Yes, My name is Rebecca Chapter 5

Chapter V
Sophomore year was more interesting I think. Mr. Ball got fired for passing all of his students and over 90% with B’s or higher. Hmmmm think that might have been one of those snowball effect things, again. I started driving. I took Driver’s Ed for cheaper insurance rates. I took an extra credit driving class as well. It was actually driving every morning before school. I already had my license. The other two kids in the car only had their permits. Three car dealers loaned cars to the school for this program. There was a Chevy Camaro, stick shift, a Chrysler New Yorker and the third must have been hideous because I can’t remember it! It did not take the instructor long to figure out who had been driving and who had not. I got to drive the cars out away from traffic and then back into traffic and school each day. The other two students were not as learned and he did not want to get into a wreck! He found out I would be going to Colorado the next summer so he took us into the foothills and taught me how to safely start and stop on a steep hill. Tucson has no mountains, but he found steep hills and gave me priceless driving lessons that I have used for years.
Super bowl Sunday I was at the bar with Mom when she set her sights on ‘Randy’. At least that is what his belt said. She was al-ways very good at manipulating me. She would have me play pool with the man she was interested in. Or sit and talk with them. Being a teenager I was chattier than any other time in my life. Randy was interested. He kept watching football. He wouldn’t play pool with me. Mom went to the bathroom and he came over. He gave me his hat. He gave me a slip of paper and asked me if I would get his hat cleaned for him. I said sure. I knew Yogi – the owner of Arizoner Hatters. That is where ‘Randy’ asked me to take his hat. He left. Mom came out- was shocked and intrigued. We went home. The slip of paper said Ron Towkarski. I guessed it was the name of the clerk at Arizoner Hatters. I dropped his hat the next day- they had never heard of that person. Hmmm. Well a few weeks go by and Randy is at the bar again. Asks for his hat. I give him the claim ticket for it. Turns out his name is Ron Towkarski. His belt says Randy so people will leave him alone.
We begin dating with Moms permission. Ron tells me your Mom is trying to sleep with me. I said yes, Mom does that. He did not like my Mom. He took me to 5 star restaurants. He took me to an opera. Once we went to a ballet. We went to drag races. We went to a rodeo. When I talked about things he wanted to buy me she said she would not allow him to buy me. He wanted to buy me contact lenses. Mom refused and bought them for me. We dated from March thru January. He proposed in October and I said yes. We both knew Mom would not agree. So we made wedding plans for June 10, 1980. I would be 18 and out of school. He would be 36. I was head over heels in love.
We took our vacation to Colorado and then to Wyoming for a family reunion. I was shocked at how badly Mom and her siblings treated each other. They were downright rude to one another. My cousin Christy had invited me to come to Canada with her. We were going to drive up there and see Aunt Penny since she wasn’t making it to the reunion. We had a blast driving up there and back. As we were crossing the border into Canada it took a long time before someone stomped out and said where did you gas up last? We looked at each other and said Shelby Montana. He said you left your gas cap and stomped back inside. I got to meet Aunt Penny and her family. They were fun and treated me like I had always been there. The next morning I heard someone upstairs so I got up and went up the stairs to see a bald woman washing the dishes. I did not know Aunt Penny was bald. Her wig was very natural looking and I was so shocked and tiptoed back downstairs and laid in bed till everyone was awake! We spent one day up in Glacier National Park feeding mountain sheep and chipmunks. Aunt Penny had horses and they had cut the hay but then it had rained so we went out the day before we left and helped them turn the hay so it would dry. This city girl had never touched a pitch fork. I worked hard all day and played hard too. We teased each other, chased each other and carried on. The next morning when we woke up I thought we should stay an extra day because I pulled muscles I did not know I had! Coming back across the border into the USA was not as easy. We waited in a line for over an hour and when it was our turn we had to open every suitcase and they were going thru every car with fine tooth comb. They said they found marijuana seeds in the carpet and Christy told him bull-shit. I’ve owned this car since it was brand new and there has never been drugs in it. With that he let us load up and leave. We came home thru Yellowstone National Park. We rented a motel room just before Yellowstone so we could drive thru in the day-light and find us ‘Bigfoot’. Christy being a Wyoming native had seen lots of wildlife she wanted to see something unusual! We paid for the room and the desk clerk says wait a moment let me get the bell hop- we look at each other – we knew there was no bell hop so what did he mean? He opened a door and called for Phillip. Phillip bolted out. He said they are in room ___ and opened the office door for all of us. Phillip was a medium size white poodle. He promptly trotted down to the door and sat in front of it. We unlocked the door- he checked the room and gave us a bark as he left. Cutest bell hop I’ve ever seen! We got to see a moose drinking in the middle of a pond, a large herd of elk and lots of beautiful country. We also got to see Old Faithful erupt right on schedule. When we got back to Casper I flew home to Tucson.
Mom began dating Ken Flora again. He had been a flame years earlier that left her so far in debt she nearly lost her home. Dave and I were angry and threatened to remove Ken from her life. It had been ugly when he dumped her earlier. Ken and Mom both tried to convince us that he had changed. That summer I joined a City Women’s Fast Pitch Softball team. I was returning from practice one night and saw the left over ashes from road flares at the corner of Grant Rd and Richey Blvd. I told Mom when I walked in there must have been an accident up the road, there are flares. The telephone rang, I answered it. It was Ken’s boss telling me that Ken had been in an accident and was at University Hospital. I thanked him and hung up. I said to Mom let’s go. She said what is going on? I said Ken is hurt, I don’t have much information but he is at University Hospital. She sat down in my mustang and looked at me- she said I don’t care how fast you drive I will pay the tickets, get me there. I did. We walked into the room where they were getting ready to take him for surgery. It looked like someone had taken a puppet on strings and just let go- They had a sheet laid over him and his legs looked like the puppet that had been dropped. He was in shock and didn’t know what was going on. This night was the turning point for me accepting Ken back into my Mom’s life. He had been hit and run as a pedestrian coming down to visit Mom while I was at practice. The car was stolen and no one was ever apprehended for this tragedy. Ken lost 80% use of his right arm, both of his legs were broken and his pelvic bone. He was hospitalized for nearly six months. He came to live with us when he was finally released. He spent the first few weeks in the University of Arizona hospital. They had set his legs in casts that kept bleeding through. His right arm had a pin stuck through the elbow and held up in traction without a cast. It kept swelling. He had been in the hospital for 11 days, when one afternoon that I was there we asked the nurse what plan there was to take care of his arm. She looked Ken in the eye and said ‘the class is not ready to see that operation, when they are we will operate on your arm’. They came about a week later and said there isn’t any bone to salvage so they are going to have to put in a rod to replace the bone. Two days after that surgery Val-ley National Bank called my Mom and said that the University of Arizona was trying to get Ken’s bank account information. That night University of Arizona Hospital transferred Ken to Pima County Hospital due to lack of funds or responsible parties to pay for his medical care.
