This morning sometime close to 8 o’clock my daughter Taylor pulled one of those, ‘I don’t feel good, my stomach hurts’ lines; clearly trying to get out of going to school. ( I must say, she has a possibility of making it on Broadway one day)

I looked at my wife and said, ‘OK T, hopefully you’ll feel a little better at about 10 o’clock and we can go in late’. She smiled and continued to watch cartoons. (Hey, maybe she did have a headache in her stomach)

My wife later told me told when she was younger and stayed home on the count of being ill, her father wouldn’t let her out of bed! Shortly before nine, Taylor was up and about in the living room playing with her imaginary friends. We dressed and were out the door before you could say ‘I feel better’.

Do you recall back in the day when you’d fake sick because you didn’t want to go to school? How would your parents react? I was the king of ‘faking’ sick.

How about when we had half days on Wednesday at Holy Name?

Dismissal was at noon. The bell rang and out the front door we went like Wild Horses. I was home, changed into my jeans and sneakers. We would race to see who could get to the schoolyard first.

I believe the kids who attended P.S. 154’s came up to Holy Name for Religious instruction. I think they also called it C.C.D. (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) In a nutshell, it was the teaching of the Catholic Church. If you’re a first time visitor of Container Diaries, we grew up Catholic (Sometimes).

Our teachers would always remind us not to leave anything valuable in our desks. C’mon now, would the public school kids steal anything from us while they were attending Religion instruction?

Besides, I didn’t have anything of value in my desk!

What were they going to do steal a pen? Pencil sharpener? I was actually hoping they’d steal my notebook or textbook!

By the way, who taught Religion to the public school children when they ‘leased’ our classrooms on half-day Wednesdays?

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21 Responses to HALF – DAY WEDNESDAY

  1. jim vackner says:

    I remember making wretching noises in the bathroom after throwing some crushed cornflakes in the bowel.. Another trick was wrappping a hot towel around my head and quickly asking Mom to feel my hand. By the time my dad checked my head would be cool so I would go in the bathroom and hold my breath as long as I could to get that “flushed look”. My mom believed in keeping you home two days so I always shot for THursdays…
    Honestly, I went to school often feeling sick but once in a while you need a day off…I remember in high school calling in sick (disgusing my voice and writing my own notes). Once i was out in the street and my cousin Jean Thomas (Glen’s mom ) almost saw me.. I almost had a coronary at 15..

  2. Loretta Morgan says:

    I remember those Wednesday’s all too well. While I was at Hymn Practice” one of the nuns pulled me out by the hair because my Spalding ball fell out of my pocket and went
    rolling down the aisle of the Church, and she accused me of playing ball in Church. She dragged me by the hair from the Church basement all the way thru the schoolyard and into the Principal’s Office. My teacher at the time- Miss Tierney stood up for me and assured the Principal that I wasn’t raised that way. (Miss Tierney loved my Mom’s Irish Soda Bread, so that went a LONG way!!)
    And for a Catholic School they did give us the impression that the Public school kids were bad seeds. Not a good lesson to learn, but at the time we didn’t give it too much thought because we were getting 1/2 a day, that’s all we
    cared about! FREEDOM!!!!!

  3. jim vackner says:

    I went to Holy Name from 1966 to 1974. If they mentioned public school, it was a put down. The lay rteachers later on were a little more open minded. I remember when I sent to my kids to public school on Staten Island. I think they were the first to attend in my family. But they did well especially my daughter who is graduating from St. John;’s in the spring. But I remember hearing John Jay was so bad they built Methodist Hospital next to it!
    As I gotta little older and played ball ,it opened your eyes that there were people that were very smart that went to Public School. Many schools are what you make of it.. The Catholic schools have more discipline and many good public schools have great programs..
    Half day Wednesdays rocked except for one thing; that was the day moms wanted to take you shopping, go to the doctor,
    or yikes.. thedentist.

  4. Kenny Whelan says:

    Didn’t we have to go to confession and make up sins ( I lied to my mother x times, etc.) before they let us out for the day?

  5. KeepingItReal says:

    That’s a very complex issue for many books have been written comparing public schools to Private/Catholic schools. It used to be that Catholic schools had more discipline across the board but that only exists in certain Catholic schools where the enrollment is high and that particular school is in demand. Example St. Saviour’s -Park Slope and St. Anselm’s in Bay Ridge. Many other struggling Catholic schools have more tolerance for problem children for that tuition from that child is so desperately needed in order to help that school stay afloat financially. The education at a lot of public schools is first rate. The only problem is that there is a disproportionate amount of dysfunctional kids that often time disrupt classes and take it away from the kids that truly want to learn. This is even more difficult with the No Child Left Behind Act that makes it even more difficult to get rid of a problem child in the public schools. So in a nutshell it is not so much what one makes of it but rather it depends on the school. There are schools like Bishop Ford on the high school level that will accept kids with a pulse and when that child gets expelled for academics or behavior Ford likes to pride themselves as throwing kids out and being big on discipline with the zero tolerance nonsense. That’s a bunch of bull/PR hype for if the school did their proper diligence they would never have accepted those kids as students in the first place. It all comes down to the almighty dollar. In other words quantity not quality.
    It all depends on the school whether public or private! Period

  6. P.P.W. says:

    Yes I recall those days, Jimmy Casino and I would go straight to the Alamo. If youre a true Alamo person say Hi!
    We would split a quart of Colt 45, then jump off the Alamo onto the grassy nole highway. We then called for Gary Carridad who resided across the street, and torment him tell he let us in his basement and watch television. After we left Garys,we would stroll over to our pal George Routhier s
    Basement til it was supper time and then depart.We had good times on 1/2 Days. Thanks for the Blog Idea s
    Till next time, Bye

  7. Mary (Slavin) Matteo says:

    i REMEMBER GETTING OUT EARLY AND GOING TO THE BOWLING ALLEY!! That would be with the old bests of getting us there === Capo, Roachie, Willie, Rocky. etc., etc.

    • sal capatasto...capo says:

      hey mary this is an old blog,ive been reading everything on here. so cool to see my ole nickname .hope all is well with you. capo

  8. Kevin Mahoney says:

    I think the CCD teachers were generally Holy Name parents or young adults from the parish.

    I remember my mom teaching CCD one year and one of her students was a kid I later played basketball with for Holy Name when I was coached by Hoopscoach himself.

  9. Betty T.B.K. says:

    I was in Holy Name from 1956 to 1964 (about that) so Jim I have about 10 yrs on you guys!!!!!!!!! I know age is only a number and that number I keep as an attitude, I decided for my 50th Birthday that I was not budging, thats the age Im staying at, how about that Attitude!!!! For some reason, Im remenbering Wednesdays, getting out at 1 for the public school kids to have their religion classes. Im also remenbering that was candy day or some sort of snack we could bring in. I loved that day also, getting out early. I had my share of playing sick and not wanting to go to school, living on Howard Place was hard, because I had to make sure the nuns didnt see me, and being 5 11 3/4 s with Red hair was really kinda hard for me not to get noticed!!!!!!!!!

  10. hoopscoach says:


    Orlando, right? I’m sure there were others too like Petey and CR, no?

  11. Tommy Cole says:

    I lived for Wednesdays…andf the odd “sick day.” It was really hard to fool my Mom though. In my day Wednesday was the day that some of the brothers used to take us to Coney Island in the Spring and Ice Skating in the Fall and Winter; if we didn’t get dragged off shopping or to spend what seemed like hours waiting to get in to see Berson – he was a hoot!!!
    Msgr. Downing came in to yell at us a few times about not hanging around outside the public schools calling out our friends names. He was a chaplain for the catholic public school teachers. Just for the record it was called Released Time. The concept of releasing public school students for religious education of site was begun in NYC in the early 1900’s.

