March 2013

We were all very thankful to Bishop Lynch for asking the Jesuits to set up a high school in Dallas since there was not one here for boys, only Ursuline for girls. This time was pre Vatican II and the Jesuits wore the Spanish black robe in all classes which I liked and I wish they did it now since the present students would know this Order. Father Druhan was the principal; Father Curry was the assistant. David Knight, also from Holy Trinity across the street and the class of 1946, is a priest retired in the Memphis diocese. Mrs. Norsch was the registrar whose desk was at the center entrance to the left inside. There was a janitor, Inez. And there was a Jesuit brother who, with Inez, cleaned and maintained the school. This red brick building was from 1905 with high ceilings and wood paneling and a large basketball court on the top fifth floor.

I remember Father Jacques Weber for Prose and Poetry and English literature. Father Harold Cooper for English grammar and composition, Father Miesch for Algebra, Mr. Cronin for Physics, Mr. Shaunessy for sociology, Father Tynan for solid geometry, and one year of theology. There was an older priest who taught Apologetics. And I cannot remember who gave us American history. During my senior year, Father Tynan taught geometry and on the first class day he introduced an African-American who would be in the class. I don’t know if this fellow was observing, or whatever, but I did not see him around later. My first year of Latin was with Father Jacque Weber; I don’t recall the 2nd year but for my 3rd year it was Mr. Shaussnessy for translation and reading Cicero and Julius Caesar. The 4th year I think was Father Tynan.

In May 1948 at my graduation, I was able to read and understand classical Latin and the Latin mass. Mr. Stanberry taught Spanish, and Greek was offered privately by Father Curry, from whom David Knight studied. In my 3rd year, junior David Brune and I, after classes, would walk down Oak Lawn and have a chef’s salad at Clesi’s Italian restaurant. For our prom dinner in 1948 Rueben Martinez let us use his family’s El Fenix on McKinney. Of course the prom dance was in the old school’s gym and Coca-Cola was there. My graduation was May 27th 1948 outside on the lawn at the main entrance, with the band. Msgr. Bender gave out the diplomas. The wind was quite strong, dislodging some of the diplomas and blowing Msgr’s cape. It was a moment of jollity. The night before in the auditorium Bishop Lynch gave out the awards, although he could not attend the graduation. I received a Linz diamond for a 4 year perfect attendance. My grade average was 3.04. This may be inexact. The students were given a three day retreat before graduation. One of my classmates, Pat Healy, performed King Lear at the annual drama presentations. He had a mature, low voice for his age. He went on to London to perform with the Old Vic and Globe theater. We have had one renewal, our 50th in 1998. The Jesuits of my time, 1944-48, gave traditional academic classes and information, and that system continues even after I obtained my licentiate in Theology and Scripture assisted by the Society of Jesus in Dallas.

1948 Cover of First Yearbook
1948 Cover of First Yearbook