At the county hospital he began receiving much more proactive care to his injuries. He was allowed to smoke and had smoked Pall Mall’s for as long as I knew him. We brought him cigarettes and visited daily. There were 4 beds in his room, sometimes with patients sometimes not. One gentleman died of stomach cancer that had shared the room for a few months. They moved another gentleman in and Ken didn’t say much about him. He called me and asked me to bring him a carton of smokes. I said I just brought you one yesterday Ken. He said I know but please I need another one. Ok I will. I bought him another carton and took it to him. He then whispered to me that this other gentleman was stealing them. I went down to the nurse’s station and told her of the problem and she apologized. She came and talked to Ken. They had moved him into the room and told Ken, most of the time he is alright. He can be hard to control if he gets upset. At night the gentleman would creep over to Ken’s bedside and steal his ciga-rettes and put them in his bedside table. He didn’t smoke- no one understood why he did that. But the nurse got all of Ken’s cigarettes back and worked it out by keeping them at the nurses’ station. We asked Ken why you didn’t say something to him. He looked at us like we were crazy. He said you move in a psychiatric patient tell me not to upset him when I am lying in bed with two broken legs. I am not going to upset him- FOR ANYTHING!
My Brother Dave got married on Dec 2, 1978. Sharon and he were living in Phoenix and asked Mom if they could get married in her house. Mom was excited and decided to take out the brick book-case to make more room and afterwards she could install it where she wanted it. As she was working at loosening the bricks one of the stacks fell over crushing her foot. I was just getting ready to watch a movie about Pearl Harbor for my history homework. I looked at Mom when she yelled “Shit”. I had NEVER heard my Mom curse. I realized it was a serious injury. I got her to get into my car and drove her to the emergency room. I attempted to get her checked in; they said there was a long wait. She demanded we return home. She said you won’t see that movie- I pointed out it was playing on the TV in the waiting room and she hobbled out to the car. I sat in the waiting room for about 15 minutes hoping she would come back in. I walked out to the car and she demand-ed I take her home. She soaked it in Epsom salt each night when she got home from work. I still believe she broke her foot and is tougher that any person I’ve ever known. Dave and Sharon drove down the night of Dec 1. Dave wanted to show us his suit that he had bought to be married in. They carried in the hanger, pulled off the plastic to find a very handsome suit coat with no pants. They had left the pants! So Sharon and I drove back to Phoenix that night and got his pants so she wouldn’t have to marry someone wearing only a suit coat! They returned to Phoenix and life seemed to be going well for them.
In January at dinner Ron said I have a question I would like to ask. I looked at him. He said would you consider coming to a room at the Holiday Inn with me tonight. I looked down. I looked up and said why. He said I love you and want to make love to you. If you want to wait until we are married I will wait, but I had to ask. I was slowly eating my food and thinking in panic mode. When men ask and are told no they take it anyway. If I say yes will it be as good as everything else has been with him??? If I say no it will be mean, hateful and hurt. I don’t want to make him behave like that. I love him. I cannot wait to be with him all the time. I looked up at him. I told him I was scared but yes. We finished our dinners. We ordered dessert. We had coffee afterwards. We drove to the Holi-day Inn. He made love to me for the first time in my life. He was gentle. He was kind. He was warm. He held me. I laid on his chest. I never wanted it to end. He had to take me home and I knew that. Mom was not someone to make wait. He picked me up for our next date. Our dates were allowed to be Friday nights only. Occasionally she would allow us to do something during the day on Saturdays. I missed my period. Ron was ecstatic. He told me not to tell anyone. I missed my next period and we were going to have a baby. He was trying to figure out how to bring us together always. He kept telling me not to tell anyone. I was crying one night because I wanted to be with him. Mom came into my bedroom and drilled me. I caved. I told her how much he loved me and I was going to have his baby. She soothed me off to sleep and went out of my room. Ron disappeared. He wasn’t at work. His number was disconnected. Mom was telling me I was going to have an abortion. I told her I would not have an abortion. I understood I was not equipped to be a mother all by myself but I would give my baby up for adoption I would not kill it. My sister called and told me to have an abortion. Everyone I ever knew in life called to take me to lunch and tell me to have an abortion and I stood strong. Mom made me go to a Dr. My first exam as a woman. WOW- Can you say invasive. He was nice enough. He asked me what I wanted I told him I wanted to find Ron and live happily ever after like we planned. Mom made me come down to the bar one night. Ron was sitting about 6 barstools from her. She prodded me until I finally went over there. I said Hey. He pulled the stool out beside him. I sat- he turned to face me. He began tracing a star on my leg just above my knee. He said in an obviously drunken voice, I am not ready for an instant family. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a wad of money. He said this will pay for an abortion. He said I love you. I will meet you at the courthouse on June 10. I got up and walked over to my mother. I handed her the wad of money- said there is your blood money and walked out of the bar, down to her house. She made the appointment and Linda came from California. They drove me to the hospital and marched me in. Some lady handed me a cup to pee in. They called my name and I was marched back to a bed. I laid down and was wheeled into an operating room. I was given an I.V. drip of sodium pentathlon. Just before going under I begged them not to kill my baby. The Doctor said that it was too late- the sodium pentathlon would hurt or kill it. They did a vacuum abortion. I awoke throwing up. They looked at the kotex they had put on me said ok she is good to go. Wheeled me out the back door to the so called loving arms of Mom and Linda. They drove me home and I went to bed. That was March 29, 1979. I stopped going to school. I went in for a follow up exam to make sure I was healthy. He told me it was a boy. He said he was sorry, he didn’t know I didn’t want to have an abortion. I sat in the park and did my homework. I forged notes requesting work be sent home. I turned in every assignment. I continued to get A’s & B’s I just could not bring myself to sit in a classroom.
They mailed my last report card home- I was failed in Math, English and Science. The notes all said I was failed for lack of participation in the classroom. I passed P.E. Hmmm interesting. The only class that I had that required my physical presence to perform any of the tasks and I passed it. Yet they failed me in the others. Seems like an oxymoron. Did not matter much I wasn’t planning on going back. After you have murdered a baby that came to you out of love like you had never felt- sitting in a classroom just did not have significance anymore.

