Thursday, March 1, 2012

Why do some alumni see nothing negative about Linton Hall Military School?

The best answer I've come up with is, "I don't know." The second best answer, the result of much thinking, is the subject of this post. I've tried hard to understand this, but cannot come up with a satisfactory answer.

Over the past two years, I've been in contact with other Linton Hall Military School alumni on Facebook, and occasionally there will be someone who sees his experience there as totally positive. Some of these cadets attended at the same time I did.

I find this surprising, since virtually everything I write about is something that I saw with my own eyes at Linton Hall. Not just that, but given that there was little or no privacy at Linton Hall Military School, almost everything that happened was witnessed by anywhere from thirty cadets (in a classroom) to 200 or more cadets (the entire battalion.) We can disagree about whether the discipline and punishments were positive or negative, appropriate or excessive, but it is a fact that they happened.

Moreover, I am not one of the cadets who was punished a lot. Other than being made to stand at attention, the only physical punishment I remember was being paddled once. That's once during the couple of years I was there. But I saw much worse done to others, often in front of the entire battalion, and I would be lacking in empathy if that did not bother me. At one point I was so disgusted at seeing someone treated that way by the Commandant of Linton Hall Military School, that I seriously considered giving up my hard-earned rank as an officer and handing in my bars, right then and there. The fact that I was an officer, and was even awarded a medal, also shows that I followed the rules and did what was expected of me. It wasn't because I held the Linton Hall school administration in high regard, even back then, but only because I did not want to experience the punishments that I saw meted out to others.

I've written a lot about Linton Hall Military School, and just as I've written about the negative aspects, I've also written about the positive ones. I've been criticized for writing about the negatives, but I have yet to be told that anything I've said about my experience, either what happened to me or what I saw happen to others, was inaccurate. The reason I chose "Linton Hall Cadet" (instead of something like "John Doe") as a pen name, is that we all lived by the same rules, and had the same things happen to us, or at least observed the same things happening to others. So, what I write isn't just about me; it's about all of us.

I haven't seen any persuasive arguments that the rigid rules and strong punishments were positive; not arguments that would persuade me, anyway.

I've discussed our divergent views with some of these alumni on Facebook; a couple have unfriended me. I understand that it's not pleasant to rehash unpleasant memories, but I don't understand getting to the point of denying them entirely. I've given credit where credit is due, and said many positive things about Linton Hall Military School, but a true picture must include all the negatives as well.

I also believe that it's important to note that I, as well as others who have written about their experience at Linton Hall, are doing so as adults many years after the fact, and from an adult perspective.

As a child, there are many things I disliked having to do, but was made to do, either by my parents, or at Linton Hall: school attendance, doing my homework, brushing my teeth, eating my vegetables, going to bed at a reasonable time, and so on. But as an adult, I recognize the benefits of those activities and am grateful that I was made to do them.

But those are not the things that I've complained about, or that others have complained about. I've written about serious things that I believe any reasonable adult would consider wrong. Even as a child I knew the difference between appropriate and petty rules, and between appropriate and excessive punishment. Again, I was only paddled once and can recall no other physical punishment being inflicted upon me other than having to stand at attention for a reasonable period of time. But for many of those who attended Linton Hall Military School their experience was far worse than mine.

From what I've been able to gather, Linton Hall has changed dramatically and for the better since I was there during the late 1960s. I've seen photos from the 1980s, Linton Hall's last decade as a military school, and it looked quite different, with doors on the bathroom stalls, more pleasant looking dorms, and even a school dance with girls (from another school) in attendance. And I know that today's Linton Hall School is a coed non-military day school, with a principal who is not a nun. I haven't communicated with any current students or recent alumni, but I've seen photos in which the students seem genuinely happy to be there. These are photos taken by the students themselves, not photos from the school brochure, which one would expect to show the school's best side, as brochures are apt to do.

Recently, I heard from a former cadet who was there for a few years during the 1960s. He said he finds it "frustrating" when someone says "anything negative" about the school. A couple of others have expressed similar sentiments, but this particular alumnus is now a member of the Linton Hall School Board. What I heard from him is definitely not what I wanted to hear from someone currently involved with the school. I wish he would have said that Linton Hall School had addressed its previous shortcomings, and is now a much better place than it was when he was there. But if he sees nothing wrong with the way the school was then, where does that leave us? Does he really believe that Linton Hall School should take LHMS as its model and go back to everything I've described in my first blog posting two years ago? Does he believe that they should implement the long list of punishments written about by the other blogger in http://lhmscadet.wordpress.com ?

Progress requires an honest look at the past. Teachers correct homework so students can learn from their mistakes. Linton Hall School should also look at its past, recognize what the adults in charge did wrong, and take the necessary steps to make sure the same actions aren't repeated. An apology to the 5,000 or so cadets who attended over the years would be the right thing to do, not that it would change the past, but it would be a good step. But it should be freely given, not in response to a request by me or anyone else.

Much of what went on at Linton Hall Military School has remained hidden for far too long. It is only in recent years, with the spread of the Internet, that I and others have been able to speak publicly about this.

While we were at Linton Hall, outgoing (and occasionally incoming) mail was censored. This is a practice that rarely exists in boarding schools, and is more typical of prisons, POW camps, mental institutions and so son. At Linton Hall, outgoing mail had to be left unsealed so that it could be read. If something too negative was said in the letter, it would be thrown away and not be mailed. Sister Mary David O.S.B., the principal at the time, once told a classroom full of cadets (I was present in that classroom) about one such letter.

