Back in the 1940s, big time entertainment for the boys of St. Vincent’s Home in Roanoke was to walk downtown to an afternoon movie.
The nuns always called on little Johnny Wagner to make arrangements.
Johnny lived at the orphanage because Bertha Wagner, a single mother, couldn’t afford child care while she worked during the week. She was employed as a cashier at the local Jefferson Theater, so when the sisters wanted to take the boys to a movie, Johnny called his mother’s boss, theater owner Arnold Posey, to politely make their request.
“He always closed off the whole balcony for us and then brought us popcorn and candy for the movie,” John Wagner recalled in a recent interview. “The nuns knew Mr. Posey was sweet on my mom,” he said.
Mr. Wagner also remembered that St. Vincent’s orphanage and the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth who ran it had a strong influence on his life — and the lives of close to 1,000 other boys who passed through its doors from 1893 to 1975.
Read the whole article at The Catholic Virginian