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October 19, 2008 - Janet DelTurco
This is more "etcetera" than "garden", but I want to commemorate a part of St. Joseph Church and school history that will soon be forgotten. While I was school principal, and I do not remember the year, it became obvious that parents needed easily available care for their children before and after school. As a single parent I had needed that myself, and set out to see if it was possible to provide that at St. Joseph. There were few "extended day" programs in those days, and so a small group of parents and teachers joined with me to explore possibilities. We wore down Father Schroeder, who was pastor at the time, and persuaded him to give us the use of the house on S.Washington St. next to the school. This had been a rental for many years, and when Rosemary Kuebler, the last tenant, moved out, we moved in. We received donations of furniture, toys, kitchen equipment and all the things necessary for a home away from home, hired a director and opened for business. I like to think that Guardian House, as one of our teachers named it, filled a need and helped parents for many years. We tried in the early years to open on snow days and school holidays, and our hours were six to six. I can remember many early snowy mornings when I slogged around the corner through the snow. I lived the closest, and would fill in until a staff member or another volunteer was able to get there. We went through so much red tape with the building, particularly with the magnificent fire escape, and so many memories came back to me as I watched the controlled burn by the fire department yesterday. Now there are plans to use the site as a garden space where the students will be able to learn valuable lessons about the care of the earth. I am sure that St. Joseph, our guardian, will continue to look over all those who use the space.
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