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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wisdom Hath Built Herself A House

I remember my first year of college at St. Mary of the Woods back in 1969. Most of my remembrances are from Foley Hall. We dined there, we sang, had art classes there and it was the home of the infamous Faceless Nun legend. That is another story for later. Upon arrival we were told that we would probably never live in a more beautiful place and so far it has been true. I remember the art room on the 2nd floor..it enchanted me. Some creative students had suspended an orange parachute from the middle of the ceiling and anchored it on all four corners of the room. Directly underneath was a large wooden round table which in a former life was a huge cable wire spool for some industrial purpose. Books were placed around the bottom and candles, old art books and pieces of art, sculptures and masks populated the top sphere. The room wasn't large but high ceilinged and it had two doors..one that entered from the long winding hall near the rickety freight elevator and the other door across the room toward the corner that led into a big art classroom. I will always remember that room..it's one of those places that you return to in your mind as a happy place. One early afternoon I was walking through the front doors toward the dining room. I looked down at the marbled mosaic floor just in time to avert a stumble over a piece that had become dislodged and was sticking up. I reached down and plucked it up and put it in my pocket. I don't know what made me do that..a precious relic I wanted to keep and cherish maybe. I kept it all these years guiltily thinking time and time again I should have returned it..it couldn't be authentically replaced for it was over 130 years old. Foley Hall was torn down in 1987, with her went 147 years of history, tradition and pride. The original cornerstone of Foley Hall, laid in 1860 bore the inscription "Wisdom hath built herself a house." I don't feel so guilty now...I have kept a treasured piece of my happy place.

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