D. E. Joiner
In the sixties, I was only a little boy from the age of one to the age of seven. I had come to know life a bit better by the time I had turned eight years old. When I was six years old, I had went to school for the second time in my life. I went to pre-school, before going to the first grade. I can still remember the day when my Mom was going to leave me behind to do and to learn for myself. It had been a very miserable experience for me. When she was about to leave me, I must’ve cried my heart out! I didn’t want to be left with all of those strange children. I was scared. My mom squat down in front of me, gave me a big hug, and said that everything was going to be all right. She said that she wanted me to be a big boy and stop the crying. I had straightened myself up for a moment and did start to cry again as my Mom walked away. I had been placed in the lunch line, since we were in the lunchroom, and I had come happily alive, when I saw this young boy singing “I feel Good” by James Brown. The boy was sanging and dancing. He was doing the James Brown. I must’ve laughed my heart out! He was so funny.
Journal, in 1972, my big brother and I had been playing around with a stove of some kind, while in a dirt-floor garage; the stove apparently had been gasoline operated- I’m not sure- because my brother was putting gasoline into the stove. Anyway, we were playing around with this stove and it some-how caught fire. My big brother and I were trying to put the fire out. My brother was trying to cover the fire with dirt, but that just so happens to had been what was burning – dirt – and I attempted to stomp it out with my shoed foot. Well, to make a long story short, I was caught on fire.
When I realized that I was burning, I took off running out of the garage and began rolling in the grass of our yard, trying to put the fire out that was on my right pants leg. My brother helped me get the fire out, and when I looked down at my leg, all I saw was raw pinkness.
Somebody called the fire department and an ambulance, because the garage was burning down. The fire was put out. I am just glad that the garage wasn’t attached to our home. We’d have been in big trouble. Anyway, I was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital for treatment, and they made an attempt at scrubbing my raw leg, before putting a white solution on it; but, I would not let them do the scrubbing, because it was too painful. They told me that such a treatment had to be done. I was afraid and didn’t know what to think. They asked me whether or not I wanted to do the scrub job myself, and I said that I would do it. I took care of it.
After they had dressed my leg, they began to ask me a bunch of questions, and I ended up in a children’s shelter. Journal, it had been Christmas Eve, when I had caught myself on fire. When I was escorted to the children’s shelter, and was finally inside, I noticed that there were many chairs lined up in front of the kitchen, with bags of toys in them. I was only ten years old, and I had never really had, or gotten, anything for Christmas. We were poor and really couldn’t afford to get anything for the holidays.
I looked at the lined chairs and at that moment, a young caucasian boy walked up to me and asked me did I want to be his friend. I said that I would like that, and he grabbed for my right hand and took me to our sleeping area. A woman came in and told me that I needed to get washed up. I took a bath and was asked a few questions concerning my parents whereabouts. I wasn’t much educated then, and I didn’t know what to say. So the woman let me go ahead and join the rest of the children in the playing area. Everybody was really nice. They played country music and they sang and danced. I had never seen anything like it. I was taken into the dining area, where the bags of toys were, and was told that I could have one of the bags. The woman picked one out for me, and told me that I could take it home with me. I was so glad. I gave the woman a hug and thanked her. My friend and I went back to our sleeping area and went to bed after praying. Before I had known it, my Mom and Dad had arrived to take me home. I don’t remember taking the bag of toys with me. I guess it was left behind.
When I had made it home, my brothers and sisters were really happy to see me. They were glad that I was all right. I was so happy to see them, too. I had a very loving and kind family and i loved all of them to death.