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Stories For A Century

Four o'Clock Tea

Scott Kirkpatrick '61

We had the tradition of tea at 4 o’clock. Mrs. John had a beautiful tea service, and we'd all sit in our blazers and have tea and cookies after sports and showers. Mr. John's comic relief was listening to the famous Maine comedians, Bert and I. In his teas we would sit and listen to a record of them, and we would be in hysterics. We used to get apple cider illegally, and we’d hide it to try to get it to ferment. One time I had a bottle of cider in my suitcase, and it blew up in the middle of tea. Mr. John punished me with an extra study hall or something, but we were very close. We used to walk to meals together.

When you sat at Mr. John's table, he made you eat everything, and he made sure you ate liver and onions when we had this served to us every other week. The majority of us hated liver and onions. We would fill our napkins with it when Mr. John wasn't looking. Our blazers began to smell after we had the liver and onions in our pockets.

Mr. John used to drive the school bus when we went to sporting events and to hear him grind through the gears was a treat. Mrs. John had hundreds of cats. At night Mr. John would try to get the cat to come in, and we'd all have our heads stuck out the windows listening to him trying to get these cats in. It was hysterical.

This memory appeared in the John B. Bigelow Commemorative Magazine, January 2000.

Photograph: Rectory Archives.

  • 1960s

Campus Location:

Deal House

Contact Information:

Lisa Levesque, Centennial Coordinator

Rectory School Centennial
528 Pomfret Street
P.O. Box 68
Pomfret, CT 06258