Would you believe it? The Ironwood Catholic Grade School, the scene of many memories in ST. MICHAEL'S FALL, has been converted into an apartment complex known as Villa Manor. (In 1986, the Ironwood Catholic School System was reorganized. The Ironwood High School was closed and became the new home of the Ironwood Catholic Grade School.)

The big windows on left belonged to the cafeteria which doubled as a gym in the afternoon. On the right was a parking lot; further back on the right was the playground. Right there in the middle near the doors was where I watched my classmates play (in "Spelling Bee 1978"): "I stood under the eaves / as I stared the puddles filled with brown leaves. / I imagined . . . ."

My mother and my sister Mary said that the made-over apartment complex is actually nice inside. It was very weird at first to hear about all those classrooms being converted into APARTMENTS.

A small note of irony: My own apartment building right here in Manhattan is a former parochial school, built as part of a shrine to St. Ann in 1870.

Copyright © 2001 by Raymond Luczak. All rights reserved.