With roughly 210 cadets in the school, if each one wrote just one letter home a week, that was 210 letters in a week, or 30 per day, that needed to be read and censored. Let's say it took two minutes per letter, that's an hour a day that the principal dedicated to this activity, in addition to her duties as principal and teacher. Why did she need to do this? Surely not to prevent us from saying that it was a wonderful school, causing it to be flooded with eager applicants!

But I digress. Back to my original question. I thought that maybe those who could see nothing wrong about Linton Hall Military School were:

* Those who never got in trouble. No, there is someone who got punished a lot, in the harshest ways known to Linton Hall, and now he says he deserved it. On the other hand, both I and the other blogger both rose to officer rank.

* Those who went there for many years and don't have other schools to which they can compare Linton Hall. That's not it either, two cadets who were there for just one year, one for seventh grade, the other for eighth, see the school positively. On the other hand, I was there just a couple of years, and the schools before and after LHMS were far better.

* Those who came from difficult family conditions at home. Not that either, some have confided in me through private message or email that they had parents who, shall we say, were less than ideal, and yet they hated it there. Others had a pretty good home life, and have positive things to say about Linton Hall.

* For this last possibility, I'm playing amateur psychologist. There is something called the "Stockholm Syndrome" named after hostages held for five days by bank robbers in Sweden in 1973, who became emotionally attached to their captors and even defended them after being released. Paradoxically, sometimes a bond forms between the victims and those who mistreat them. This appears to have been the case for Patty Hearst as well as Jaycee Lee Dugard.
(See, for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome )

Yet none of these explanations is good enough. The past can't be denied. Yet why some are unable to see anything negative about it, is something I still don't understand.

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Read more in my book, "Linton Hall Military School Memories," over 200 pages, 7x10 inches, only $5.69 (or less) at amazon.com

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Copyright 2012 by "Linton Hall Cadet."
Please respect copyright by linking to this post instead of copying and pasting.
This blog is not affiliated with Linton Hall Military School and all opinions are those of the author.
Comments are always welcome; please do not use your name or names of others.

28 comments:

  1. On the question of the routine punishing of young children as a matter of institutional policy, I am moved to respond briefly to the comment hereon of Thursday, 1 March 12, “Why do some alumni see nothing negative about Linton Hall Military School?” Initially I believe they so think because of some very successful Catholic indoctrination coupled with a deep-seated need to deny that any childhood in a modern society could be overseen on such a base, primitive level and remain unaccountable outside to that society. Punishments? What I’ve been reading of such things among the LHMS alumni who have chosen to write of them on web sites is mere, well, kid’s play to what we in the 1940s passed through. Our trainers were combat veterans from Fort Belvoir. They marched us on bivouac through swamps in rain while heavily laden with our dummy rifles and camping gear, neither of which we ever used. We had lessons in hand-to-hand lethal maneuvers, boot landed kicks in the balls, rifle butts to the sides of the face, etc. Offend a nun (easily done) in winter? For thirty minutes stand outside in a snow storm without gloves, arms extended crucifixion style while grabbing grapes. Slowing down? Bad harvest! Five minutes added. Eight-year-old boys doing real pushups in full khaki uniforms while wearing leather jackets in cold weather. Then there were the fifteen naked boys showering collectively in the basement of what was then the new building while Sister Make Do Hornyself mounted a ladder placed against the outer wall, which she climbed while holding a garden hose fixed with a high pressure nozzle. Any time (which, in her view was often) a boy was spotted glancing at another boy’s crotch (and just what did she think else boy’s crotches were for?) she gave an unexpected high-powered ice blast into the crotch of the offending pecker peeper. Showers were finished when she climbed down her ladder and, without warning, shut off the hot water master valve, leaving everyone caked with drying soap, which had to be removed only with ice water and a towel. “You want a second helping of food? Here!” And there had better be nothing left of that eight-inch high mound of unflavored, unspiced, cold, congealed mashed potatoes. What? You wearily leaned your butt back on the pew during 6 a.m. Mass. Out came the hatpin to lance the offending behind. Let out a sound of any kind in reaction? Run ten times around the circle before breakfast. If you dawdle you’ll miss your meal; next feast at noon. No exceptions! What do you mean your hand hurts? You’ve been told to write fifty times “I promise I shall never do that again.” And it had better be with the neatest Parker Penmanship or you’ll have twenty more added to it.
    Birthday parties were forbidden. If any cadet received a solid gift a decision had to be made whether or not he might be allowed to keep it, and thereby engender jealousy. A toy truck? It would be held for the cadet until his departure for home at the end of the year. A football? It made a good sport object to be shared by dorm mates. Sharing is what good Catholic boys do, is it not? Edible goodies? Sausages and all candies had to be shared as far as they might go. Someone left out at the end of distribution? Tough darts; we’ll try to see that you get at the head of the line next time.

    And five years of the foregoing only scratches the surface. Bluntly put, why I have not yet climbed the Texas Tower, become a drunk, a narcotics addict, a compulsive wife beater, or some other form of sociopath does continue to surprise (even me). Perhaps a reasonable supposition is that, in truth, Benedictine brutality at LHMS was never a manifestation of strength but of psychological and emotional dysfunction, both of which touched me only superficially and transiently. If that supposition is correct, I got off easily with only minimal damage. Nevertheless, I can’t bring myself to give thanks for five years of bliss superintended by loving Brides Christ.

    André M. Smith, Brass.work@verizon.net

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  2. My question to you is why so many years later do you still dwell on it? The military aspect of the school is long gone. And it can't make any difference to anyone at this stage of the game. All I can guess, despite you saying you were not punished yourself excessively, is that the experience deeply scarred you and that this is your way of seeking help. Good luck with that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why still dwell on it? Because it is part of us, it was how we spent some of the most important years of our lives... What did they teach us? Conform or get beat down, don't question anything, who are you to question us? We did not matter, we were cattle, we were nothing. Very sad, these supposed "religious" did not practice what they supposedly dedicated their lives to....

