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Chapter IX - School News

In 1934 Colette graduated from high school. (My daughter Carmela will henceforth be known as Colette, a name of her choice). There was no hope for us to send her to college.

She started to look for work but her search was in vain. My beautiful daughter was a great help to me by helping with the family, garden and many chores. Then a state junior college opened. Colette decided to enroll. She wanted to take night courses but the big problem was transportation. We had none. A student who owned an old car offered to bring her home at night for fifty cents a week. She and another student walked about four miles every day from Florham Park to Morristown to attend classes. In this way it was possible for Colette to attend college for that year.

Lucy (Lucia) graduated the following year and married after graduation.

It was 1935 and we had fallen behind on the mortgage payments. We were using every dollar that we could get our hands on trying to keep our home. My growing children needed many things, which they had to do without, thus causing them much humiliation.

Tony was a freshman in high school and Irma was in the eighth grade.

Graduation was a big event in Florham Park. There was always a play on that night followed by a speech from the valedictorian. Then prizes would be presented for the most outstanding work done by the students. Irma and her best girl friend were in line for top honors. My daughter had made valedictorian because she had one more A than her friend. However, Miss Lauton insisted that the honor should go to Natalie because of Irma's ethnic background. My daughter was badly hurt by discrimination. Miss Lauton, feeling guilty, offered to take Irma to New York to see a play the next day, but I refused to let her go.

Around this time I received a note from the principal of the school. She wanted me to have a conference with her about Edward. I went. She informed me about her intention to keep Edward back for the year because of his age and stature. She said he was immature for the sixth grade and because of his short height he would not fit in with the other boys. I told her that I would think her suggestion over and let her know later after I had talked to my husband.

My husband felt that Edward should not be held back. This decision might discourage Edward from making good grades.

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