a memory given life again…

tractor in yard

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

When I was a kid in West Virginia I used to hang out with a boy named Jimmy-and his dad drove a truck.
Back in the old days trucks used an air starter and when that sucker went off it would scare you out of your pants and was always a source of humor at a truck stop whenever a truck would crank up with an air starter there was somebody who was going to jump from being startled by the loud ‘whoop’ sound it made-close to being awakend by a train horn right up next to you.
Jimmys dad never missed wakeing us up in wee early morning hours getting ready to hit the road-it would be dark,the whoop of the starter would wake us and we would lay there and slight slumber and listen to the engine idle-you could smell Jimmy dads coffee brewing in the kitchen…but the best part was when his dad would drink his coffee he would sit an old steel guitar and play hymns and sing and I would lay there and wonder in awe of Jimmys dad.
It was always so wonderful-the sounds,you could hear Jimmys dad as he drove away-his trucking groaning out sounds as he shifted the gears and moved across the hill-you could hear him for a long-whump..whump…whump…whump,that was the sound.
When I was a kid around my first of junior high school-we lived in Tuckahoe Virginia,near Richmond something happened in the school between a coach and I. I never told this story in this blog because when you ammount all of the things that took place in my life it just sounds like tooo too much….but it is all so,and Charlotte,my therapist,has asked about this(why I havent about it)-and its all because it just sounds too crazy….my whole life friends has been crazy.
Before I ever saw the front gates of my new school and ever met any of the of the other student body….something happened in the woods near our new house-and some girls saw it,they saw me…okay! They screamed and thats how I know it was them.
Of course I was embaressed
…but it was summer and over the few months it kind got pushed aside-as always I went to Washington DC to stay at my grandparents,so that put things in storage,until the first day of school.
I found my way to the bus stop and there were the girls…and people whispered,and giggled-and knew why.
Then in gym that first day-where I came from in West Virginia-we never heard of gym more less have ‘gym clothes’…so I showed up looking like a huck-a-buck and walked across the gym floor in my oxford shoes-hard soles and all and the coach saw me and lit into me like fire cracker about my shoes being on his basketball floor and that I had no business showing up to gym NOT DRESSED and NO SNEAKERS.
Every one saw this-all the boys in my gym class-and there was girls in a seperate side of the gym who miss the yelling,and some of those was among the girls that saw me in the woods.
My parents told me that night that the tennis shoes I wanted were for playing-and school was not for play….they did not understand.
It was more my mother ,she was still dizzy from the death of my sister-and my dad was always around those days at work.
So I show up the second day with no sneakers. That was the end of my formal education-although I didnt know it then.
The coach was livid-and by this time the tale of my being caught in the woods was around the school…so I was pegged from the get go,so he read me the riot act and made such a fool of me in front all those kids again that my best hope was to hide away from school-but that was short lived,so I went into a mode of disaster and caused an automobile accident by throwing eggs at some cars from the window of the school bus.
It was Debbie who pointed the finger at me-the police had rounded up the students from the bus and the man whose car I wrecked-the student driver teacher from the high school across the road were all in the auditorium when the announcement was called-the police asked who saw who did it and Debbie said it was me….
The days leading up to the wreck were rough at best because this coach had created a wild fire among the students and it gave them free reign to push me around and spit on me and smear stuff on my clothes-and I would this stuff to Jimmy back in West Virginia and one day he and his cousin stole a car and some money and came to Tuckahoe Junior High and rescued me.
We ran away to Cape Haterass and stayed on the beach until we were caught. The police took us to jail-and we waited until Jimmys dad and uncle came to get us. I rode back home to my mother in the back seat of the car Jimmy stole-looking at his dad from behind and I felt so bad for him because I liked him so much. I never saw them again.
So by then-going to Tuckahoe was no longer an option and the disaster mode took over and the car wreck and I got expelled.
It wasnt too bad-dad was on the road,or away-and mom was still dizzy over JoEleen and was kind of an easy push over because of that-however a judge made me get a job-a hard job for no money in my pocket-but to the damages for the wreck.
My heart was delighted to move to DC into the suburbs. I would be free from the background of Tuckahoe-and begin a new life where no one knew what I did in those woods-and the things that happened in gym.
The first day of school at Robert E.Peary I saw Debbie.
That was too much to believe-but there she was…and she saw me.
Things did not go well at all after that…I was not going to live through Tuckahoe again,although then I didnt realize or think that Debbie was new and a stranger there too-that didnt have time to enter my head.
I will have to tell the rest of this some other time-but this incident was so instrumentel in my joining the Navy…it was the beginning of the rest of my life walking solo,but I’m afraid my phone here will ring and it will boot me off the computer-I usually try to write early early…but I’m late today,I had a momentous day yesterday…and old trucker friend came through town yesterday and I got to ride in a truck….the first time in ten years nearly! I was a kid in a candy store….I even moved the truck-the first since my stroke in 1998.
My day was the fullest yesterday!

One Response to “a memory given life again…”

  1. B.J. Says:

    Hey Uncle Jay – I got an article that might interest you. The most current Air Force Times has an article about Capt Devery L. Taylor. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison for raping 6 young men. 4 were military and 1 wanted to join the Navy but fears he’ll be pegged as a homosexual due to this incident. 2 of the 6 were Air Force officers (probably Lieutenants). Capt Taylor was a Hospital Administrator. He met his victims in bars and used the date rape drug, gamma-hydroxy-butyrate or GHB on them. The victims submitted letters to the jury indicating problems with depression and problems in their marriages and jobs. Taylor was convicted of 2 counts of attempted sodomy, 4 counts of forcible sodomy, 2 counts of kidnapping, and 1 count of unlawful entry. You may be able to find out more about Capt Taylor doing a “Yahoo” search. If you want, I can send the article to you. Just let me know. I have no idea if anything was done to the guys who gang-raped you in 1969. It’s good to know that Capt Taylor, at least, is paying the price. Hopefully, the young men will be able to get the help and compensation they’ll need. By the way, I’m at work typing on a Hewlett Packard Computer and keyboard, looking at a Dell Monitor. I hate Dell computers as they break down so easily, then when you call for customer support, you sometimes end up getting someone in India who can barely speak the language. If you have any problems with your computer, I can tell you some things to do to get it up to par. If nothing else, I can probably get Chuck to build you a decent computer! Still, I’m glad you got a computer, even if it’s not the kind I particularly care for and that you’ve got internet.

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