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    2. If there was no problem, why do they try to expunge Linton Hall Military School from their history. I hope it is because they are ashamed of the legacy they left behind. The web will be the repository of the truth, we won't let them forget. It does not look very good in print but this what YOU did to us...

      Delete
    3. Our sons currently attend Linton Hall School for kindergartener and just wanted to pipe in here. Have you visted the Linton Hall School website lately? They don't "expunge" the LHMS history. It's listed there bold as brass. They even have an archive room full of pictures, uniforms, camping gear, flags, programs and year books. etc.

      While I don't disparage your memories at all, there are quite a few photos in those archives depiciting young men with beaming smiles riding bikes, swimming in the pool or the creek, participating in the OCEW program, building snow men and sledding, playing ball and horsing around(classes 1946-1970s). There are photos in the 1950s of friends having just risen from sleep, still in PJs and bathrobes, complete with bedhead and the archtypical "@#$% you for taking my photo" facial expression. There are also plenty of very somber photos of boys at attention, marching, standing in endless rows with absolute precision, etc. In some of those earlier school photos (1940s, for sure but other decades as well), one can see the sadness, lonliness and desperation you describe. As a parent myself, I can't imagine shipping my young son (at age 4) to boarding school, let alone military boarding school and I'm sure the wounds from such an experience would be very, very deep.

      Clearly experiences at the school ran the gamut and still do -- some miserable and some happy. The changes to the school may suprise you as it has been through quite a few incarnations -- from boarding school/foster care to co-ed typical Catholic day. It even spent some time being the school where the "rich kids went" around the 1970s, inclusive of equestrian and tennis programs. Now, it's a co-ed day school with mostly lay teachers and not a habit in sight!

      Even as much as the school has changed, some of your descriptions of the sisters are accurate of them today -- finishing everything on your plate when you've asked for seconds, for example. That just a part of the Benedictine Rule (don't be wasteful). And the quality of the food hasn't improved either. Again, that's a Benedictine principle -- food is food, be grateful for what you have. It's a strange dichotomy to see the sisters moving in the modern age still strict, unyeilding (in some ways) and unkind and yet completely unaware of the impact of their actions. The saving grace is the current principal who runs interference between the parents and the sisters (well, one sister in particular). Thanks for sharing your memories of the school, it's been a fascinating read!

      Delete
  3. To Anonymous of Mar 5 2012:
    LHMS actively suppressed the truth about itself by censoring outgoing mail. I feel it's important for the truth to come out. The internet makes it possible to do so now.
    The military aspect wasn't something I particularly cared for, but the school didn't try to disguise it at the time I attended. It is the other conduct, which need not necessarily be part of military school, that I object to.
    "Seeking help?" The fact that the school seems to have changed for the better is what matters. And good luck to you too.

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  4. To Andre,
    Thank you for this and other posts about your experience during the 1940s. I am saddened to know that is how the school was like at that time.

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  5. It seems to me that a proverbial can-‘o-worms may have been opened with this uncensored forum of the Internet; a phenomenon from which the faux humanistic administration of the traditional LHMS would have recoiled.

    Anonymous has written on 5 March, “My question to you is why so many years later do you still dwell on it?” The very clear answer to that is that so many years later it dwells on me. Give us the child, we give you the man. Give us the child to whom we might teach hatred and we’ll give you a hater for life. To this day it remains a mystery to me just what those Benedictine nuns, collectively, were motivated by. Sr Frances (Strasburger), too elderly and frail to have fulfilled her tasks as a teacher, should never have been placed at the head of a class of rowdy nine year old boys. Although she was then too old to swing a large wooden sled board against her charges, she could express her contempt for youth daily with her “You sly, sneaky, snaky, slimy baby boy!” as at least someway she might attempt to crush us. (She spent most of her teaching time between alliterations moving to the rear window of the classroom so she could fart unobtrusively; or so she thought.)

    Anonymous has also written ” The military aspect of the school is long gone. And it can't make any difference to anyone at this stage of the game.” The military aspect of LHMS will remain a permanent scar upon all of those who passed under its millstone. When he writes “. . . it can't make any difference to anyone at this stage of the game” I must ask, bluntly, Just what psychological moon has he been living on? Beaten today / Love tomorrow? Frozen in snow / Oh, so grateful? Lanced with hat pins / Thanks for the reminder? Kicked in the groin / Now I’m a man? Jesus loves all / Jews killed Christ! Has Anonymous not read what others have written about LHMS in Internet letters, essays, and independently published books?

    And, finally (mercifully), Anonymous has written that “All I can guess, despite you saying you were not punished yourself excessively, is that the experience deeply scarred you and that this is your way of seeking help.” Anonymous has been brainwashed! Has he no capacity for empathy? I do now, and did decades earlier for my fellow cadets. Yes, for some inexplicable reason, I was bypassed somewhat by the torture mavens. Looking back upon my rare status I think it was because I gave them the impression that, for my age, I was indestructible, i.e., beyond recovery through discomfort of any kind at any time. When Sr Genevieve (Blyley) bellowed at me, “Grab your ankles!” I knew that every time I bent over and let go my ankles in reflex I would get one more fully powered whack from her sled board. My way around that dilemma was to immediately entwine as many fingers on both hands as I could with laces from both leggings so that release would not be possible. This gave my loving surrogate mother free rein to swing freely and build up her own frustration at her inability to force me to release my “ankles.” She never did discover my self-preserving ruse.

