Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Golden Reunion.(Trends)

Byline: Story by Barbara Chavez Of the Journal

St. Mary's Class of 1950 looks back over a half century of memories

In 1950, Nat King Cole was singing "Mona Lisa," and the 87 graduates of St. Mary's School in Albuquerque were clutching high school diplomas and pondering their futures.

They were known as the Seventh Street Saints back then, and they were full of dreams and aspirations.

Some had baseball dreams, like a lanky kid named Pete Domenici.

Some wanted to devote themselves to the church, like Robert Palladino, Ernst Mort and Florence Roney, who today is Sister Marie Vicentia.

Some wanted to go to college and have careers, like Bing Grady and Shirley Eggert.

Some longed to marry and start families, like Ramoncita "Angie" Gonzales and Millie Santillanes.

World War II was finally over, and the Class of 1950 dreamed of stable lives in peaceful times, even though the nuclear arms race was already heating up.

"Back then, we were really wondering if we would live to see the turn of the century," said Shirley Eggert, who is now Shirley Eggert Villa. "We were living in the post-World War II age where we had to know where the bomb shelters were. And we learned that New Mexico could be a target because of Los Alamos. For us, it was a fear of the future."

Santillanes, one of Albuquerque's most vocal community activists, said none of her classmates thought of looking ahead 50 years when they were graduating. …

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