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Yes, My name is Rebecca Chapter Four

Chapter IV
Debbie had one older brother, Denny. Denny was a year older than I and I always liked him. I was close with all the kids. From the time Debbie & I were 12 yrs old to 15 yrs Denny and his bud-dies’ gang raped us. It took 6 of them to hold us down we were not wimpy girls- but they always won. They raped us after school, at nights, on weekends….. It was horrific. It was all I knew and had come to expect this was the way I would be treated all my life. Somehow, even with all of this going on I believed Denny and I would be married. That one day he would recognize how much I loved him and he would begin to protect me. My choices for socialization at this point in life were to be at the bar with my mother or at home getting raped. My mother’s actions seem to indicate that she was using me to pick up men at the bar. I had heard my mother say this more than once: “She is jail bait, but I can take care of what she started.” I was well into adulthood before I complete-ly figured out what she meant by that- and still my thought was ‘Really my Mom was seducing men??’
About this time the Steinheimers decided to retire. They sold their bookstore. They negotiated that Mom and Dolly still had their jobs. Dolly was a sales clerk as well as book reviewer. The people who bought the bookstore moved it to what was called Trail Dust Town. It was a little shopping plaza that was done like an old western town. Neither Mom nor Dolly liked the new arrangements. They tried to make the adjustments. After a few months Mom left that job and went onto unemployment. I was thirteen that summer and miserable that Mom was around ALL the time. It actually was the best choice my Mother made, concerning parenting in my memory. Because my Mom was home more than usual it kept me from following my best friend into a party life that I doubt I was strong enough to escape. Sadly she still spent many nights at The Mint bar. That summer I worked at a riding stable down on Klinesdale Street. I would get up each morning and ride my bike down there. I would catch all the horses, saddle them up and then shovel out the pens. I got to take out dudes for rides in the riverbed. My only pay was riding the horses. I saddle soaped the leather and rotated it around so that everything got cleaned up and oiled. Guy was the owner of the stable. His son had a Palomino stud and a mare that was ready to foal. The mare had been having problems and their vet told them to keep her in the box stall without exercise. She had a beautiful Palomino colt but he was too weak to stand up. Guy Jrs wife and I stayed up all night for three nights feeding that colt. We milked his dam and fed it to him. He seemed to be gaining strength. But he died. I was so sad. Summer was coming to an end and I had a favorite horse. His name was Blaze. (This name seems to be significant in my life. I looked it up for some direction and guidance. I came up with I am a trail blazer- albeit took writing this book to discover this hidden truth in my past!) Guy Sr. asked me if I wanted to buy him. I said I had to ask my Mom. She thought it over but told me no. I did not think she was fair. One day I rode my bike to work. I saddled all the horses. I cleaned the stalls and then rode my bike home for lunch with Mom. I rode my bike back down and everything was gone. All the horses, the tack, the feed and the trailers that they lived in were gone. No one said a word to me. I stared in disbelief. I rode home and Mom wanted to know why I was home so early. I told her everything is gone. She didn’t believe me. We got in the car and drove there. She stared in disbelief. Just gone. So we came home. I recall Mom saying these dude outfits come and go quickly, but over the lunch hour sure seems strange to me. It would make sense if they owed me money- but I did all that work just for the opportunity to ride the horses. Summer came to an end and school began. I was an excellent student in school. It seemed the only place that things made sense to me. It was easy to excel there. I was attentive in High School. Most of my classes were going well. I had Mr. Ball for Algebra and I was not understanding it. I loved math and I wanted to learn algebra. I tried to ask Mr. Ball he told me I had great grades not to worry about it. I told my Mom, she too looked at my report card with A’s in algebra and told me I was learning Algebra. So I began going to my counselor every week complaining that I did not know algebra and I wanted a transfer to a different class. Same thing, your grades are great don’t worry. We were well into the 3rd quarter when my biology teacher was in the office and heard my com-plaint. When I came into biology later he called me up to his desk and handed me a test. He told me to take it and bring it back up to him. I went and sat down. I looked at the test- it was an algebra test. I went back up to his desk and said, excuse me this is algebra?? Do you- want to give me a biology test? He smiled and said no, I want you to take that test. I was a little confused but went back to my lab desk and did the best I could. I gave it to him and returned to working on biology for the rest of the class. At the end of class he asked me to come see him after school. He indicated he wanted to help me with my issues about algebra that he had heard what I said in the office this morning. I came back after school and we sat and talked about my predicament. He said your test proves to me that you do not know algebra. He said we could get me transferred into his class but it was so far into the school year I would not be able to catch up. I had a 3.7 grade average and if I failed his algebra class it would seriously bring that down. So we decided that I would transfer into his class and work more as an aid and retake algebra in summer school. I was able to learn some that last quarter in his class. His final grade submission was an N/C N/G which did not count against my GPA. I thought that was fair and I appreciated that someone finally heard me. I took algebra in summer school and had to pay for it myself. I passed with A’s again but this time I actually learned it!
During summer school I was very busy. I babysat nearly every night for someone. And of course I spent time with my best friend Debbie and her family. My brother recognized I was burning the candle at both ends and to “help” me out he gave me speed. It really helped wake me up for class each morning. I thought Dave was looking after me. Once summer school finished he quit giving me speed. I really liked it. I begged, pleaded and threw a fit. He refused. I think in some sort of twisted way he was in his mind trying to help me. I was never interested in drugs but speed interested me. I was blessed that Dave took it away.
Mom helped me plan out the future. I was getting close to being old enough to drive and I wanted a car. I began looking for work but no one would hire me because I was only 14. I applied at McDonald’s and lied on the application that I was 15. They hired me. I loved it! I was trained on the grill, I was trained on the drive thru then was learning to be a crew manager when I came into work one day and Mike the manager asked me how old I was. I mumbled 15. He said we need to talk downstairs. So I went downstairs and Griffin the CEO was there, the lady that was assistant manager and finally Mike came down. They said we know you are only 14. I said I am sorry, can I please keep working? They said no. They could not by law have anyone employed that young. But they wanted me to come back as soon as I turned 15. Mike scheduled me but took me off the schedule for my birthday. My first day back to work would be June 8. I asked them how they found out. Debbie’s Mom had called and told them. I never knew why she felt the need to tell them.
I went back to work on June 8th full time. Within thirty days I was a crew manager. I worked as many hours as they would let me. When school started back up I continued to work full time.

Yes, My name is Rebecca Chapter 3

Chapter III
At some point in these years my brother was dating Gail. She was cute. I considered her family. She got pregnant. My memory tells me that Dave was the father of that baby but I have conflicting memories and Dave is no longer alive to confirm or deny any of them. I began babysitting for Gail and her husband Carl. On Fri-day nights Carl would pick me up at Mom’s house we would drive across town to their house. He would go in and shower. Gail and I would feed their 5 kids. She was pregnant- so in my mind this lady is always pregnant??? Then they would go out and I would take care of the kids. Most of the little ones Gail and I put to bed be-fore they left and only the 5 year old was up with me. I would get her/him off to bed about 9 PM and eventually fall asleep on the sofa myself. In the morning Gail and I would feed the kids all breakfast then load them up in the station wagon. Gail would drive me home. Gail called one Friday night about 9 PM and asked if we had seen Carl. I told her no, I was wondering if they had can-celled their regular date night. She started crying said he never called was probably drinking away his paycheck. I told him if he came I would do my best to get him home. I don’t think Mom was there. She was usually at the Mint Bar. Carl pulled into the drive-way and he was pretty drunk. I kept him in his car by jumping in the other side and said let’s get to Gail she has got to be worried. Drunk driving wasn’t a crime then. I rarely ever rode with a sober person. Carl turned left when he was supposed to go straight. I tried to correct him- he ignored me. He didn’t say anything at all. He took the road up “A Mountain”. A Mountain was a peak at the edge of the city limits that had white rocks placed on the face with the letter A for Arizona. I had already learned you can’t ever argue with a drunk so I was just trying to figure out what Carl was doing. He pulled over to the side of the dirt road. He got out. I thought- he probably had to pee- learned from dove hunting with my brother DO NOT LOOK! I am sitting looking out the front wind-shield when my door flings open. Carl shoves me with his hand on my face and his other hand is ripping the buttons off my shirt. Then he pulls my bra hard enough to break the latches. He rips off my underwear and throws them outside the car. I was wearing a skirt. He raped me. I was 12 years old. He smells of beer, cigarettes and Old Spice Cologne and is in me and breathing hard. It is over. He gets off of me and closes the car door. I cannot make my bra work so I take my button up shirt and tie it up in a knot. Looks stupid but at least it partially covers my chest. He gets back in and starts driving. I am thinking, Gail needs him. She has 5 babies and another on the way. She will leave him and be poor because he won’t take care of her and the kids. Not going to make it go away if I tell anyone. I decide the best thing I can do for Gail is just be quiet. Just before we get to their house he stops the car again. He says if you say anything I will tell them you weren’t a virgin. My mind started racing, how did he know? If he tells anyone I will be in trouble. I had flashbacks of what happened with Frog and with Chelvy. And the lies of the enemy reaffirmed ‘You lied and you got what you deserved’. I was certain Mom would not ever believe anything I say if he tells her I wasn’t a virgin.
We walked in and dear sweet red headed Gail was ANGRY. She wanted to argue with Carl. I told Carl he better go sleep off his drunk. I told Gail you have to take me home now. She followed Carl to fight and I began loading kids into the station wagon. I got all 5 kids loaded and went and got Gail. She drove me home curs-ing Carl the whole drive. We pulled in the driveway and I turned to her. I said Gail I will not ever be back to babysit. Do not ever send Carl to our home again. If you need us, you come, do not bring Carl. She said ok and drove away. I never saw any of them again. I walked into the house, threw away my shirt and bra. Put on my pajamas and went to bed. Mom never asked why my shirt was torn or what happened to my bra.
Junior High started. I went to Doolen Jr High. It was probably one of the poorest schools in the district. Most of our teachers seemed outdated. I overheard kids in the lunchroom talking about “balling”. I intentionally eavesdropped because here was this word again being used in an inaccurate manner. I was able to deduce the kids were talking about sex. I asked Mom that night what sex was. She washed my mouth out with soap for saying the word. Ok so now I know sex is a curse word. I still don’t know what it means though! So I went to the school library the next day and looked up sex. Oh my! That is not a good way to learn what sex is. From Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary – Sex 3. Anything connected with sexual gratification or reproduction or the urge for these, especially the attraction of individuals of one sex for those of the other. Ok from Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary – Sexual 2. In biology, (a) having sex; (b) designating or of reproduction by the union of male and female germ cells. Ok I always was slow to process information. I had deduced “balling” meant having sex. Mom proved sex was a curse word. So sex is how babies are made according to what the dictionary is saying. I had seen baby animals born and had seen dogs mate although I did not know that was sex. That means that Chelvy had sex with me. That means that boy who asked me to ball was asking me to have sex. Yuck- no wonder they all got upset. Why didn’t they explain that to me? I would have been safer if they had. That means Carl had sex with me. That means sex hurts, I don’t want sex. Everyone should have their mouth washed out. I had a lot of new information and no one to help me process it.
Debbie and Denny started public school this year. Their parents were going thru a divorce and tuition for catholic school was no longer an option. Debbie found school difficult. She said public school was easier, but she struggled with learning. Denny seemed to learn it better but was bored and soon was causing trouble in any way he could. Debbie and I tried out for the cheerleading squad. We didn’t get on. Debbie was really good at cheers. I wanted to be but was not. Debbie and I were on the roller-skating ‘team’. We simply got to skate on Wednesday nights at cheap rates. We had lots of fun and loved skating. She broke my wrist one night but I forgave her! Actually we were skating and a boy shoved her- as she was swinging her arm for balance she hooked my belt loop and pulled me backwards. I caught myself with my left arm but caused a hairline fracture.
I joined the school choir in 7th grade. I was so excited. I thought I get to work with music. It doesn’t cost Mom money so I won’t have to drop out. I sang. I sang loud. I practiced as much as everyone would allow. When it came time for our first performance the teacher approached me and asked me to not sing during the performance. I asked her why? What was wrong? She said you ruin the sound of the choir. You cannot sing. I want you to just mouth the words tonight. I was crushed. That night rolled around and I had been thinking all day she wasn’t nice. She never once asked me to stay to talk. She never offered assistance to me. She simply said you cannot sing. I belted out every word that night. I worked hard at being the loudest- if she could be that mean I would show her and ruin the show. I never heard any feedback from that program. I stayed in the class. I tried to sign up in 8th grade but she would not allow me to. Debbie and I tried out for the cheerleading squad again in 8th grade. Once again we did not get chosen.
At the end of eighth grade- the last day of school I decided to pick on my history teacher. He was positively outdated and burnt out. I had been given a perfume set that was called “Bold Lemon” and although it had a lemony scent it was completely vile. History was my first class. I was standing outside with my teacher, when the bell rang and he turned to walk into the class room I began spraying him with it. Mr. Fraser the other history teacher was walking by towards his classroom and grabbed the perfume out of my hand and told me he would see me after school. My teacher nev-er even knew what had happened. He kept smelling it all morning and trying to figure out where the stink was coming from. I think it is the only prank I ever pulled and I was laughing. After school I went to Mr. Fraser’s room to receive my punishment. He looked up at me and told me I had to go speak to Mr. Konzen (The Vice Principal). Now I knew I was in for it. I went and found Mr. Kon-zen who yelled at me that I would have to wait until he had all the halls empty. I patiently was following him when Mr. Easton (The Principal) walked up to us and asked me what I needed. I explained what I had done and he said lets go to the office. We went into Mr. Konzen’s office and Mr. Easton opened the top left draw-er to look for my perfume. I was thinking I really don’t care about getting my perfume back I just want to make sure that I get my report card. There were several bags of marijuana. He opened the next drawer same thing. Bottom drawer full of cigarettes and marijuana. Mr. Easton was angry. Mr. Konzen walked in and Mr. Easton gathered himself and said, “Where is this young lady’s per-fume?” Mr. Konzen said it is behind that picture. Mr. Easton turned the frame to see more drugs hidden and my perfume. He handed me my perfume told me to have a nice summer and goodbye. I could still hear him yelling when I left the building and when I started High School the next year everyone was talking about Mr. Konzen getting fired. I never understood why he kept the confiscated drugs. Seems like a stupid error but apparently my prank on my history teacher started a snow ball effect that caused me no harm.

Yes, My Name is Rebecca Chapter Two

Chapter II
My next memory is not so pleasant but was the start of the person I am today. It was the night of my seventh birthday. I remember it. Mom threw me a birthday party in the back yard with friends, cake and a new pool. The kind with a rubber bottom and metal sides you had to clip together. It was about three feet deep and a great place to cool off in the heat of Tucson summers. That night Chelvy, Mom’s boyfriend was going to tuck me in for bed. I re-member feeling I was 6 years old and happy Chelvy wanted to tuck me in. He and my Mom had dated off and on for about 17 years.
He took me back to my bedroom; he pinned me down on my bed and put his hand over my mouth. He ripped the crotch out of my new pajamas that I got for my birthday. He ripped my underwear off of me. I wiggled, I tried to bite his hand…. He put his hand over my nose and began to smother me as well. He finally let me have a breath, kept his hand over my mouth and raped me. Full penetration. It hurt so badly. I was scared, I did not understand what he was doing or why. Chelvy was nice, he played with me. He tickled me, he kissed my skinned up knees and I did not know what this was but it hurt bad and he was being mean.
He pulled off of me and I managed to scream when he was fastening his pants. He scooped me up in his arms and began tickling me and running me out of the room. Mom was coming to see what the commotion was…. She saw me being tickled, saw the tears (usually happened when people wouldn’t stop tickling me) and let Chelvy pass by carrying me to the pool which he tossed me into. Then he grabbed me by my hair and held me under. I thought I was going to drown, he pulled me up and said in my ear if you tell her I will cut her throat and shoved me back under. He held me under till I thought I would die- he then pulled me up out of the pool and set me on the ground, broken, raped and soaking wet.
I was sobbing and Mom said Becky what is wrong with you. Chelvy was standing behind her running his pocket knife along his throat looking at my Mom. My mind was racing, how do I tell her. I don’t want him to hurt her. I thought. I said He ruined my pajamas! I thought my Mom is smart she will figure it out and she will get us safe. She said your pajamas are just wet- we will put on dry ones and I will have your birthday pajamas ready for you tomorrow night. I believed when she saw how torn they were she would help me.
I saw my pajamas and bloody underwear in the trash the next morning. She never said anything. She and Chelvy got married about two years later. He always stood just behind her and would run his finger across his throat just to remind me that he would kill her. They had been married about a week when I was grounded for not calling him Dad. I tried to explain that he wasn’t my Dad and I thought I only had one Dad, but my words fell on deaf ears. Luckily the marriage only lasted for three weeks. He got into a fight with my brother, Dave. It was ugly- we never figured out exactly what Chelvy did to him but there was a 6 in long gash about ½ in deep in Dave’s scalp. That warranted divorce because he must get along with her kids.
In second grade my teacher was Mrs. Roche. I really liked her. She offered ways to stay safe from strangers trying to get us into their cars. She believed people tried to hurt children. I never told anyone about Chelvy but I al-ways thought Mrs. Roche would believe me. I didn’t tell her be-cause I knew she could not make it better. I do remember she got impatient with me. I had to go to the bathroom more than usual. The rule was I had to raise my hand to ask if I could be excused to go to the bathroom. She told me no, you just went you can wait. I raised my hand and asked again. She said no. I raised my hand again and she said no again. So I peed sitting there at my desk. The kids around me were making a fuss but she had not given me permission and I could not wait any longer so I went. She was shocked. She took me to the office and we all talked about what happened. I had to go to the Dr. I don’t know what the Dr. said about my frequent urination needs. Mrs. Roche always gave me permission from then on- no hesitation!
Mary Cisco got married to Ted. My Mom made her wedding dress. It was beautiful. It was white satin. Mary was probably the heaviest woman I knew. She was distressed about not being able to find a wedding dress that would fit her. My Mom offered to make her one. They browsed through patterns and photos until they worked out what would work for both of them. I always hoped Mom would make my wedding dress. I got to spend some time with Ted and Mary after they got married. They had palm trees in there yard. One day her nephew convinced me to climb that palm tree. He convinced me that there were coconuts up top. We stacked things up as high as we could and began to climb. He kept passing up another chair or trash can till I could see the top of the roof. At this point sense crept in and I got scared. I began hollering for Mary. She came running and was scared too! She called for Ted and he came with a ladder that reached me. He talked me onto the ladder and down to the ground. I then received a spanking. Then her nephew and I had to dismantle the items we had piled up and put everything away, which I for one felt added insult to injury. After all I was the one stranded up there terrified, and got spanked!
My brother came home from Vietnam in 1968. My mind tells me this was the year that Dave left me. But I think that is because my brother left for Vietnam and in 1968 a drunken hateful man re-turned. He fought with Mom; he said I was a brat. He had drunk-en flashbacks of finding the enemy in the jungle. He would hurt us accusing us of being the enemy. I learned his flashbacks and how to help him “release” his hostages to me. Then we could leave for safety. I do not know who drank more, Mom or Dave. It was a relief when I got left at home and did not have to go to the bar.
The summer that I was seven I was invited to a vacation bible school. Mom gave me permission. It was one and ½ blocks up and 3 houses over. It was fun. We made things and heard bible stories. The lady that taught it prayed with me to be saved. I felt Jesus in my heart. I felt love. I wanted to learn more. I went to church with her. But those people told me anyone who smoked or drank was going to hell. I asked my Mom- she said no one should ever over indulge but that you would not go to hell for drinking or smoking.
I think it was the summer between 2nd and 3rd grade but therapists have told me it is common to not be able to date abuse. And the extent of abuse I survived causes more than not being able to date things.
There was a man who lived in our neighborhood that us kids called Frog. Somewhere in my memory says he at one time was a Navy Seal which is how he got the nickname Frog. He fixed my bike for me. Whenever something was wrong with it, I just took it to Frog and he fixed it. Being raised by a single Mom with no support from LeRoy I had very used bikes. I think Frog had three children. They were not very communicable. I tried to play with them and they made me feel very unwelcome. I don’t’ ever remember seeing them at school or anywhere but their home.