    And, decades later, now living in my deeply-scarred (!) world of repression and seclusion, Anonymous has wished me well while “seeking help. Good luck with that.” For which I express my gratitude to someone who may be the embodiment of successful Benedictine groupthink.
    André M. Smith
    Brass.work@verizon.net
    Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)
    Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)
    Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)
    Formerly Bass Trombonist
    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,
    Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),
    The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'd like to put out a proposal to LHMS alumni; one that may not be practical to fulfill but nevertheless done with a positive motive.

    From my five years (1944-49) in LHMS my family amassed about fifty black & white photos, all of which I plan to include in my forthcoming autobiography. Many of these are dated with names of the subjects. Locations will be obvious to all alumni. Summer camp with Bill, military days, Confirmations, platoon formation, LHMS Band in full dress for annual concert on the green between the old convent and the chapel, and so forth.

    I'd like - somehow? - to make this unusual collection available to all of us (and beyond). Can anyone with a shared interest in a photo pool suggest a practical electronic way this may be done?

    My forthcoming web site, Andremsmith.com, is being designed to present a wide variety of subjects, most related to music history, poetry, and book reviews. Perhaps a section of the new site might be set aside for LHMS photos. Anyone have suggestions or ideas on this?

    When you have time . . .
    _____________________________

    André M. Smith
    Brass.work@verizon.net
    Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)
    Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)
    Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)
    Formerly Bass Trombonist
    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,
    Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),
    The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The following text is of correspondence between Mr Gavin Holman in England and me over the past day. The photo I have referred to in my letter is http://www.satiche.org.uk/vinbbp/phot1584.jpg The Band obviously is standing on the front steps of the old - the original - convent building at the head of the circle. Does anyone reading this note have a recollection of having seen this picture before? Or where the original of it is now held? There is a feel, a tone, if you will, about it that suggests pre-WW II; or at least prior to my first year (1944) in LHMS. I don't recall ever having seen the style of military cap worn by those bandsmen (Men!), although head gear is a petty feature that has not endured in memory.

    I'm now prepared to begin searches on this little project in The Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/index.html, The Manassas Historical Society http://www.manassasbizlist.com/specific/Historical-society.htm, and The Virginia Historical Society http://pwcogenealogy.blogspot.com/2011/02/virginia-historical-society.html

    Any suggestions will always be welcomed!
    Brass.work@verizon.net
    _________________

    Andre,

    Sadly I can't help much at all. The image dates from January 2002, and I would have received it around that time, but I don't have a record of whence it came. It is rather small and low resolution unfortunately.

    Sorry I can't be of more help - I suspect you would like to get hold of the original or at least a good resolution version!

    I can only suggest local, county or state archives which may have material relating to the school.

    Regards

    Gavin Holman



    On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 4:19 AM, wrote:


    Dear Sir:

    On your valuable web site you've posted a picture for Linton Hall Military School Band, Bristow, Virginia. Can you tell me the source for that picture? At your convenience . . .

    Cordially,

    Andre M. Smith,
    Alumnus of Linton Hall Military School
    Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)
    Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)
    Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)
    Formerly Bass Trombonist
    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,
    Leopold Stokowski�s American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),
    The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  8. In my letter of 6 March, above, I referred in passing to "leggings." I know nothing of the military uniform and its accoutrements at LHMS in use after 1950; prior to that year the legging was an essential part of the daily dress for all cadets.

    This morning I have received word from two communicants asking just what I had been referring to by "legging." Because there may be also other readers of these pages who may not know of this piece of uniform I thought some useful purpose may be served by posting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RmZju-4GSY on this site.
    __________________________

    André M. Smith
    Brass.work@verizon.net
    Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)
    Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)
    Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)
    Formerly Bass Trombonist
    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,
    Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),
    The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nuns live in convents? I always thought they were produced in nunneries (a surprise to me, nunneries didn't come up when I ran a spell checker). http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-106797.html
    _________________________

    There is some confusion among Catholics on the use of the terms “nun” and “sister,” both of which are assumed by many to be interchangeable synonyms; not so. Outside the Catholic community the misunderstanding is absolute. This distinction was never made for us at LHMS, so far as I remember from the experience of myself and my fellow cadets. If I may recall for us all in those earlier years, we had no thought on this matter other than the Benedictine Sisters lived by themselves in a convent, as do nuns everywhere. Nevertheless . . .

    “Strictly speaking, nuns are cloistered religious women who take a Vow of Enclosure, also known as a monastic vow, or a cloister vow. These nuns make a sacred vow to remain behind convent walls, enclosed and unseen in the public, for life. These communities have 2-3 extern sisters, nuns who do not take the Vow of Enclosure. Extern sisters deal with the public, run errands, and drive nuns to medical appointments.

    Religious Sisters, on the other hand, are not strictly considered nuns in Church Law because they do not take a Vow of Enclosure. These Sisters are the ones you find teaching in schools, working in hospitals, parishes and many other vocations (jobs). These Sisters are properly called Sisters, and not nuns. However, Sisters are referred to as nuns in common speech in English, Spanish and other languages. Sisters do refer to themselves as nuns, and so in popular speech and thinking, using the word Nun for all sisters is correct, but not legally correct in terms of Church Law which dictates Nuns are those who are fully cloistered under vows. http://reviews.ebay.com/How-to-Buy-amp-Sell-Roman-Catholic-Nun-Items-amp-Artifacts?ugid=10000000000748034 E-Bay is not where one might expect to find refinements of distinction on the minutiæ of liturgical garb, but credit must be given where it’s due.

    Notwithstanding, why might the correct uses of the terms nun and sister be of interest to alumni of LHMS? I don’t want to ascribe ulterior motives to our religious overseers on this point, but I do believe they exerted themselves to remind us of the FACT of their life as persons — not especially women, just persons — devoted to some form of fictional superior holiness.

