There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark



Friday, May 01, 2009

May Day, May Day

Every year during the month of May there would be a May Day procession to honor the Virgin Mary at my second grammar school on the other side of the tracks, St. Thomas More. All of the girls dressed in fouffy, lacy, pastel dresses, carried a floral bouquet and wore a "crown" of flowers.

A girl student would be chosen to carry the statue of the Virgin and all of the other students lined up behind her and marched around the playground and eventually into the church for Mass. I was never chosen to carry the statue...and I knew I would never be chosen. The "chosen one" had to be an A plus student, which I was not, and have demonstrated "grace" in the sense of her soul which I did not display. I had already gone through the I want to be a Sister of Charity and moved on to the I want to touch a boy stage by the time this photo was taken. This photo has June '58 on the top but my guess is that was when it was printed.

I vividly remember my last procession when I was in 8th grade. I remember going out to my dad's garden where he had sweet peas growing up the fence. I love sweet peas. I remember looking at the vine tendrils and thinking my hair looked just like them. I picked a bunch of flowers and took them inside and wove my own crown and wrapped the hand held bouquet in a paper doily. I remember standing in the dinning room of our house, my mother telling me to "Smile, dammit" the morning of the procession. I was a rebellious young girl. I remember marching in back of Vickie Sherman the Queen and sitting next to Sandy Henderson in church. Her mother had let her put on makeup. I wish I could grow sweet peas here, in Idaho...maybe I can.


The sweet pea doesn't fall far from the vine. This is a photo of my mother.




9 comments:

jan said...

I remember doing something fun on May Day in Brownie Scouts. And then we all had to stop doing it because it was a communist celebration. It was many years before I understood that. Actually I never have.

Sling said...

I'm always impressed with your collection of photographs.

'I had already gone through the I want to be a Sister of Charity and moved on to the I want to touch a boy stage by the time this photo was taken'...okay..That part just cracked me up! :)

kenju said...

I love both photos, Rosemary. The crown of sweetpeas was a wonderful touch!

Miss Healthypants said...

Hey, I went through the "I want to be a Sister of Charity" phase and moved on to the "I want to touch a boy" stage, too! *grin*

Seriously, I wanted to be "Sister Carla Jean" when I grew up! Now I drink beer and swear like a trucker! :) *hee hee*

Mom said...

when I was little we had a huge May Pole with long beautiful ribbons. we danced around the pole with the ribbons. it was beautiful.
I love sweet peas too. They are lovely.

yellowdog granny said...

your my favorite sweetpea.

more cowbell said...

Rosemary you know I love your posts with the old pictures. I loved the similarity with your and your mom's pics, and I loved the skirt of your dress.

I never wanted to be a Sister of Charity, but I did want to be an evangelical missionary many years ago, in my zealot stage. Thankgawd I was cured of it.

madretz said...

I think you're beautiful!

Middle Child said...

You made flowers from your dad's sweet peas...such a beautiful memory...thats like a gift..and you still can see your dad's sweet peas in your hair on the photo...what price on that hey...
I never ever wanted to be a nun
I forgot...in your previous post you listed the nuns in primary...me too, Sr Mary Martina (a caner) Sr mary bede (lovely and gentle)Sr Mary Marietta, (who was always hitting the backs of our heads as she walked past) Sr Mary Annunciata ( a dear old thing) Sr Mary Borgia (Borgia by name, Borgia by nature - I got the cane almost daily from this monstrous woman) and luckily Sr Mary Campion (who actually cared about us and brought us into the 60's not the 1920's)