To Be a Frannie Girl

Those of us who attended St. Francis High school in the 1960s were called Frannie Candies. I started high school in 1962. We didn’t have to wear uniforms, but dresses or skirts. The skirts had to touch the floor when you knelt down. Of course, when waiting for the bus, we rolled over the band to shorten them up. We were an all-girls school – boarding and day students. The high school boys, of course, liked to drive around the school and try to talk to the girls – of course the public school girls hated us.

We played half-court basketball in those days – wore blue gym suits. You didn’t want to sweat, so tumbling was the most strenuous thing we did in Phys. Ed.

We were a giggly bunch of girls. One time in science class we all climbed out the window. We had a first year teacher. Well, we all had to write “I must be a lady,” 500 times.

President Kennedy was killed in my sophomore year. When announced, we went to the chapel to pray. I’ll never forget that day.

They were good years – we had fun. In our senior year we got to have one of the first proms. Of course we were told we could not dance body-to-body. What would kids think now?

During the Cuban Missile Crisis we filled sand bags to fill the ends of the tunnels in case of war.

We watched the first unmanned space flight in the gym on T.V. – of course black and white.

They were years of change. The Vietnam War was going on. People started to think about protests. Young men we knew were going off to war after graduation.

The nuns still wore the black habits, so you could always hear them coming. We always tried to guess their hair coloring and age.

I graduated in 1965. Those years you either got married, went to college, or went to work. I went to work at the J.C. Penney store as an office cashier. In those days we got paid every week in cash. I made $1.25 an hour. My rent was $40 a month. Things were a lot cheaper then.


Date of Essay: October 24, 2011

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