soap off.
Well, I did exactly what she told me to do! But as soon as I poured the water over her head, she started screaming! She scared the bejasus out of me and I yelled, “What’s the matter?” “You scalded me,” she yelled back. Mother heard all the noise and ran into the kitchen. “What’s going on in here?” she yelled.
By the time everyone was settled down and we both told our stories, Mother took over. She sent me to go and get Mrs. D. Mrs. D. was of course our ‘go to’ person. Mother had just put a towel over Anna’s head and was trying to sooth her when Mrs. D. came running in. She asked what she could do to be of help? Mother explained what had happened and they unwrapped Anna’s head to take a look. The news was not good!
To be continued