he halls had shrunk, somehow, and all the desks were lower. The gentle moon-faced run everybody loved had died a while back. But the statues and little classrooms of Holy Name looked just as they did in 1938, and for a few hours yesterday, Maurice J. Cullinane was back in school.
He was dressed right too, - white shirt, blue tie. Cullinance is the chief of the Washington police force now. He also is one of the Holy Name School's once murable alumni. So in honor of Principal Schools Week (Feb. 7 through Feb. 11) he delighted students and teachers alike by accepting a handwritten invitation and coming back for a visit.
"That used to be the principal's office," Cullinane mused, pointing to a doorway inside the small two-story building. Somebody told him it still was.
There was a hole in the playground fence, he remembered, big enough to crawl through if you needed a short cut to school. It was still there, the children said.
They sang for Cullinane and marched around the playground, playing kazoos. They told him they wanted to be police officers, football players, professional singers. Nine-year-old Darlene Richards marched up to the front of the fourth-grade classroom to show Cullinane her report card, and he cried, "No wonder you wanted to show me! You got all A's and no absences."
Cullinane looked briefly stricken, "I hope they don't keep records," he said. "I hate to show you mine."
He was awarded a key to the school, a great tinfoil-covered affair that would hang he announced, on his office wall. "When you come to see me, you're going to see that key hanging there," Cullinane said.
The school is on West Virginia Avenue NE, near Gallaudet College and the home where CUllinane grew up. It was a quick scramble from the house to school in the mornings. Cullinane remembered, through the fence and over the playground on those occasions when he had slept too late and was about to miss the Pledge of Allegiance. At lunch he reversed the trip, heading home to the smells of hot soup.
"Most enjoyable years of my life," he said. "I could tell you all the teachers, which rooms I was in."