    Was I, alone, precocious in my childish, inarticulate suspicion that something was seriously amiss by repeatedly being classed by holy women as about as low on the vertebrate scale one could be without so much as once in five years being clearly accused of any serious breach of behavior model?

    “I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat.” John Milton, Aeropagetica (1644)

    Writing here only for myself, the distinction between nun and sister had no meaning beyond a childish thinking that a nun (as were, presumably, our wardenettes) lived in a convent and a nun was formally addressed as Sister. (Whoever heard of someone called Nun Joan or Nun Ethelreda?)

    Where might this historical vignette fit into anyone else’s recollection? I dare not speak for another on this point.
    ______________________

    André M. Smith
    Brass.work@verizon.net
    Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)
    Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)
    Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)
    Formerly Bass Trombonist
    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,
    Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),
    The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Where are these nuns today? Why can they not be ferreted out and held to some standard of accountability, as are priests and the Christian Brothers? Why have rehabilitation programs directly overseen by religious orders become exempt from public scrutiny and their patients exempt from compensation to complainants? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congregation_of_the_Servants_of_the_Paraclete

    I’d like to think their day of judgement will come, but I’m not so sure. Witness the contrived pretexts for delays to compensate wronged Jews of Europe during the Nazi era emanating from Germany.
    ______________________

    André M. Smith
    Brass.work@verizon.net
    Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)
    Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)
    Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)
    Formerly Bass Trombonist
    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,
    Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),
    The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cadet from 1984-1986

      The nuns that are still alive are at the school and still live there and will till there day comes aswell.

      I had the worst time of my whole life three and it was amazing that years later I was pulled like a sickness back there just to see if it was real, and it was, I went back there and found Sister Ruth Planter, what was so amazing about Sister Ruth Planer is she used to take care of me and my dorm of kids, what in the mid 1980's was known as "B" company Brovo, we had at that time A-company, B-company, and C-company.

      The school was taught by Nuns and the Dorms were looked over by the Commidant who in in ruthless ways was one of the most feared men I would ever come across paths with.

      I could go on and on about the toruchering that went on to me and others that didnt fit the program were tourchered ongoing the whole time I was there, it got to the point where I was in a living hell, coupled with the fact that I was a young boy who was fighting ashma, late nights I would wheszz and call for oxygen and cry as I would pray every night to God, saying the rosorey to Or Fathers, and Hail Marys..every single night....

      I have told myself that going thru this tourcher was simular to being in a consentration camp and if I lived thru this I could live thru any other situation that life may throw at me.

      When they finnaly had had enough of this caddet they sat me down and told me I was only the second child to be kicked out of the Linton Hall Military School, and the only child before me was Syvester Stallon, I smiled as they called for my mother to fly in from Florida to pick me up, of corse she was baffiled not understanding how a private military school could kick out a young boy, whom they prasied had an IQ above 179.

      I was finnaly released and had to goto threapoy for many years and now even to this day I have nightmares from linton Hall M. S.

      So where are the nuns you ask, oh remember Sister Ruth Planter I forgot to tell you the funny part about her all the time i was there she was not a nun but in training and the funy thing is she made it to nun or sister is compltley black and looks like whopie golberg, she we my one allie while i was there I owe what little savory to her for proteting and taking care of me when i was so ill i thought i would die.

      now 20 some odd years later she is full nun and still there and I have seen her once and called her twice each time i see her or talk to her i cant help but weep.......


      ajp......

      Delete
  11. The White Rabbit put on his spectacles. “Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?” he asked.
    “Begin at the beginning,” the King said, gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop. Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865).

    __________________________


    And, fellow alumni, where does it — our modern Benedictine legacy at LHMS — begin?


    ADOLF HITLER : attended Catholic primary school in the Benedictine cloister of Lambach Abbey in Lambach, Austria. http://www.spirituallysmart.com/nazi.html

    JOSEPH GEBHARD HIMMLER : Rector of a Catholic primary school and later the same position in the Wittelesbacher-Gymnasium in Munich. http://www.wittelsbacher-gymnasium.de/ His son

    HEINRICH HIMMLER : devout Catholic and Chief of the Gestapo under Hitler. The younger brother of Heinrich,

    GEBHARD LUDWIG HIMMLER : was a monk in the Benedictine Abbey of Maria Laach, Germany. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09658a.htm

    JOSEPH GOEBBELS : devout Catholic attended the Catholic boarding school of the Franciscans in Kerkrade, The Netherlands

    REINHARD HEYDRICH : devout Catholic raised in a highly artistic family. Principal architect of The Holocaust. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinhard_Heydrich and http://www.shoah.dk/Henchmen/jpg_rheydrich.htm

    REINHARD GEHLEN : devout Catholic who was Nazi spymaster under Hitler. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinhard_Gehlen

    RUDOLF HOESS : devout Catholic who was Kommandant of Auschwitz. Believed to be the greatest mass murderer of history : 24,000/day = 2,500,000 total gassed and cremated during his command.

    Modern Catholicism was an integral component of the web of the organization of National Socialism in Germany long before the Nazi party was formally organized.

    For anyone wanting to continue with this realistic, sickening Catholic legacy, read on with http://jesuswouldbefurious.org/Catholic/NaziLeadership.html.
    ______________________

    André M. Smith
    Brass.work@verizon.net
    Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)
    Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)
    Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)
    Formerly Bass Trombonist
    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,
    Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),
    The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  12. There is an important web site, http://firetender.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/catholic-nuns-child-abuse-and-vows/, devoted to revelations of a wide range of tactics refined specifically for abuse to be applied to children in Catholic schools, both primary and secondary. This site is devoted to the destruction of The Catholic Church.

    “It’s time to close it down. It’s time to sue it to death. Let’s leave a better world to our children by eliminating a destructive spirit.”

