Memories of My Senior Year of High School
at St. Stephen's in Rome
1972 was the year our class graduated.
It was a challenging year for us all.
Dr. Howard Hall -- with his military buzz-cut
hair -- was the Headmaster. I took his calculus
class. He wrote the textbook himself. He seemed to
think that his was the only one good enough, and we
received it in the form of blurry photocopies.
Indeed, it was good.
The pages were hand-written. I'll never forget
his handsome, unique calligraphy.
He also wrote a
letter to my parents complaining about the length
of my hair.
His time would have been better spent fund raising.
The School went very nearly belly-up.
There was no money to print a yearbook.
This makes it hard to recall our classmates
(though I have stayed in touch with several:
Karen Bowie (now in Paris), Eric Richmond (now in London),
Karen Schur (now in Thailand) and a few more.
Mike Selig passed away.
Pat Nahas took her own life and we mourn her to this day.
But I digress.
Mike and I pioneered the Rome Rocketry Club.
And we rode around Rome in the dead of night on our motorbikes
and had adventures. It was a remarkable youth.
In May of 1972, the School couldn't meet payroll, and closed for
the summer a month early.
At the time, I was glad (hurray! we get out
sooner!) but in retrospect it's clear
that we were shortchanged.
The good news is that today the School is on a
more secure financial footing, though there have been
bumps in the road. St. Stephens' endowment
was one of the victims of the Madoff investment scandal.
Subsequent heroic fund raising efforts (especially by
Aden, class of 1968 and a good friend) have restored it.
It is in better shape than ever.
The grim, remote Via Lungro site
(to which the School relocated when, in 1970,
it was evicted from its Parioli splendor, replaced by
the Bulgarian embassy)
where we had our senior year was abandoned decades
ago for the prettier and better-located Aventina campus.
Warts and all, our wonderful School still deserves our pride!