|At OLA on 12/1/58?
||Born before or after 12/1/58?
||Where Lived on 12/1/58?
||Northern Wisconsin, Small Town
I was in my first year of an old-style Catholic grade school in 1958. It was second grade, and I had transferred from a newer public school to a rather fearsome dark red building with only four classrooms. It was a Polish parish, and the name of the school was carved in Polish on a lintel above the main door, which was accessed by a steep flight of steps. The surrounding neighborhood felt very urban to me: Lots of housses with two-decker porches, a corner store, other churches nearby. When I heard a school in Chicago (where I had relatives) had burned, I was terrified that the same thing would happen at our school. My mother talked about it, so did our school's nuns, who had a motherhouse in Chicago. Although I don't recall reading or hearing much about OLA throughout my life, I remembered the stories I'd heard in 1958, especially the woman named Barb who worked at the nearby store. After I retired, I read a book in which the OLA fire was mentioned, and then found this site. Anyone who attended Catholic schools in the late 50s/early 60s is part of a vast family with a collective memory.