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Officially graduating kindergarten (give me a break!) I was accepted into Epiphany Roman Catholic Grammar School in September 1957.

A mile away from our home in the Upper Mission, Epiphany was located in a very Irish and Italian neighborhood and close to the Cow Palace ~ an indoor venue built in 1941 for rodeos, rock concerts, expos and exhibitions.

In those days a very expensive private school for my mother to pay, she preferred to personally do without necessary things for herself and provide me with the very best education available.

Required to wear a uniform and pay for books, these were additional saddling expenses.

Since birth raised as a very strict Roman Catholic, I already loved the smell of burning incense and lighted candles ~ especially during the High Masses at the church adjacent to our school.

Epiphany run by the Sisters of the Presentation ~ a very strict order, I was blessed to have had a nun as a teacher for 7 years except for the 4th grade.

I would always wonder how much hair they had behind their very stiffly starched white guimpe head piece.

Making friends immediately in 1st grade with Matt and Ted ~ 2 Irish boys and because we were natural clowns and show-offs, we thought of ourselves as being mini-me versions of The 3 Stooges.

All 8 grades that included 100 kids each as well as their parents, were admonished to not watch The 3 Stooges due to the “big kids” already getting in trouble for copying their very physical slapstick comedy.

Matt, Ted and I practiced our routines behind the old church that became the gymnasium.

Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk............