The loss of my mother was all I could think about as I sat on a limb in the cherry tree which towered over the hog lot. But when I woke up the next morning in my own bunk with the clean white sheets and my very own flashlight, surrounded by other boys my age, I knew I was in for an amazing life. We dressed and went down to breakfast and what a spread! It was made complete by eating in a large room with 35 other boys and girls and to top that off, we had peach preserves and homemade butter on hot biscuits. What a life for a five-year-old.
We kids played long hours in the hills of Beattyville, KY. Christmas was packed with gifts and food given to us from Taylor Tire in Lexington. They took us to the Shrine Circus every year and gave us airplane rides, too. Man, what better life could a kid ask for? Except when I popped open the window of the plane and we thought we were going to be sucked out!
Jack and Helen Brown knew something about running an orphanage. We raised much of our own food and animals and he owned a blacktopping company where we boys worked.
Fearing for my life in boarding schools made me aware of my surroundings, and being expelled for throwing a dirt clot over a staff member’s head was no fun either. Finally a boarding school where I was appreciated and where I would meet the love of my life.
Then on to Paris Island, NC to meet up with Uncle Sam! We hit it off from the start. Oh wait! That drill instructor that “leaped in my chest”; oh well, it only hurt till I could breathe again.
Vietnam, Fire Department, Church, Royal Rangers, Retirement, Family; my three angels have always been there. You will meet them.