    The site refers to an extraordinary range of human mishap allegedly attributable to passage through the Catholic education gauntlet: alcoholism, drug addiction, crippling physical injury, mental illness, failed personal relationships, suicide, divorce, adult physical violence, and other niceties. Although it’s unlikely the Church will be closed down — there are yet too many stray puppies in society needing weekly grooming — it can be called to account with contravening organization, as has been adequately proven with settlements in the priest sex scandals.

    I’m sending this reference to readers with interests in the unfortunate legacies of LHMS as another example of just how widespread elsewhere the perversions of violence against children from the holier-than-thou celibates most assuredly has been; and remains. From all my readings on this subject it’s become clear to me that this is a problem spanning centuries! This longevity of institutional misbehavior can have such a duration for three reasons. First, applicants with problematic personalities must be drawn to these ways of life in sufficient numbers to ensure the operational continuance of the organization. Second, administrators overseeing those applicants must have a predilection for engaging them, thereby perpetuating the legacy. And, three, the true features of the dailyness of the cloistered discipline must be concealed from the inquisitive outside eye.

    How to eliminate it in this era of the Internet? First and foremost is to share FACTUAL information!

    “We consider it an achievement of great merit that we have been able for a number of years to give every boy at Linton Hall the advantage of an individual measurement of his general powers, and from time to time and from stage to stage can carefully check his development, toward a forceful and well-rounded personality.” Linton Hall Military School for Boys — Ages 6-16. Bristow, Virginia. [1947]

    “The educational environment fostered at Linton Hall School is characterized by the Benedictine tradition of a friendly, secure, family spirit which encourages a balance of praying, working, and living together in peace and harmony. The Benedictine elements of hospitality, stewardship, beauty, discernment, ministry, and community are stressed.” Linton Hall School. 2012

    Parents : Forewarned is forearmed. Same load; new bag!
    ______________________

    André M. Smith
    Brass.work@verizon.net
    Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)
    Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)
    Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)
    Formerly Bass Trombonist
    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,
    Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),
    The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just for clarity's sake, yes my initial post -- the one that's gathered about 400 responses -- called for the demise of the Church. As I matured through the thread I've come to a more sober rationale. When people are convicted of Child Molestation (U.S.)they are forever watched and required to register wherever they live. They are NOT allowed to have anything to do with children. In the Catholic Church's case they have been racking up hugh numbers of indictments and convictions of its clergy. The Church needs to, at the very least, be revoked of its right to have its representatives have ANYTHING to do with minors. Period!

      But, see, that's really secondary to the purpose of my site. It has evolved to be a safe place for those affected by child-abuse at the hands of Nuns to come to to see they're not alone and to participate in our mutual healing.

      I figure if enough voices show up it'll attract someone's attention and action will be taken against this aspect of the Church's institutionalized abuses.

      Delete
  13. The cooling coals in Firetender, above, may need some stoking. As he writes I read that he is retreating somewhat from a satisfactory response of “about 400” to his basic premise that The Catholic Church should be abolished; not modified, but abolished. What he is failing to acknowledge, by backing off in any degree, is that such an institution, even in a modified form, will perforce produce the same kinds of problems, also in a modified form, that Catholicism must necessarily lead to.

    The Church is, and has been, a refuge for centuries for dreamers of prefabricated fantasies to which the vulnerable can attach themselves securely as dues paying members. And no ostensibly religious person driven to the authority of administration can fail to see an opportunity to secure his own personal status when surrounded by such sheep.

    ___________________________

    "The Will to Believe" is a lecture by William James, first published in 1896, which defends, in certain cases, the adoption of a belief without prior evidence of its truth. In particular, James is concerned in this lecture about defending the rationality of religious faith even lacking sufficient evidence of religious truth.

    James' central argument in "The Will to Believe" hinges on the idea that access to the evidence for whether or not certain beliefs are true depends crucially upon first adopting those beliefs without evidence.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Will_to_Believe
    This whole premise of James on this subject is laid out in http://educ.jmu.edu//~omearawm/ph101willtobelieve.html

    __________________________

    The basic issue before us here is not whether The Church will or should survive but just how such an abusive institution can be held to an account for its betrayal of trust by those within it who abuse and those within it who abet with silence.

    I commend Firetender for the founding and maintenance of his provocative and widely informative web site, http://firetender.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/catholic-nuns-child-abuse-and-vows/. To retain the vitality of a kind which it’s coming to symbolize I hope that he will continue to Tend his own Fire for the benefit of us all.
    _________________________

    André M. Smith
    Brass.work@verizon.net
    Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)
    Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)
    Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)
    Formerly Bass Trombonist
    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,
    Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),
    The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  14. In my previous post I commended Firetender for his efforts maintaining an important web site – nothing short of a litany of savagery ! - devoted to revelations of the physical abuse of children in Catholic primary and secondary schools. One communication dated 3 April 2010 was of particular interest to me. To wit:

    “But that was basically the problem; the nuns (so far as I know) were NOT sexual abusers (although they sure were heavy-handed sluggers, and shredders of juvenile egos), but – they were all secret lushes. My older sister let it slip that her order were heavy drinkers! No wonder the children received such savage beatings during the day – the nuns were in withdrawal. They couldn’t get their hands on the bottles, so they got them on the children, instead.” http://firetender.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/catholic-nuns-child-abuse-and-vows/

    The “older sister” the writer refers to is her older sibling who, coincidentally, was a religious sister in the same order running the school attended by the writer. Our writer here recalls, in her same letter, another notable event in the history of administration of Catholic superior education of her school in Brooklyn.

