I shuddered when she mentioned this.
The Academy was the stick my mother shook at me to bend me into compliance with her idea of what I should be doing.
"If you don't (insert demand here,) I'll send you to the Academy as a boarder."
That threat was usually enough to make me do whatever it was she had decided would be an improvement.
I had no experience with nuns but Marcella, across the street, who went to another parochial school had told me plenty. I wanted nothing to do with these scary creatures.
And then there was the matter of the uniform.
I'd seen what the poor prisoners at the Academy wore -- their
There's a snapshot in my memory of Academy girls in pleated navy blue wool skirts, wilted white shirts escaping from their waist bands, playing sweaty volley ball on a hot day.
Nope, not for me.
This was the Fifties and I was quite fond of my full skirts, buoyed up by crinolines, the cinch belts, the bobby socks . . . the whole look.
The whole idea of an all-girls schools, of nuns who, it was whispered, shaved their heads, of uniforms ---no, it was unthinkable and the threat of the Academy continued to keep me in line.
As dinner continued and I had another glass of wine, I confided in Angela my long-ago fear of being uprooted from Plant High and sent to the Academy.
She grinned. "I loved the Academy. And when my mother got mad at me, she used to threaten to send me to Plant High."