Boys will be boys: From the inside out


Now you kids. Young men! Get in here now, the young Acolyte at St. Joe’s Catholic, said to the middle schoolers, who chose to skip class and slap the puck on the blacktop rather than stay in and complete their math assignments. It was already too clear, and there had been a bit of rumor, that this Acolyte was gonna be released and sent back down to do a little work in the Caymens. Doesn’t sound half  bad now, but he’d probably be getting down there just around monsoon season. That was when the indigenous, the “heathens and lost souls” would appreciate our help most.  Father Jed, just a few years his senior, shuffled out, wearing his longish black robe (that was generally reserved for the colder days) said, “Okay, boys,” time you stopped playing games, put your hockey gear and pucks back in the closet till at least the next snow shower or icing. St. Joes, a Catholic prep school on the cape; Cape Cod, was all hunkered down from the latest blast of snow. It was surely below freezing. St. Joes had a couple of lots that buttressed one another. There was the Cathedral lot and what the kids had dubbed the parking lot. The Cathedral lot was where moms, dads and nannies would either come driving into school, drop the little ones off and the middle school students. Or they would meet up to walk on over to classes at the parking lot. All that separated the lots was a six foot high kinda ragged fence that had no doubt been around for many years. Palms and roots and trees had actually been a stifling problem, more than once. There were a lot of things that St. Joes just couldn’t deal with, it just didn’t have the money. The rectory couldn’t afford to come out now. It was more than whether Johnny was going to put his loafers on for Monday mass. There were some “philosophical” tenants driving the whole nonsense. Father Fred like some of the other younger priests simply liked to put some of these issues on the back burner, shove them aside. Whereas, some of the up and coming Acolytes were, in their own right, movers and shakers. Fred  recognized that the Acolytes had some agenda. Despite his young age, Fred appealed to some of St. Joe’s “elders.” A few years back, St. Joes, also for economic reasons, was forced to bow to the almighty dollar. It even had acquired some stock in a Japanese Kobe beef deal. It was a steady deal. In fact, the 1986 deal had already proven itself a great purchase. Over the past years, the Kobe beef deal was directly linked to the development of a brand new gym with a pool and facilities for men, boys and women’s bathrooms. Ventures like this had allowed St. Joes the opportunity to add foreign studies programs. Last year, a class went to Tokyo and another to Peru. Just the same, St. Joes had more difficulties than ever. I suppose you can’t just throw money at some things and wish the resolution away. I guess it is like one of those trick candles. You know, those candles where no matter how hard you blow ‘m out they’ll just light right back up. That is not much different to what this Japanese Imperial descendant; one of Hirohito’s cousins did in California in 1986 (But the Catholic church?) When you have some guy waving a fist full of $100 bills in your face it is sort of distracting and makes you want to stretch your neck out a bit more. In more than one case though, St. Joes kids resorted to what some believed were  extreme measures: Public schools.  

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