My Mom said I need to talk to you. This was serious I could tell. I was only about 7 maybe 8. Mom told me I could not be friends with Frog anymore. I said OK. She said he could not be my friend, either. I said OK. She proceeded to be clear- I was not allowed to go to his house and he was not allowed at our house ever. I said OK. My Mom was not one to interrupt or question. And she was very serious and she trusted me to pay attention, I was doing my best. She told me that Frog had been convicted of molesting Ar-dis’s niece. Ardis was our neighbor who lived across the street. That because of this I was not to ever talk to Frog again. I said OK. Mom said to me “Do you have any questions?” I said I only have one question. She said “What?” I said “what is molesting?” Mom slapped me hard. She told me to quit being a brat and just listen to me for once or you will get what you deserve. I said I am sorry. I promise I will listen.
I never went to Frog’s again. I don’t know how long it was after this talk that Frog pulled up in our driveway. I was at home alone, Mom was at work. If there was trouble I should get Ardis. I stepped out the front door and pulled it shut behind me. Frog had turned off his car and was getting out. I said Frog I am not allowed to be your friend anymore and you have to leave. My plan was to run to Ardis when he argued, be-cause adults never listened to me.
He didn’t argue- he apologized, he closed his car door and reached for the key to start his car. Wow he is listening to me. He asked me why, I said I don’t know I just know Mom said we couldn’t be friends anymore and he said ok, he would miss me. Then he said he was just stopping by to tell me about a modeling job that I could keep all the clothes for. I began to edge my way to Ardis house. He then said I would also get a paycheck. I stopped, my Mommy needed money. I thought. I said I can’t have a paycheck, I am too young- he said that they would pay my Mommy. I then began asking how, where, when and so forth. He had all the an-swers and only needed to get my measurements because models clothes are all tailor made. I told him my exact measurements which puzzled him. He asked me how I knew my measurements. I told him Mom makes my clothes. He then probed and I told him those measurements were from school last year. He grinned and said I had grown since then and he needed the size from now. That made sense to me because I knew that Mom would be taking my measurements again soon for the clothes she would be mak-ing for this upcoming school year. Being great at manipulation is one thing most molesters and rapists are experts at. So- I agreed and we went into the house to get my measurements. He wanted me to take off everything but my panties (his words, I never had panties). I said, NO. That is wrong, Frog. And he apologized and asked me how else we could get the measurements. I thought. I said- My swim suit…. That would work. And he agreed. I ran off to my room and put on my swim suit. I came out and Frog molested me. I knew what the word meant now. I was very sorry. I was dirty and I was bad. Frog left. I never told anyone. If I had listened to Mom like I promised to listen I would not know what molestation meant. It was my fault. I had gotten what I deserved just like Mom said I would.
My 3rd grade teacher was Mrs. Unruh. She was strict and I always wondered if she liked children or was forced to be a school teach-er. I learned how to play the recorder that year. I thought I would be the best instrument player in the whole world. I studied the notes closely to learn how to read music. I remember being fascinated that they used notes that meant letters. As much as I re-member studying sheet music I don’t know how to read music now.
I became ill with Valley Fever. It is a respiratory ailment that affects people who move to the southwest desert. If you are born there you are immune to it. I remember being very tired and I was not allowed to be in the sun. You are very vulnerable to skin cancer. So all summer Mom took me to work with her at the bookstore. She would drop me off at the door of the store; drive down to park the car. She would hurry back to unlock the store and get me inside. She then tucked me into bed on the lounge chair in the upstairs office. At the end of the day she would have me stand outside in the shade while she went and got the car. There was no parking in front of the store so she would pull up I would jump in quickly and off to home we would go. My entire school summer was spent like this. Finally towards the end I was feeling better and would get up off the lounge and wander around the empty office. Mom would tell me to get back into bed. I thought she could see thru walls. The office had multiple phone lines and used the old phones that had lights across the bottom that lit up when you were on it. Well I would creep over to the desk and sit down. There was an old crank calculator. I would try to use it. Mom worked in her office below me. She would say- Becky leave it alone. I deduced she could hear the crank. One day as I was sitting there I decided to play on the phone. I picked up the receiver. Mom said hang up the phone Becky. I believed for years that my Mom could see what I was doing no matter where I was. The blessing of being stuck inside a bookstore the entire summer is you get to read anything and everything you ever wanted to. I developed a love of reading that summer that has never been quenched.
My best friend was Debbie. She lived 2 doors down from us with her 4 siblings and parents. Her family was catholic and all the kids went to catholic school. I wished I could go to school with them. Debbie wished she could go to school with me. I went to church with them occasionally. It was strange. Everyone knew what to do and when to do it. I never understood the words. I never knew why they knelt or why they got up from kneeling. I would try to ask Debbie but I would get her elbow in my side and told SHHHHH! I would go to church with them anytime they invited, as I said I never understood the words spoken by the Priest. I had heard that people could speak in tongues and believed that God twisted the words that the Priest said so that I could not under-stand them. I believed that God did not want me in his family.
Debbie and I had walked down to the little Mom and Pop candy store one day. I think it must have been during the summer. On our way home a car pulled over. There was a man driving. He asked us if we would help him. I said No and started walking faster towards home, but Debbie said yes and started walking towards his car. Well I could not leave me friend. So I joined her with the plan of pulling her away if he tried to grab her. As we leaned over to see him from the passenger side he was saying he needed directions or help to find a street…… his penis was out and erect. Debbie took off for home and I proceeded to do my best to ignore what was obvious and answer his question. I got too flustered and ran to catch up with Debbie who was headed home to tell. I did not want her to tell. I was certain I would get in trouble. She told and for days her father and brother kept a vigil for the car. I don’t remember the car today but at the time we did. Her father was a mechanic and taught us how to turn a wrench too. So cars were common knowledge for us. The car was not ever spotted again as far as I know. I did not get into trouble.
It was about this time that the Hart’s became foster parents. They came home with two 2 yr. old girls. They were very different. There was Kari. She was chubby and cute. She liked to play. There was Kelly. She was scrawny. She was scared. She cried if you touched her. I do not know how long they fostered these two girls but one day there was only Kelly. Mrs. Hart told me that they had adopted Kelly. I asked her, “May I ask you some questions?” She pulled up a chair and said what do you want to know. I asked her if they could have adopted Kari? She said yes. I said why would you choose Kelly? Mrs. Hart smiled, she took my hand and she said you liked Kari didn’t you? I said yes- she is cute! Mrs. Hart says, yes and she plays and she laughs- I nodded. While stroking my hand she says well Mr. Hart and I think lots of people will love Kari in her life. We know we can love Kelly right now. I said I still don’t understand why you would take the hard one instead of the easy one. She chuckled and said someday you will understand. They sold their home and moved across town. We didn’t see each other much after that but sometimes their sons Matt and Mark would stop by with family news.
