The Merry Month of May Remembered in September

May Day senior class

Today, September 28, is a day to remember my daughter, Karin.  She would have been 41 today.  (Karin is 4th from the right in the back row.)

Karin graduated in 1991 from a private (NAIS) girls’ high school in St. Louis — Mary Institute (MI).  The year after her graduation, MI combined with Country Day School to create MICDS.  Both schools are steeped in tradition.  Some traditions have fallen away, but May Day has stuck.  It is an elegant afternoon of the senior women in their white gowns, entertained by the younger classes in dance troupes, ending with the seniors weaving the May Pole.

May Day entrance

Karin and an equally tall classmate entered the field first.

And made their traditional bow.

May Day bow 3

Weaving the Maypole (Karin in front).

May Day weaving May Pole

The St. Louis Post Dispatch did an article on the history of white gowns as graduation garb.  The article speaks of the expense of the dress and extravagant shopping trips to find the right one.  Karin and I traveled to Chicago to find her brand-name dress on the Magnificent Mile.

The Alma Mater of MI was —

We’ll sing Palmam Qui Meruit Ferat.
The standard rings now in our ears,
May the girl who deserves wear the laurel
At Mary and on through the years.

We’ve seen dreams built and lives knit together
Through days we’ve spent here at MI.
Then when tangible things cease to bind us,
May the spirit alive be our guide.

The girl who deserves and wears the laurel is the May Queen, chosen by her classmates.

May Day cake

Karin is the first of her class to wear the laurel in heaven, but she will gladly pass on the honor to the next person.


About 9awalsh

A genealogist and writer who has uncovered legacy stories which must be told. I also write a blog, Deciphering Life, trying to figure out why life becomes so tangled --
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