Twist of Life

May 30, 2008 on 8:37 pm | In Friends, Life, Relatives, The Good Ol' Days, Travel, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Twist of Life

I come from a rather large family, eight of us to be exact. Five brothers and two sisters. I’m in the middle. Born to a military family we traveled a lot so I was always the new kid on the block. Not that that wasn’t hard enough as it is, but I had to follow my older brothers and the one sister through school, time and time again. Fact is, they could read and write, do the alphabet forwards and backwards and count in two languages before they entered school. This seemed to frustrate the teachers for some reason so the school board came down on my folks stating that it was their job to teach. Whatever else was said I’m not sure, but when it came time for me to go to school, the teachers all assumed my parents had already taught me so they neglected to even attempt to teach me anything. Therefore I never learned to read and write until around the fourth grade and only then because of my mom giving me comic books. That itself was the beginning of the system letting me down. This kind of action plagued my youth. When we returned from Germany the US school system was just starting integrating the schools. I was sent to one called “Lula G. Scott Elementary”. A one time school for Blacks that the system surely didn’t care too much about. But even there I was a bit of a problem and wound up having the school system shut me out again. This time they promised my folks that if they kept me out of school that they would graduate me and even allow me to attend any after school functions if I so desired, just so long as I didn’t enter the school itself, especially during school hours. Needless to say, I graduated from that school then it was on to the next one. All in all it was pretty much the same wherever I went, so I never really went to a complete school year and wound up dropping out completely after one day of the eighth grade.

It wasn’t long before my character started getting me into serious trouble. Not just with the law but with street gangs and other hoods. Eventually I wound up being busted and sent by the courts and the military’s “Champus” to “Boys town”. This was a place outside of Cincinnati, Ohio called Mount Alverno, a school for wayward boys run by the “Brothers of the Poor St. Francis”, an order of monks. I was there for three and a half years, but did manage to run off a few times while I was incarcerated there. I also broke quite a few records while there. I’ll talk about my time there on another occasion. I will, however say that an incident hat occurred while I was in “The Yard” actually turned my life around somewhat. And that I owe much of what I’ve become, (the good part of me that is), to one Brother Victor Callahan. He showed me trust, and his actions still influence me today. I owe him a lot. And I often wonder whatever became of him. Mt. Alverno was torn down in 1971 shortly after I was released back into the world. Which explains why I was released I guess.

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