My niece was born June 30, 1971. I had been at Linda and Steve’s for most of the school summer. My first niece! She was beautiful. I was so excited to be an Aunt. They lived in Saugus, CA. Cari, my niece, couldn’t drink formula. It made her sick. Linda tried a few different things like Goat milk and such. Mom came and they talked that Cari would have to breast feed. Then Mom got a pin cushion and they went into Linda’s bedroom. After that Cari was breast feeding. As an adult I am sure Mom was just working on a sewing project, but as a child I thought Mom poked holes for the milk to come out. I was not going to ask her for help. I was surprised when Linda didn’t look like she had cried or anything!
My 4th grade teacher was Mrs. Robinson. I started in band with the clarinet. I was very excited about it. I was lying in bed one night and heard my Mom on the phone. I do not know who she was talking to but she told the person she didn’t know how she was going to able to pay the rent for the clarinet. She said that the first month had been free and she did not want to disappoint me. I cried myself to sleep and brought the clarinet home from school the next day. I told Mom I don’t like this, it is too hard. She didn’t ask any questions. For Christmas Mom asked me what I wanted. I usually didn’t have a specific request but this year I asked for a teddy bear. Mom asked me why. I told her that song on the juke box by Barbara Fairchild- “I wish I was a teddy bear” Mom had not been able to find any teddy bears. She had everyone looking in the stores but no one was finding one. Mary found one on Christmas Eve, bought it, wrapped it and brought it over. Mom had found one in the morning, so I got two teddy bears. I still have the one Mom gave me. He is a little worn and missing an eye, but has remained my faithful companion in times of being over-whelmed. In the spring we had a very unusual field trip day in 4th grade. One day some police officers came to school. Some were in uniforms and some were in regular clothes. We all met in the auditorium. The officers told us about drugs. They showed us cocaine, marijuana, alcohol and more. They had a cube of marijuana that they lit and had us smell. It was awful. They explained the harmful effects of drugs. It was probably the first drug awareness class ever done. I already knew how harmful ‘drugs’ were because of Sean. I listened and learned what they offered. Afterwards we all went into the playground where they introduced to us Major & Major. Major was a motorcycle police officer and Major was his canine partner. This also was a new concept. They did a demonstration with Major the dog that left me awestruck. I was working hard at teaching my dog to sit, stay, come and such. This demonstration was AMAZING. One of the officers put on a padded outfit that he could hardly do much but wobble in. He pretended to be a bad guy and Major (the person) told Major the dog to attack him. He put him to the ground and held him. We all got into a circle and Major the dog walked around and sat and shook each of our hands! When they got ready to leave and Major the person was saying Goodbye Major the dog jumped up onto the motorcycle and laid down across the whole seat. As an adult I know this was trained and a show but to my little 4th grade imagination it was SPECTACULAR! Major came over to the motorcycle and told his dog to make room and the dog had this yea right look on his face. Finally with some coaxing he sat up and took the front seat and nudged the police man to get on be-hind! It took some treats and lots more coaxing before Major gave up on the idea of driving the motorcycle and they drove off. This endorsed what I had already learned. Drugs are bad, they hurt babies and they hurt people. I don’t want anything to do with drugs.
This summer vacation Mom decided to drive me through Colorado and Wyoming so that I could meet all the relatives. Our first stop was Taylor AZ where I met Aunt Maggie and Uncle Pete. Maggie was my father’s youngest sister. We spent one night with them. It was a great visit. I rode burros with my cousins. In the morning when we left, Mom left our pillows. They didn’t have any pillows. I remember thinking they were the poorest people I had met. Aunt Maggie had all home canned food. Which I really liked.
Our next stop was Silverton, CO. As we drove up to my Grandma Likes home Mom said I think that is LeRoy’s truck. Grandma Likes was LeRoy’s mother. We walked into her home without knocking. My mom yelled Hi Mom we are here! Grandma came out of the kitchen and Mom said is it his truck? Grandma said yes and I start-ed crying. I’d never seen him, and wanted my Dad in my life badly. Grandma, said wait…. Don’t get too excited I don’t know if you will see him- he went up on the mountain. Grandma was the County Assessor and she made me a tag with my name on it. She also took me to the museum with the old original jail. One evening we were sitting at her table and Granddad Likes pulled in. He came in and said there were problems and he had to go back to pick up LeRoy and the horses. Grandma said we are all coming. To this city girl it seemed like we bounced on that mountain road forever. Grandma told Granddad to pull over. Grandma and Mom got into the back of the truck and closed the camper. I got to ride next to Granddad. We got to the mine that they were trying to work and Granddad parked. He got out quickly as LeRoy was carrying a saddle to the back of the truck and said someone up front to see you. He stomped over, looked in, I said Hi; he looked me over and went to the back of the truck. When he threw up the camper shell lid he saw my Mom and said was that Becky? But it was too late. I was crying. He didn’t even know me. I thought our parents always knew who we were. We all rode in the back down the mountain to Grandma’s. He did lots of things to make up for not recognizing me. I was so desperate to have him in my life I forgave him quickly. We spent about 3 days longer. He took us out on back roads. He shot his pistol and scared me. I had been dove hunting with my brother, but no one ever shot while driving. He gave me his address and I gave him ours. We had to leave for the rest of our trip. As we were driving I realized as I was talking about my Dad that Mom cringed nearly every time I said “Dad”. So I began calling him LeRoy. About a ½ of a day of calling him LeRoy and Mom asked me why I was calling him by his name. I said well it doesn’t seem to bother you as badly as when I say ‘Dad’. She told me he is your father. He will always be your father. You will call him by something respectful such as father, dad or what feels comfortable for you.
Onto Aunt Patsy’s and Uncle John’s. Patsy was Mom’s youngest sister and John was her brother. Patsy lived in Longmont CO and John in Commerce City CO. We visited with each of them and stayed at Aunt Patsy’s house. She had left over paints from a paint by number set. She also had a horse picture from a different paint by number set. She let me paint that, it was the most psychedelic horse we had ever seen! We left Aunt Patsy’s and went to Wyoming. I am sure we saw Aunt Marj, but in my memory I only remember visiting Aunt Jeanne and Uncle Frank this trip. Aunt Jeanne left the room every time I was in it. I was ushered out when I entered a room where she was. I did not know why she didn’t like me, but she apparently could not stand to be with me. Mom’s vacation had come to an end. When our visit with Aunt Jeanne was over we began the trek to home in Tucson.
I wrote my father a letter almost as soon as I got home from the trip. We packaged up the psychedelic horse and my letter telling him about the trip and sent it off. It came back with a red stamp that said no such address. I was heartbroken. My Mom told me that although I wrote very well for being 10 yrs old maybe the postman had a hard time. She had his High School Diploma. So she added that to yet another envelope and addressed it all for me that time. That one came back too. It was stamped, Moved left no forwarding address. It was obvious to me that he didn’t want anything to do with me. He never had. He didn’t even recognize me.
