I went back to Geneva Illinois to meet with the historian I had arranged several months ago. I had briefly mentioned to him I wanted to write a book about the school. He was an elderly man very talkative and quite flirtatious. Unfortunately all his information dated back to the early 1900’s when the school was first opened. When I asked about the school post 1959 he said “a lot of changes took place beginning then till closing in 1978.” I asked “such as?” he said “there was a lot of allegations of sexual abuse from the priest to administration and the girls had sexually abused some staff members.” I asked “so what changes took place?” He said “most of the inmates there were prostitutes, murders and unwed mothers all uneducated from the Chicago ghettos.” Once again I asked “what kind of changes took place?” He was evasive and never gave me an answer pretaining to the changes.

This historian isn’t from Geneva Illinois instead New York City. Where he taught history for several years till illness forced an early retirement and he settled in Geneva Illinois where his only daughter was married and lived. He gives several lectures a year about Geneva’s history and gets his materal from the library and locals.

He asked me “what is it about the school that made you come all the way here from Arizona?” I told him “I am an ex-inmate from Geneva Girls School and I want to write a book about the truth behind the school.” He ended our interview by walking out the door without a word. Leaving me sitting in my chair and his jacket left hanging on his chair.

I left the library sadden not to get the answers I was seeking. I drove to the Fox river and parked overlooking where Geneva Girls School once stood. As I sat there the sunny sky suddenly became overcast with dark clouds hanging over the beautiful homes that now stand where cottages once stood. That moment was like the school was still alive and acknowledged my presence.