Parochial school in the 1940s and ’50s. Strict discipline and rigid rules. Everything was verboten—from eating meat on Friday to patent leather shoes. The catechism told us we were sinners; Bible stories told us we would be punished. Teen-agers would struggle with “sinful” emotions and humiliating confessions. Finding ways to circumvent the rules—without the guilt and fear—became this teen-ager’s obsession.
It was mid-century America, when one didn’t question authority; when millions proudly joined the army to fight World War II; when those at home gladly sacrificed; and when everything seemed black and white.
Coming of age during those times, headed for that ultimate jarring collision with reality, was a humorous-in-retrospect adventure that needed to be told—a nostalgic romp for those who were there and a poignant revelation for those who were not.