    “(Incidentally, the principal who beat me – and who threatened to “have me expelled because she KNEW my mother had dyed her hair – the sin of Vanity!”) was hauled off (so I was told) cackling and screaming in a strait jacket one day after she went berserk before some stunned parents. (Some years later, in a newspaper article, she was reported to have become “a psychiatric social worker” – Oh, brother! – and was all dolled up at a party in “a pink silk cocktail dress with matching pumps, and sipping a cocktail.” Pretty ritzy for a nun in her seventies, eh?”

    The Benedictine Sisters of Linton Hall Military School exhibited several distinct signs of addiction; not least of which was their predilection to violence while having their children charges clothed in garb made by contractors supplying The United States Army.

    Where, Oh where, one might ask, does The Catholic Church find such people? A hint of a possible answer may be hidden in three films with themes germane to our present queries. “Doubt” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doubt_(2008_film), “The Magdalene Sisters” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Magdalene_Sisters, and “Sex in a Cold Climate” http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=2&oq=%22sex+in+a+&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGLJ_enUS344US352&q=sex+in+a+cold+climate+&gs_upl=0l0l2l550734lllllllllll0&aqi=g5

    Ite missa est!
    __________________________

    André M. Smith
    Brass.work@verizon.net
    Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)
    Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)
    Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)
    Formerly Bass Trombonist
    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,
    Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),
    The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  15. To Anonymous of March 20 (the parent of two boys currently attending kindergarden at Linton Hall School):
    First, thank you for your feedback to my blog. I would like to hear more from those currently (or recently) attending, and their parents, and I may create a blog entry specifically for their comments.

    My two happiest memories of LHMS were:
    1) When I left after having graduated, and
    2) When I found out that Linton Hall today seems to be a far different and far better school.

    As to the photos of military school ... there were photos such as you describe in the yearbooks too, but there were no photos of children who accidentally peed in their bed being forced top wear the urine-soaked pajama bottoms around their neck all day, of children being beaten with wooden paddles, made to stand with arms stretched horizontally holding a rifle, running laps around the blacktop in only their underwear in winter as punishment, nuns watching nude boys ages 7 to 15 every time they showered.

    What I'm getting at is that the pictures were selective. While I was there during the late 1960s, we never rode bikes or horses or sleds(nor could we have, since there weren't any.) We did go to the pool a couple of times in early September and late May. Kids who knew how to play tennis were allowed to use the tennis courts, but there were no lessons for the rest of us, nor could have even a small fraction of the 200 or so cadets have played tennis on just one court. What was renamed 'OCEW' is basically the camping and field hikes we did, and that was a great aspect of the school, I've written a post specifically about it.

    IMHO the marching was a waste of time, and not productive to learning to make one's own decisions and manageone's own time, but the same could be said if we had spent that time watching TV or playing video games instead. In any case, I'm not criticizing the existence of the military program, since it was still clearly disclosed at the time I was there (though for the last few years of its being a military school it had already changed its name from LHMS to LHS.

    I do not believe that being military necessarily entails the punishments I've described.

    Likewise, I found some nuns to be good human beings, primarily those who taught and did not have disciplinary responsibilities.

    As to the food, I found it no better or worse than public school lunch at the time, (in terms of both quantity and quality.) The big difference was that before I went to LHMS I ate a school lunch 5 times a week, at LHMS it was every meal. Better attention could have been paid to improving it at little or no additional cost. A whole (or half) apple or banana would have been better than gelatin, pudding or gingerbread. I don't recall ever being given any fresh fruit or vegetables that did not come form a can. I smuggled some apples from home once, and never did so again because of the high risk of punishment. Similarly, instead of prepackaged single servings of cereal, jelly, or milk we could have had larger quantities for the same cost. This is important because 8 year olds were fed the same quantities as 15 year olds.

    Thanks for your comments, hope to hear from you again.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I just wanted to add a couple more things. The parent of two current students said "experiences at the school ran the gamut and still do -- some miserable and some happy. "

    Linton Hall Military School was such that we all faced the same rules, discipline, schedule, and so on. So in a sense we all had the same experience. Even when we were not the ones punished, we saw others being punished. It's valid to say that it doesn't hurt as much to watch as it does to have it happen to you, but 99% (if not 100%) of what I've written on my blog was witnessed by anywhere from 30 to 200 cadets. I suppose one can argue that there was some good in such harsh punishments and such picky rules, but no one can deny what happened.

    The parent also referred to "the sisters moving in the modern age still strict, unyielding (in some ways) and unkind and yet completely unaware of the impact of their actions."

    I would question whether they were so "unaware" during the time I was there. (I am not qualified to comment on today's conditions.) For example, the practice of forcing a child (usually one of the youngest ones) who had accidentally and unintentionally wet the bed, to wear his soiled pajamas around his neck all day, with the sole intention of embarrassing him publicly and setting him up for teasing and bullying, was something that every nun and every other adult present at the school saw, in the classroom, in the playground, in the cafeteria.

    Every single one of them must have know how wrong that was. I knew it as an 11-year old, no adult can claim this was not wrong.

    I cannot say that no one tried to stop this, maybe someone tried (though not very hard) but it happened many times while I was there. Clearly the principal had the authority to put an end to this. She did not.

    It is important for parents to talk to their children about school, and to listen to what they have to say. I am glad that a parent is so involved with his/her children's school, that he or she has taken the time to read my blog.

