The end of the school year, except for finals, is such a great time. The Spring Musical anticipates May and then the novena to Mother Seton leads into Mary’s month and the Pilgrimage. There are the Senior Pro-Life Speeches and the Senior Banquet. Prom promenades after the dress approval ritual. The May Crowning ceremony gives a chance to give public honor to our Heavenly Mother, if we remember to bring a flower. There’s all the spring sports tournaments and usually one or another team going to state. A lot of events, a lot of excitement and fun. I was remembering some favorites of some of the above.
For the Spring Musical I have three favorites: Fiddler, Music Man (the 1st – didn’t get to see the remake this year though I have been told it was tremendous by multiple viewers) and Annie. There are many, many honorable mentions that give those three a run.
The Pilgrimages that I got to sing with the choir in the loft standout – an amazing experience. I also liked the time that Gabe and Nicole sang “Anything You Can Do” at the picnic grounds. And for the journey there it would be the time I rode with the Myers who made it a seemingly quick trip to Emmitsburg with their talent at singing. (I seem to be influenced by song.) There are other memorable moments, but mostly just the pilgrimage and being at the Shrine and at the Grotto made every year great.
There have been many inspiring pro-life speeches. Those by Todd Summers, Justin Torres, Jean Pennefather – those were three that stand out for me. And I’ll always admire Caroline Wheeler for refusing to change her speech after she had been declared the state winner. It cost her a trip to the national contest, but there are greater rewards for integrity.
The May Crowning at the Pennefather home was memorable. There was some reason the statue at All Saints couldn’t be crowned that year, so we made the little trip to Park Avenue and crowned the outdoor statue there. Each year it was great to see who it was that the student body chose as May Queen and all her attendants.
Favorite prom, hands down, is the one that Mrs. Reese (Mike and Matt’s mom) hosted at her home. Amazing! I think the seniors that year never got around to planning a prom, but Mrs. Reese offered her great backyard and saved the day. Mrs. Reese said later that her neighbors even enjoyed the music.
A favorite Senior Banquet was the year of “My Fair Lady”. The Banquet was held in the Seton gym and the faculty did the Ascot Racetrack scene with the ladies in those amazing hats that Mrs. McDonald was primarily responsible for producing. I especially remember Mrs. Reagan playing the part of a highbred sophisticate very well. And Mrs. Carroll had the memorable line, “Seniors, we like your blooming class.”
My favorite graduation speaker would be Mr. Cuccinelli. Talk about a heart in the right place: I remember him getting teary eyed while he spoke of a piece of pro-life legislation that had gotten passed – not a calloused politician by any means.
And for a student graduation speech I choose Paul Haggerty’s salutatorian address for a selfish reason. Paul mimicked something that I had done at the Senior Banquet, and perhaps I was the only one who noticed him doing it, but it was very funny to me. I wonder if he would even remember what I am referring to.
Finally, for spring sports I’ll chose the girls DAC championship game against RMA in Front Royal. Every year since the DAC began, Seton had won the “All-Sports Trophy” for both the boys and the girls. The trophies were given for the teams that did the best overall through the year. The other schools got tired of us winning and kept trying to change the rules on how it would be awarded. The boys had won again that year, but the girls had to beat RMA in order to keep the trophy. I was a little nervous as the game began. Ten minutes later I was on cruise control because Deirdre Brien scored three goals in that length of time. I remember she looked sort of embarrassed after she scored the third – all three of them were unassisted. At some point, still with Seton having always won the All Sports Trophies, the league decided to do away with the award. At the meeting I encouraged this because, as I said, it really didn’t mean that much to us anyway. (I knew the vote would go against us no matter what, so I decided to add that last barb to the egos of the DAC AD’s.)
One thing that makes memories enjoyable to bring up is that because we are all made so differently, probably no two of us would have favorite choices that resemble each other very closely. And then there’s always the things we forget that someone else’s memories bring back to us. Thanks to all of you, from musical stars to May Crowning Queens and everyone in between who have provided many great memories.
Jezu, ufam Tobie.