no ones life but theirs…

blur twinkles on pete

Originally uploaded by jayfherron

I think I once wrote about a family I lived near in West Virginia when I was a kid. They lived in an old log home-a very large place with dirt floors. I think I told about the coal mine-although small-but was accessed through a pantry off of the side of the kitchen and how we kids wouls love to wait for the ring of a bell and we’d run to a pully and pull the rope and up came a bucket of coal and we’d dump it in a small little cart that was on tracks…and the best part was to ride that cart down the hill behind the house to a pile where the big pile of coal waited for the truck to come each year and haul diggings away.
In our school-as kids…those kids were called ‘hicks’,because they were poor-to some peoples standards.
I always felt rich and warm there. They were a huge family-there was a grandpa and grandma-she cooked on a wood stove…and the parents-and an uncle,and loads of kids. Shirley and George were the two I was aquainted with and would stay the night there often in Georges bunk beds.
There was another kid-Jimmy…his dad was the trucker I know I’ve written about. Jimmy was the kid that stole the car and some money to come and rescue me from the things that were going on at junior high school in Tukahoe Virginia (Richmond) and I remember when we got caught I felt so bad for Jimmys dad for having to drive so far to get us. I always wanted to tell him that,but never saw him again.
I used to love the early mornings when we’d sleep over at Jimmys. His dad would get up and start a pot of coffee and you’d barely hear him in the kitchen in a slight slumber as he fixed the metal pot and put it on the stove…but slumber would be risen up out bed when Jimmys dad would crank that truck. In the old days the trucks had an air starter that raised a loud loud whoop when it turned the motor-the sound echoed through the hills north of Charleston and probrebly raised up everybody in a wide radius.
The part I really loved was when Jimmys dad would sit and drink his coffee at the string board of a steel guitar and sing hymns. My family were not church people-and this was my way of learning about heaven and faith.
When Jimmys dad would leave you could hear him shifting that truck all through those hills going to where ever.
I swear to you I about wish time could have stuck in that period…the wee years of the 1960’s. Until innocence was robbed by the murder of our president.
Some years later I went to work for a man who owned a bunch of dump trucks and drag-lines and bulldozers. Other than the trucks-I could not operate these machines-but the boss would take me to one and point out some specifics and leave me there….with a job to do-and serious basic training,more less none! And I would gradually figure the thing out.
Most of the places we worked at were way back in the boonies-no one was ever around-it was most of the time just me. One day this ragged jeep drove up with an old man-ragged as that jeep,driving.
The old man got out and I’m serious-he was fairly grubby looking and around his lips was loose runaway tobacco juice-some even seemed to spot his dirty shirt. He got out of that jeep and was ranting about how I needed to do this and do that and I had no idea who he was and so I told him so…and off he went in that old beat up jeep.
About an hour went by and my boss showed up-he was pissed. He wanted to know if any one had been there-I told him about the old man.
My boss stood there and glared at me for what seemed hours and then he began to teach me something really valueable…not to judge the book until you’ve read the whole thing.
The old mans name was Goethe. I was told he was one of the highest property owners in this section of Florida….the benefactor of over 42,000 acres of forest to the people of the state of Florida-the man who gave us Goethe State Forest.
In the Bible it says things aint always the way they appear-my words but the bible does say it generally that way.
Like David-the boy who threw the rock at the giant…the soldiers all said he was a boy-but he and not they killed the giant….him with a stone and sling-they with all their armour and arms.
What I learned from that family in West Virginia was that they were richer than anyone because they had that family that stayed together and worked together and were happy together.
On that same mountain side was some very rich people-you see…real estate in West Virginia is kind of a tight perspective and so on some hillsides are grand homes and near by are shanty shacks and in between.
There was kid our age back then whose grandfather had invented something we all use every day-or to put it better,most homes have one. This family was very rich-they had a home that you could see most of Charleston from one terrace…well to be honest-there were several homes on the property. The parents lived a mansion-the grandparents in a very long ranch style house next to that and there was an old school…and a bit off through the woods was a second mansion that had been started years and years back-and never finished. I remember they were very nice people…but our friend was rather spoiled from this lifestyle-even then at our age (we would have been 8 to 10 years old)….I remember the boy got in trouble so badly one time his family sent him to Greenbriar Military school to punish him. I remember being envious because in those years the back pages of the National Geographic had ad’s for military schools and over and over I’d ask my dad if I could go to one…never thinking they were places of punishment-but places of high standing. I never went-the closest I got was boot camp. I came to learn later Greenbriar (I’m sure I’m spelling this wrong) was a very prestigious school,so was he being punished?
I began writing all of this stuff last fall-nearly nine months ago…mostly because I wanted to tell someone-but greatly because of comments that were made to me while going through the application process of making the Navy accountable for what happened to me…something that crossed my mind for all these years-
….and I was given the remarks by the veterans advocate that no one would ever think homosexuals would have a need to rape one another….
and I went away from that meeting and those comments-the others that indicated it MUST BE blacks that did it…?? but worse of all I felt so violated and filthy once again and it took me back to the first day at barracks D and the intelligence officer that saw me and told me to get used to it because my dance card was already punched!
I’m funny…really,I am way off wack! I know now there are some of you that are reading these things that have lived through the terror of being a victim…and you understand what I am talking about where fear is considered-because we live in fear all the time…it does not go away. We adjust-some of us-some better,some worse. But I will tell you that since that first day in barracks D I have lived my life with it ,on it,in it and around it. This morning when I used the toilet for the first time today my hand sunk into the damage and into the past as it did such a trivial task to wipe my ass..and to every day to have to start it EVERY DAY that way where the thought of those men attacking me and stretching me in the way they did…my reminder is right there….it doubles in the shower when it takes so long to get clean.
My life went went away then-news years eve 1970…heck,the day hadnt even began…it was still 1969-the partys were 10 hours away to ring in the new year…and I woke up in a urinal covered in piss and my nose blocked with dried blood.
I have a great misunderstanding as when people say to me-get over it!! It rings a bell inside of me…get over it! When? When will I get over it? You make it sound so easy…
I have hated every inch of this part of my life-every waking moment-and so many reminders…like when I do find a safe restroom to do a simple bodily thing my nose reminds my memory of the urinal I had my soul bent so badly in…every time-even the stupid sounds in the restroom brings it back! Think about it-how many times in our life we need to go to a rest room and for me each time it is a clear deja vu of that time. And the crowd of men-the breathing at night when things were supposed to peaceful and they were’nt.
I’ve had several critical comments made by my own family in these writings-some are still attached somewhere in here..others I got sick and sunk them into the trash.
I cannot believe they are interested in me..reading this-I think they are critical of the small things that I say in regards of my family…I remember once upon a time my ma got ‘curious’ and said she thought there was something that happened in the Navy..and I thought that this would be it-she was interested….and so I began to tell her-until the part came and she started making this loud shushing and told me to stop that she did’nt want to hear it.
Damned right Mother….I wish God had taken me too instead of Carl-I just did’nt know it then.
Its been no ones life but theirs…

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