The 1945 Detroit St. Stanislaus yearbook, the "Stan-Em" is now on-line and can be found by clicking this link. A link to the album is on the left hand sidebar of the website.
I have several St. Stanislaus yearbook scans, thanks to Kathy and Tom Wozniak. I have thought alot about St. Stan's recently. When driving to St. Clare of Montefalco last month for the Society's annual Mass and Award Dinner, I east on I-94, east of the Lodge. I seldom travel that particular stretch of 94, and I noticed the very large church building with a very large school building about a mile south of the freeway, near the Chene street exit. I didn't recognize the buildings, and I asked my east side friends about them. No one could tell me anything about them. I didn't know if they were occupied So, a week later, I took the Chene exit and drove up. I was saddened to learn that the buildings were the now vacant, legendary St. Stanislaus church and school.
I certainly knew of St. Stan's, but being east-side "challenged" I did not know it was so close to the Lodge, I-94 and downtown Detroit.
I took some pictures. The surrounding neighborhood is a virtual ghost town. No cars passed while I stopped and I saw no people. I think I drove the wrong way several times down a poorly marked one way street.
Though the high school apparently became a charter Academy for Arts and Sciences, there was no activity. I saw one car parked near a school door and oddly enough a light or two lit in school stairwells.
St. Stanislaus High School, staffed by the Felician Sisters, opened in 1928. By the late 1940s, it was the largest Polish parish high school in Michigan. The construction of I-94 after the war, split the parish and the construction took away some of the St. Stanislaus neighborhood. Enrollment declined. The grade school closed in 1968. The high school survived the mass closings of 1969-71, but only for a little while. St. Stan's high school closed in 1974. The parish closed in 1989. The church building was subsequently sold to another Christian congregation, which lost the building thereafter. The building was recently sold for $45,000. Very sad.
The 1945 yearbook is dominated by World War II, from the title "Reporting From the Home Front", all the way through.
Here is a photo from on of the first pages of the yearbook, which sets the wartime theme:
The class of 1945 had seen several members leave for military service before graduation, some as early as the end of Sophomore year:
Stars for the Bronco and Bronco-ed(yes, that's what they called them) alumni in the Service:
The caption on this picture is very compelling. Light-hearted high school days soon gave way to a life or death struggle in Europe and the Pacific. The present day world has become so small, it is hard to imagine, much less understand how it was for kids to leave their insular church and school neighborhood to fight in places so far away. That they did go does speak well of the values they learned in Detroit and at St. Stan's.
On a lighter note, the Bronco basketball team went 19-3 that year, taking a District and Regional title along the way. In this action photo, against St. Catherine's, note the fans in the balcony. I often wondered why all the old gyms seemed to have a balcony, which couldn't seat too many. It was because each of these gyms also had a stage and the balcony was used to shine spotlights on-stage.
St. Stan's regular season results 1944-45. So many schools, so many closed.
Great shot of the St. Stan's cheerleaders. Zoot! That's real George.
Students enter the now silent halls of St. Stanislaus high school.
That yearbook, from that school, at that time, coupled with my visit to the abandoned shells in 2014, prompts consideration of a great many issues far beyond the scope of this humble project. For now, let's just say it puts matters such Kim Kardashian's rear end pictures in their proper perspective.
Go, Broncos and Broncoeds, and thanks.