Roosevelt elementary school was my initial remembrance of how easy life was as child. I was never one of those kids that could not wait to grow. As I saw my mother struggle with life’s potholes, growing up was not an option I was looking forward to. At Roosevelt, I expanded my network of people and I can honestly say I gained a piece of knowledge from every person that I encountered. I had my first fight, crush, and girlfriend”, kiss, and taste of how cruel humans can be. My younger sister and I were what used to known as “latchkey kids.” Our mother worked two jobs to keep our lights on, food on the table, and pay the debts my father had accumulated chasing his pipe dreams. School was a safe haven for me. I enjoyed learning something new every day. My days would begin each looking from to seeing the happy faces I would encounter in the classroom to my mothers’ arrival home at the end of her long evening, just prior to my sisters’ bedtime. I was a “big boy”, so I was allowed an additional liberties; making sure the dishes were washed, garbage taken, and my baby sis snug in her pull out couch bed. These are some the memories I had and still cherish to this day. I really believe it made me the man I am today.
By the time my Moms would arrive home, she was dog tired, frustrated, and happy at the same time. Although the world was tough for a young single mother in the 70s he loved my sister and I as much as any mother loved her children. I feel the reason I was a “relatively” good kid was I was afraid of losing my mothers’ love if I ended up like my father. My father was the definition of the absentee parent. From the time I was around seven years old until my early teens; he popped in and out of our lives. After every failed get rich quick scheme, it seemed to would have to go find himself. It got to the point I was resentful of his returns because that meant I went to the “second” man of the house. He would come back and attempt to reclaim his position as if nothing happened. Needless to say this building animosity would come to a head around my sixteenth birthday. Eventually, in our older years, we attempted to salvage some type of relationship. It never quite made before his death. So is life! That would be how my inner feelings and the way I saw people would change during my Air Force life.
To be continued...