I didn’t attend a Catholic High School. I attended Upper Darby High School, Class of 19XX. Hah, thought I would slip, eh?
But I had lots of guy and gal friends who went to both Monsignor Bonner and Archbishop Prendergast. Heck, I married one who attended Prendie, Class of 19XX. Oh no. Not that time either.
Now I know that if someone closed Upper Darby High I would be just crushed. The thought of tearing down the walls of UDHS would just be too much to handle. C’mon now, how could anyone forget those years of 9th to 12th grade? (Of course it was 10th to 12th when I was there.)
There were so many memories. The friends I made. The things we did. The girlfriends, the dances, the Battles of the Bands, weekend football games. Those are things that are in my brain now and forever. And I know that it is just a building, but I dare you to tell some of the people attending these Catholic High Schools and elementary schools that their schools are just buildings.
They have built their own sets of memories and there’s no doubt they would feel equally crushed. I called my wife this morning and told her the rumor seemed to be true that Prendie was going to close. There was an eerie silence for a moment and then she remarked that she had heard it was going to close but as she put it, “I never thought it would happen.”
That seems to be the feeling of anyone affected like her.
So what can we tell the kids attending these schools? Well, we can try to say that the schools are just buildings but let’s face it, these kids are smart so they won’t buy it. We can tell them it will be for the best going forward. They probably won’t buy that either.
I suppose that the best thing we can do is tell them the truth and that is that our world is changing. The economics of our country are now and have been for several months or at least a few years getting turned upside down and inside out. And church officials warned people recently that the next few years were going to be tough. They said things like school closings, etc., were going to happen.
Perhaps people like my wife just didn’t believe it would ever happen. Tough news in tough times.
I hope that she and all of her friends and those who have graduated from these schools will hold onto their memories and cherish them and realize that while they tear down concrete and wood and steel, the memories will last forever.
— Andy Hachadorian