The Mass That Matters

Sunbeam 1959
Sunbeam 1959

Billy Joel sang that “Catholic girls start much too late,” but what did he know? Jeanne didn’t start bleaching her hair too late. I think these ladies were right on time. Studying Shakespeare, enjoying vending machine coffee and Clark bars–these are the stuff of life.


Young women were getting their learning on, sans the distraction of boys.

St. Mary's Academy, Amarillo, TX 1959
St. Mary’s Academy, Amarillo, TX 1959

A nun supervised a student who was evidently keen on growing out her sideburns.


A morning laugh with gal-pals in sensible warm coats started the day on the right foot.


And what could be better than spending time in the sweetest home room in Saint Mary’s?


Genius Idea: Mashing Grapes With Wine Bottle Itself

June 1968

National Geographic describes this Viennese toiler as “an old-timer tamping bunches into a backpack.” Odd-looking backpack. And it’s not a wine bottle, but you knew that. It’s a pige.

And this here is pigeage.

This process is known in French as pigeage and is part of the maceration process that extracts color, flavor and aroma compounds from the grape skins into the wine.–wikimedia

Seems like the same idea as a mortar and pestle, no?

Long Island Crazy Quilt

National Geographic June 1968
National Geographic June 1968

The apparent ghost/smoke in the image is actually a humming teakettle, signaling it’s time for these churchwomen to take a teatime break from completing a “crazy quilt” for a summer raffle. Though there be snow on the ground, the quilts will be done in time for warmer weather.

As an aside, I have a sewing kit that my great-grandmother owned, which looks nearly identical to the own above, except that it is pink.

Did your grandmothers quilt? Do you? It’s been making a steady comeback.

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