WWW. Y E A R O F T H E M I G H T Y MA C S . C OM
I knew we could do better the next year, but I needed to make
money to return to play. I had no academic aid other than a Pell
Grant, even though I worked at several jobs during the summer to
pay my tuition. That summer after my freshman year, I worked in a
factory in Collingdale, welding covers for outdoor swimming pools.
That’s when I made up my mind I would never have a job where I
watched the clock like that again. There were things I wanted to do
with my life, and they didn’t include assembly-line work.
I also wanted to eliminate from my future the buying of shoes
at the Bazaar of All Nations on Baltimore Pike. I remember that
these shoes were tied together by a string. Even after I bought them,
I couldn’t walk in them right away. I tripped until I cut the string. I
decided I was going to make enough money to afford a pair of decent
shoes and to buy a really good suit.
At that time, I also refereed high school and grade school games
all over the area to make extra spending money. Maureen Mooney’s
mother, Helen, was the assigner for the games in the Greater Northeast,
and Peg Pepieves assigned officials in Delaware County. So I also had
games, and Maureen was my partner. The two of us would put on our
officials’ uniforms and go ref games—a couple on Saturday, another
on Sunday. We saw the insides of a lot of gyms.
My freshman year at Immaculata was spent mostly in
accustoming myself to “college life,” getting used to the intricacies
of an over-crowded library, worrying about whether or not I’d make
it to campus on time for first-period classes, cramming for tests and
exams, searching for new ways of earning money for tuition, finding
the easiest and least painful method of avoiding the “swimming
requirement” and remembering the names of the teachers and what
courses they taught. At first there seemed to be no problem with
the Sisters. Weren’t they all just “Sister”? But when asked to “be
more specific,” we found it was no easy task. Although my meager
knowledge of languages told me that names such as Marie, Maria,
Marian, Miriam, and Marita are all forms of Mary, apparently they
are not interchangeable in a Sister’s name.
That first year I was also busy making friends, something I have
never regretted doing.
But, in spite of being first-time collegiate players with a wounded
starter, and an inexperienced coach no more than a few years older
than the team members themselves, and without a gym they could
call their own, these “upstarts” experienced a year that served as a
foretaste of what was to come.
shot at the
buzzer in a