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To the Girls of '82, Greetings:

V G

Posted on March 22 2020

To the Girls of '82, Greetings:
March 6th, 1925
Just a little incident of the dear old school days. Do you remember the "Flappers" of '82? No? Well, I'll recite a little history which may amuse you, although at the time it occurred, it was almost a tragedy for the writer. The little Flappers, - Jennie, Hilda and Bess, - were in the habit of keeping tryst at the Grotto and Rustic Bridge with several Wheeling swains. Just a stolen moment with exchange of "Oh's" and "Ah's", and an occasional box of candy as a trophy. When the Creek was impassable after heavy rains, Sport, the trained spaniel, swam the "Hellespont" carrying the bon bons in his mouth, delivering the same to the fair but frivolous maidens on the bridge. One lovely spring day, Sister Jane Frances of the eagle eye, on her daily rounds down by the bridge, spied the boys crossing the creek. She rebuked them and shoo'ed them away. On hearing the news in algebra class I hurriedly wrote the following doggerel:

 (With all due apologies to Longfellow) 

"We stood on the Bridge at mid-day
While the boys were crossing in the Creek-
And the distance that lay between us 
Was the throw of a hickory stick. 
When o'er the waters rushing
Came the sound of the oars' dip
Our hearts within us gushing
As we tho't of that moustached lip. 
The question went o'er the wateres:
'Are you Willie Delaplaine??'
And the Answer came thundering to us
'Oh H-I, it's a Sister again".
How often, oh, how often, 
When i view that creek again
I think of the glad hours spent there 
With that gallant Wheeling swain".

 

I wrote the above on my book-slate, passing it along to Minnie Loring: she copied the verses and I forgot all about the incident until several weeks later. 
It seems Minnie showed the lines to a friend who attended the college close by and he confiscated the "parody" and published it in the "Echo". the college magazine, signing it:
"By a Mt. de Chantal Miss".
When the dear nuns saw the lines, they were duly horrified. Father Reynolds called me on the carpet, saying: "Anna Lyons, do you expect to receive your medal for good conduct this year?" 
"Why sure, Father," I replied, "I have received perfect marks every month so far".
"Well, what about this", he remarked icily, handing me a marked copy of the"Echo". I was strickend dumb. That word "H-I" was blue pencilled. It fairly burned my eyes!! 
Then he continued: "I intend to have Hilda Leach read that verse to-the audience on Distribution day and have a vote taken,- if you are worthy of your honors",
Oh, Girls, the agony or the two weeks preceding the fateful day! I grew despondent, sleepless, thin. So, when the dear Bishop called my name and presented me with my medal, I staggered towards him and nearly fainted. I have that medal before me as I write and the "Excellence of Conduct" looms up to cheer me on my way. 
In conclusion, I send my heartfelt wishes to all the old girls or '82, and trust that I may be rewarded with a few line from some of them. 
I do wish I had their names and present addresses and I would write to them for the sake of "Auld lang Syne".
Respectfully submitted, 
Anna Lyons Murphy,
St. Paul, Minn 

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