    ReplyDelete
  17. http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/must-read/twenty-names
    _______________________

    The foregoing recollection was published by Michael Moore this morning. As Yogi Berra might have put it, “"It's like deja vu all over again." http://www.baseball-almanac.com/quotes/quoberra.shtml

    Linton Hall in the 1940s reincarnate in Flint, Michigan in the ‘70s. Sister Genevieve (and not the only one) with her sled boards drilled with holes to raise welts? Welcome to Mr Moore’s high school, inadvertent spiritual successor to Linton Hall Military School.
    _______________________

    André M. Smith
    Brass.work@verizon.net
    Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)
    Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)
    Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)
    Formerly Bass Trombonist
    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,
    Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),
    The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  18. It is quite weird that whenever I read things about a military school, all they point out is that it provides the combination of excellent education and discipline. It's great to read this article which also points out the negatives.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have to say this about Linton Hall Military School, I was present in the early 80's and I was really young and well hard headed. I learned to be respectful and be independent and toughen up life isn't a breeze. You have to work for what you want in life and learned what honor and courage is all about. Hard years yes but do I have a regret that I was in L.H.M.S, No sir/madam!!! I am proud to have attended such a great school.

    ReplyDelete
  20. For anyone with even no more than a passing interest in the subject, prison confinement upon conviction will be understood as an experience that any thinking person would seek to avoid. And, yet, there is the random individual who can admit forthrightly that prison, not sometimes unlike an unforgiving military obligation, had been the ideal structure needed by him to assist him in a reordering of his life in a way that prevented him from sinking further into one of aimlessness and further self-destruction.

    Ben has written on 9 Dec 12 about his personal advantage in having passed through LH(M)S during the 1980s. His is the first positive recollection I have read that justifies his having been a student there. But, he must acknowledge that we others, like him, — most boys! — are hard headed, ill-willed toward restrictive authority, self-indulgent, secretive, pack-running would-be predators, lazy, fun-loving, and inherently disrespectful of elders whom they regard primarily as obstructers of the natural pursuit of instincts of all kinds. The nature of boys is not at issue in any discussion of the history of LHMS. What very much is at issue is the place and presumed necessity of, what any reflective person would regard as, abuse, both of authority and charge.

    It is refreshing, though only mildly so, to read that the infrequent student as an alumnus of LH had experiences that helped to determine a positive course in his life. But it is no accident of imbalance that the overwhelming number and quality of recollections that can be read here are ones of subsequent disbelief and unresolved anger. This is, I believe, the primary legacy of LHMS.
    _______________________

    André M. Smith
    Brass.work@verizon.net
    Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)
    Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)
    Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)
    Formerly Bass Trombonist
    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,
    Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),
    The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  21. “Have you visited the Linton Hall School website lately? They don't ‘expunge’ the LHMS history. It's listed there bold as brass.”

    "In the late 1930s, this transitioned to Linton Hall Military School. The school remained an all-male, residential military academy until the 1970s when it added a day program." http://lintonhall.edu/discover/history/ Two quick mentions here in passing in an equal count of brief sentences are far from my idea of “bold as brass” that Anonymous has written on 20 March 2012.


    Also included in that novel so-called history is the sole picture of a girl I have seen attired in LHMS uniform. In our current era of From Equal Rights Emerge Equal Responsibilities, I’ve been wondering if she (1) was required to wear publicly all day the urine soaked pajamas round neck she may have soiled the night before, (2) received a butt lancing from the hat pin of Sister Mary Ever Righteous when she allowed herself to lean backward against a pew bench from exhaustion during a 7:00 a.m. Mass, and (3) how she fared with her enforced pushups in snow for thirty minutes after having forgotten to polish her rifle?


    Wishing to savor a bit for herself the basis of my sheer joy of having been nurtured for half a decade under the beneficent solicitations of The Brides of Christ, Anonymous should trouble herself to read carefully only one directive from The Rule of Benedict as promulgated by himself.


    30: How Boys are to be Corrected.

    Every age and degree of understanding should have its proper measure of discipline. With regard to boys and adolescents, therefore, or those who cannot understand the seriousness of the penalty of excommunication, whenever such as these are delinquent let them be subjected to severe fasts or brought to terms by harsh beatings, that they may be cured. http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/rule_st_benedict_e.htm#_Toc74181939


    Any close reader should be able to understand the close relationships between the foregoing subjugating exploitations through violence against defenseless charges and the sexual abuses that can easily follow such indulgences, for which there is no accountability and from which there is no appeal.
    __________________________

    André M. Smith
    Brass.work@verizon.net
    Bach Mus, Mas Sci (Juilliard)
    Diploma (Lenox Hill Hospital School of Respiratory Therapy)
    Postgraduate studies in Human and Comparative Anatomy (Columbia University)
    Formerly Bass Trombonist
    The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra of New York,
    Leopold Stokowski’s American Symphony Orchestra (Carnegie Hall),
    The Juilliard Orchestra, Aspen Festival Orchestra, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I am a graduate of Linton Hall Military School. Class of 72. I attended for 3.5 years, not by choice. I graduated third ranking cadet in the Battalion staff. Before that I was in the Color Guard. Though at the time I hated being there I was never punished. I caught on early. To avoid being punished with a rifle sling or eating a bar of soap, standing at attention for hours or standing the crucifixion with 2 drill rifles held straight out from the side along with many other physical punishments, I learned to do what was required to stay out of trouble. From the first day I was there when I noticed the officers ran the school, I was going to be one of them. I'm sure Linton Hall has a lot to do with the crafting of my Type "A" Asshole personality. I also believe that todays society of enabled, soft, undisciplined, disrespectful youth could use a place like Linton Hall in the days when respect meant something. When they took the paddle out of the school they took the fear of ill consequences away.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I graduated with you in '72. I was probably the lowest raking kid in the class. Thank God, rank came later in life. I hope things worked out well for you. The classmates of ours that I ran into during my police career in DC didn't make out well. Drugs got them.
    I know what you mean by your remarks regarding kids these days, but tha lhms way was wrong. I've always felt my successes in life have been despite lhms, not because of it.
    Take care

    ReplyDelete