RESEARCH BRIEFS

GO SEE MRS. GALIE!

Research provided by Mike Poniatowicz.

This is one of the more amusing stories I have heard during my time with the Conshohocken Historical Society. I think those of you who attended Catholic Grade School (especially the guys) will also find this story amusing.  

First a little background. Attending Catholic grade school was always an experience (and for me a generally good experience) and one of the main “experiences” was the dress code. Girls wore uniforms. Boys wore white shirts and neckties, sometimes a specific school tie. Sometimes one of the ties that you did not wrap around your neck but rather clipped on. But it was always, always, always required that boys wear a neck tie.

Of course boys will be boys or should I say boys will “forget” to put on their ties and if you should arrive at school without a tie the only option for the nuns was to send you home to get a tie. Does not sound like much of a punishment to me. I mean you could go home and tell your parents that school closed early and spend all day playing baseball. What a deal!! All for “forgetting” your neck tie.

Well not so fast at St Matts. You see a lady by the name of Mrs. Galie lived right across Harry Street from St Matthews between East 2nd and East 3rd Avenues. She had 11 boys (no that is not a misprint - 11 children all boys) and of course there was always activity at her house. One of her sons (Richard) I knew in grade school and reconnected with him when I joined the Conshohocken Historical Society. And if truth be told Richard is the source of this story.

Anyway, back to St Matts…showing up at school without a neck tie was not an automatic ticket to go home and play. The nuns would just say (in that tone of voice that only nuns can produce) “Go see Mrs. Galie!!” Which meant go across the street, talk to Mrs. Galie, select (or be given) a tie from the Galie collection (which I am sure was probably quite extensive), and return to school fort-with for tie inspection.

At the end of the day I am sure the boys were reminded to return their ties to Mrs. Galie (because nuns do not forget stuff like that) and to come to school the next day with a tie…from home!!! So the next time you have problems finding a tie remember that if Mrs. Galie was still with us she most certainly would be able to find the perfect tie for you.