A email from Linda Jeffery:
I went to Sacred Heart Home in 1961 and graduated in 1971, along with my brothers and sisters. My name is Linda Jeffery and my sisters are Mary, Kathy & Diane, brothers, Michael and Johnny. We all stayed until we graduated. I was 3 1/2 years old and in with the babies, Diane was 18 months, Kathy 2 1/2, Mary 4 1/2, Johnny 6 1/2 and Michael 8 1/2.
When I think about the home I feel as though it was a good way to grow up. We were lucky to have an in ground swimming pool and I had a lot of fun swimming everyday. Do you remember when Perry Como performed in the gym? We sang with him around the piano and he gave us 45’s and we also went to see him at the Allentown Fair. I really enjoyed that and like him very much, he has a soothing voice. He donated the pool to the home. We had a swimming pond before that, it was a plaster or cemented pond. I really had a lot of good times there, climbing the trees, eating the berries, building forts, playing in the creek, catching frogs and swinging on the rope across the creek. Oh and running thru the tunnel to Tiny Town. I did get in my share of trouble and got punished, but the nuns did a good job taking care of all the kids, we were very well protected. When I think back, there were only approx. 15 nuns to 130 and at one time 190 children……….2 parents have hard with just 2 children!!! Sister Ernelda was in charge of about 75 to 100 girls, God Bless her!!!!
Mother Alfreda was really good to us also, Sister Bonita lived for 101 years, may they all rest peacefully. Can you imagine making 3 meals a day for all the children, it was an immense responsibility. Our family still kept in touch with Father Denny O’Donnell, he was in the seminary and worked at the home in the summer, do you remember Denny? He was real good to us, he was there with Richie and Victor when they were in the seminary. Sister Virgine was my favorite teacher, she was at the reunion and it was really good to see her, I told her she was my favorite Teacher, she was very happy to hear that but she seemed shocked, she said really and I told her again yes you were the best teacher I ever had and I meant it too. She was so good to our class, she is no longer a nun. Sister Josetta and Sister Gorgette were at the reunion, all out of uniform, in regular clothes, just seem unusual seeing them without their habits, Father Denny was there too. We also had “THE BEST BASKETBALL TEAM” in the Lehigh Valley. Our boys came in first place for several years in row!!!!! Stevie Gerancher told me at the reunion the reason they came in first place was because of the good cheerleaders!!!!!!! The girls team was pretty good too, we came in 2nd place and lost by only 2 points!!!! Do you remember the Geranchers? There was Louie, Stevie, Mary, Julius, Jeannie, and Julie. Stevie was in my class and I had a crush on him since 5th grade, he was at the reunion with his family, he has a nice family. Louie, Julie and Mary were also there.
…do you remember the Halloween parades we were in……….Coopersburg, Allentown and Catasauqa. Allentown gave us $1.00 at the end of the parade. We also took a lot of trips…..Dorney Park, Ice Capades, West Point Park, Allentown Fair, Fish Hatcheries/farm, New York trip when we graduated, several Fairs, lakes, drive-in movies, plays and picnics.
When I was there I hated it and could not wait to get out of there, I just wanted my freedom but now when I think back I do really feel as tough it was a good way to grow up and I think that I did have a lot of freedom, I would take my socks and shoes off, throw them and run free over in the playground barefoot with no broken glass around. The only thing I was afraid of was that a snake would bite my foot if I stumbled in a hole in the ground. I never did see a snake just tadpoles, frogs, crawfish and minnows, I could never catch those minnows. Running thru the Creek was a lot of fun…….Julius Gerancher told me he caught the minnows all the time, he said he used his T-shirt to scoop them up, I wished I knew that back then………of course I would’ve put them back or maybe in a large can in my fort, that’s where I hid my frogs but they always got out, I do still like frogs. The boys use to chase us with the crawfish, ohhhhh they were scarry looking and I hated them!!!! I was always scared of the crawfish!!!