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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Banjo Remembers Attending School...

What I remember about attending school - the short version.

When I was three, my parents split, after a big argument.  I remember my mom telling me to run to my grandmother's.  It was dark outside; I remember hiding under the bushes for a while before making my way to my grandmother's, about a block away.  It was a pretty violent argument.  I was later told, as an adult by my aunt (who was my mother's twin sister), that my mother was running around on my father at that time.

When I was four, my parents got a divorce; my mother moved away, I stayed and lived with my grandmother.  I once visited my mother, who was living in Charleston SC at that time.  I remember catching fish, which my grandmother flushed down the toilet, and drinking my first beer that my mother gave me.

When I was five, my mother moved us (she and I) to Myrtle Beach to live with my mother and my aunt, her twin sister.  I remember my mother crying for days, if not weeks, because the man she had been dating broke up with her.  I don't remember him, but I do remember that he was in the Air Force, and was working on an underwater camera so he could recover treasure.  Funny what's important to remember when you are five!

When I was six, we moved to 31st Ave North in Myrtle Beach, where I attended first grade, just a block or so away.  While there, a boy a couple of years older and bigger choked me, trying to kill me, in a wooded lot.  He had me on my back, and was sitting on my chest, choking me.  Just before I passed out, I remember the dark closing in from the sides - it was tunnel vision from lack of oxygen, but I didn't know it at the time.  Something made me throw my legs violently upwards, and it threw the older boy completely over my head and shoulders and into the bushes behind me; I jumped up and ran home.  When I got there, I was unable to talk because my throat was crushed; all I could do was cry hysterically.  My mother was unconcerned - she said it was just boys playing; my grandmother, however, went ballistic, and went to the boy's house and confronted them.  I remember her screaming and yelling about "that son-of-a-bitch" boy.  The people at the boy's house were scared of my grandmother!  I don't know what they did to the boy, but he would see me at school and go the other way.

When I was in second grade, my mother moved us to a different school in South Myrtle Beach.  I attended there for a few months.

While still in the second grade, my mother moved us to Palm Beach Florida, where I attended the remainder of second grade.  This was the third school I attended in second grade.

When school got out for the year, my mother moved us back to Myrtle Beach, were I started the third grade.

Sometime during the third grade, my mother moved us to Jacksonville, Fl, where I finished the third grade.

I started the fourth grade in Jacksonville Fl.  Sometime in October, my mother moved us to mother's hometown in NC, where I attended school for a month or so.

My mother then moved us back to Jacksonville, Fl, where I finished the fourth grade.  I remember her going out at night on dates, leaving me alone.  I remember being scared in the trailer and hiding outside in the dark until she came home.


At the end of the fourth grade, my mother moved us back to my mother's hometown in NC, where I started the fifth grade.  I attended school here the whole year.  I lived with my grandmother while my mother went places I don't know about.  My grandmother was home every day and looked after me.  I remember this as the best year I ever had.

At the end of the fifth grade, my mother got married, and we moved to Charleston SC, to West of the Ashley, where I started the sixth grade.  The first day there, my step-father , who had mental issues (I remember my mother telling me she was going to marry him, and was going to 'heal him' because of her knowledge of Christian Science) due to brain injuries suffered in WWII, told me he almost broke up with my mother the night before because of me.  He stood there rocking on his feet, clicking and moaning with his face twitching, scaring the crap out of an eleven year old before my mother told me to run to school, while my mother stood behind holding him, telling him it would be all right.  (Interesting twist isn't it; 45 year old man is comforted, told "it will be allright" while an eleven year old is expected to fend for himself).  I remember not knowing what they were talking about in English, because I hadn't had the previous English lessons.  I remember the teacher pulling my desk out of line from everyone else, like I was stupid.  I remember she wouldn't let me got to recess.  That was bad, because that was when she would let us go to the bathroom.  She wouldn't let me go to the bathroom until we all went again at lunch time.  That meant I was unable to go to the bathroom from 7:30 AM, when I left school, until 12:00 noon when we went to lunch - I had to sit through lunch until 12:45 when we finished lunch and made the bathroom break.  That was my first opportunity to go the bathroom.  I remember peeing in my pants in class, because I couldn't last for five hours without going to the bathroom, terrified that someone would find out.  It would fill up my shoes.  I remember her name was Ms. Johnson, at Orange Grove Elementary.  I would knock her on her ass today if I could find her.

During that year, we moved to downtown, so that I changed schools.

I attended the whole of the seventh grade at the school downtown.

I was promoted to the eighth grade, which meant a change of schools to the high school.  I attended the whole year at this school.

In the ninth grade, we moved to West of the Ashley, where I started the ninth grade.  I attended school here the whole year.

In the tenth grade, we were rezoned for schools, so I started at a different school.

Midway through the tenth grade, I was sent to live with my grandmother, where I attended the remainder of the tenth grade.

At the end of the tenth grade, my mother returned me to Charleston, where I started the eleventh grade.  I attended here the whole year.

My senior year, we were rezoned, so I attended a different school.  On the night I graduated, I packed my car, drove to Atlanta, arriving about 6 AM.  I never lived with my mother and her husband again.

And that is what I remember about growing up and attending school!

My mother died when I was 34.  I had to sell all of my stock in Apple and Microsoft in order to pay off her debts so they wouldn't foreclose her house; I would have been able to retire in 2 more years on the stock appreciation of Apple and Microsoft.  She cut me out of most of the inheritance in her will; there wouldn't have been anything to inherit if I hadn't bailed her, and her husband, out.  I don't miss her.

My mother's twin sister is 92 and in bad health.  She can be a bit of a pill - bless her heart.

Whatever God's purpose was in this, he made up for it in giving me my wife, my grandmother, and my mother's oldest sister.

I thought my grandmother walked on water.

My wife floats above it.

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