I went to some other churches near our house. The one I remember most was a Baptist church. I don’t remember what they wanted me to do- maybe a youth conference, but I asked Mom and she said no. There was an older couple that took a liking to me and would come by the house to take me to church. Mom opened the door one Sunday and told them to stop coming. I would not be going back to church. They were stunned and so was I. She looked me straight in the eye and said ‘I am sorry. I love you and I have always wanted you but you are a bastard. Bastards go to hell. There is no place for you in heaven. You must stop wasting these good church peoples time. I am sorry and I will always love you.’ She closed the door. They never came back. I never asked to go again. We had an encyclopedia set but it did not have the word bastard. So I went to the dictionary and looked up bastard. Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary Bastard 1. A person born of parents not married to each other; a child begotten and born out of lawful wedlock; an illegitimate child. Well, my parents were married so what did that mean? Upon some questioning of my sib-lings I learned they got married after my Mom chased LeRoy back to Colorado because she had found the love of her life. They had met in a bar in Tucson. And when you do the math I am certain she was pregnant when he moved back to Colorado. So I am destined to go to hell. Ok. I am only 10 it is not like I can change anything let alone this. Mom said I am going to hell. I am going to hell.
My 5th grade teacher was Mrs. Shapiro. Everyone we knew told Mom that she was a Jew and she should get me a different teach-er. Mom was never one to rock the boat at school so she left me in her class. She was a great teacher. She had a California King Snake in our class that we got to learn all about. His name was Julius. I was part of the School Patrol, probably because I was such a great tattler! But it had responsibilities after school and because of that I got to spend extra time with Julius. He shed his skin twice during the school year. Mrs. Shapiro did the fair thing and drew names for who got to keep a skin. I thought I should get one be-cause of all I did. But I did not get drawn I was mad at Mrs. Shapiro. As an adult I recognize she did the fair thing whether I liked it or not. I remember I was in Mrs. Shapiro’s room cleaning Julius’s cage after school one day. Julius was on my neck, supervising my cleaning and Mrs. Shapiro stepped out of the room to use the restroom. Just about then the school Principal Mrs. Train-er opened the door and was coming in to see Mrs. Shapiro and she froze. Her eyes were on Julius. She said, “Are you supposed to be in here?” I said yes Mrs. Trainer. She said, “DO NOT LOSE that snake!” as she backed out of the room and closed the door.
My niece was about 2 years old this summer. Linda lived on a beautiful ranch that was tucked below a set of railroad tracks. I was changing Cari’s diaper one afternoon and accidently stabbed her with the pin. She got wide eyed and I apologized. I cleaned the stab and put a band aid on it. Then finished the diaper and raced out to Linda. She wasn’t even upset! I thought she would hate me for it. My sister bought a beautiful quarter horse filly. She called her Lady Bug. She raised her, trained her and when Lady Bug was about five Linda won the California State Futurity Cow Cutting Division. They were awesome to watch. I’ve never seen horses move as fast as cutting horses do.
My 6th grade teacher was Mr. Solomon. I had a terrible crush on him. He was tall, dark and handsome. He was so nice. He called on me lots, helping me to think he had a crush on me too! I think he nominated me for the speech at the Christmas program. It was a 2 minute speech on Hinduism. I worked really hard on it and Mom helped in lots of ways. I wrote the report. I read the report to Mom. She helped me edit the rough draft. We got a second draft which I worked harder to memorize and practiced in front of her and Dave nearly every night. We timed the speech and it was 6 minutes. I practiced to be faster and had to edit it down shorter. Through all of this hard work, each time I looked up at Mom from my speech the look on her face made me laugh hysterically. So after what seems like years of practice at home it is the night of the Christmas program. Mr. Solomon taught me not to look at the audience but to look at the bookshelves behind. Then the people are not a distraction! I am being diligent when I see this man in the audience looking next to him like he had just seen an alien. It was an alien! It was my mother, scrunched down so I couldn’t see her. I managed to swallow the laughter and complete my speech and she stood up applauding for me. Mrs. Shepherd from the office would call over the PA system and ask me to come watch the office. I remember Mr. Solomon did not like that but as long as my work was done he would let me. I would go to the office and answer the phones and sometimes file while Mrs. Shepherd went to the post office and the bank. One day Mrs. Trainor walked out from her office and saw me sitting at Mrs. Shepherd’s desk. She said ‘What are you doing back there?’ I said ‘Mrs. Shepherd asked me to sit here and answer the phones until she got back.’ Mrs. Trainor said as she returned to her office, ‘Well tell her to come in here when she gets back!’ I don’t think she knew about me doing this and was rather shocked.
Towards spring time I was on crosswalk duty, which always made me very happy! It meant I was usually the last one leaving school. By the time I went and put up my sign and patrol vest rarely did I ever see anyone else. One day as I was going to the bike rack to get my bike an older boy walked up to me and said, “You wanna ball?” I asked him “What?” He repeated ‘’You wanna ball?” Well I got frustrated with him thinking he just didn’t know good English and told him I did not have time to play ball. I rode my bike down to Outer Limits nursery school, because that is what I did after school until about 5 P.M. Then I would ride my bike to Moms home. I told Mrs. Nickles about the boy at school. She got upset and brought me to the office. Mrs. Nelson wanted to know what I had said to Mrs. Nickles. I told them both that this boy had asked me “You wanna ball?” I had to answer lots of questions and finally when Mrs. Nickles and I went out the yard I asked her what the concern was? She said not to worry about it that it probably meant nothing. Mom drove me to school the next day and walked me into the office. She NEVER did that. I think she must have left and went to work because the only people I remember are the Principal, Mrs. Trainor and Mrs. Shepherd whom I adored. They asked me all the questions over and over. I was told if I ever saw him on the school property I was supposed to run immediately to the office and let them know. It was that afternoon as I was headed out for crosswalk duty he was giving some kids cigarettes. I was supposed to be at the crosswalk, I didn’t want anyone trying to cross without my help- but everyone was so concerned about this kid that didn’t speak very well. What should I do? Well I decided if I ran to the office and told them, they would let me go so I could get to the crosswalk in time. I ran and told the Mrs. Shepherd he is here. She picked up the phone and called someone then followed me outside. I pointed him out and told her I must get to the crosswalk. She agreed! I ran to my crosswalk duty. She stood on the steps and police cars pulled in. They came over and talked to him; they put handcuffs on him and took him to their car. I was clueless. None of that made sense but Mrs. Shepherd came and told me I did a great job and she was proud of me. That was enough. I finished with my crosswalk duty and put away my sign and crossing guard vest.