  12. jim vackner says:

    I agree and disagree with what Keeping It Real said. Why I disagree is that I have seen kids go to Curtis High School and not take advantage of the programs and opportunities like co-op and the bridge program to to go to Mc Kee to take trade classes. MY daughter went to New Dorp which did not nearly have the reputation earned 14 college credits in the history and legal studies program, made every SUNY school, St, John’s and Penn State and many of her friends from NewDorp did as well. I seen it as as drivers ed teacher, kids getting jobs while in school and making weexcellent colleges from all the loca high schools and some in Brooklyn and Manhattan. What I agree is that public schools cannot turn kids away and has to perform social services like providing breakfast for poor kids, special ed programs, and dealing iwth kids that hardly speak any english. I also agree thatall Catholic schools are not cut from the same mold. Mosignor Farrell HS is very strict and some others not at all. Providing teachers are allowed to teach, a kid can excel or fail miserably. I think comparing them is fruitless because they are truly apples and oranges.

    Back to half day Wednesdays.. loved them. Betty, I could not get away with anyhting myself. I too was tall and a red head.. people asked me if I was related to the Trapps or the McLouglins (Windsor). Unlike you my memory stinks about some things but I think we were allowed to bring a snack as opposed to the times I ate in school when I was not allowed…

  13. hoopscoach says:


    Let the teachers teach. Let them toss out unruly students.

    The parents have to get this message across to their kids. “Listen to your teacher, keep your mouth shut and hand in assignments on time.”

  14. jim vackner says:

    I agree 100 per cent..I would send the students who refuse to go or are troublemakers to a detention camp overnight. and at least make them learn basic life skills so they don’t burden the rest of us later by winding up in jail or not working .Kicking them out leads to more trouble as the past has taught us but if implemented,someone would sue about rights and other stuff and it would never happen.
    Have’nt you seen many families with 3,4,5 6 kids from very good families and one screws up their life.. I’m sure the parents were projecting the right messages. There are other powerful forces in your life like the crowd you run with. I had the opportunity to do some things like hard drugs, stealing and other things . While I was no saint, I had a line I would not cross.

  15. Kevin Mahoney says:


    It was actually Victor, remember him? But I do remember Orlando being involved in the Spanish Mass they used to hold in the basement part on the Church on Sunday mornings.

  16. hoopscoach says:


    That’s right, Victor. His brother Georgie and sister Sonja. Good call – he was a solid PG.

  17. Mary Anne (Brick) Monaco says:

    My mom was one of the CCD teachers. Once in a while I would accompany her to PS 154 to walk the kids to Holy Name. I’m sure they didn’t have nice thoughts about the fact that they were still “in school” and I had a half day. They probably figured I went along with my mom to gloat!

  18. I remember them well. A a matter of fact, my teachers probably do too. One year I was on a pickle binge. Every Wednesday morning before school, I would buy (from Park West deli, of course)one of those big, fat Jewish deli pickles and bring it to school as my snack. It must have stunk up the entire classroom! What fun.

  19. Glenn T. says:

    I remember Hymn practice with Sr. Joan Hackett when she would let the girls go early and keep the boys for we weren’t singing loud enough. What agony! She was so biased towards the girls. I also remember one year when we actually got off on Thursdays at 11:30AM one year for they were putting in new plexi windows in the school or the boiler was being fixed. The best present/gift that one could get was walking into the schoolyard on a cold winter morning only to get the news that the boiler was broken and they were sending everyone home for the day! There would be this huge roar like a crowd at a rock concert.
    Wednesdays or early days were great for we were able to bring a snack to school and were dismissed at 12:45pm. We rushed home and got ready to come back for intramural football. I remember my mom giving me a banana for a snack and for some reason it was buried in my old yellow and blue HNS schoolbag. That thing stayed in there for weeks. When my classmates would go in the closet to get their jackets and belongings there was this very strong smell of bananas! Everyone was saying that and finally when I searched even more into my bag… presto there it was! That was funny stuff. Thank God no one pinned that on me!

  20. hoopscoach says:


    The boiler breaking was the best!

    One cold morning we were running late. And being we lived right across the street from HNS, we could see everything out our windows.

    So all of a sudden, while getting dressed, we heard that ‘roar’ you spoke about.

    We peeked out the window and saw everyone leaving school – must’ve been 8:45ish…

    We went back to bed!

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