MY TESTIMONY – Revised April 18, 2016
I want to be perfectly clear about who I am and what I stand for so that there is no confusion on the part of those who come to this site. On February 19, 1974 I had a very wonderful experience that has continued for over 42 years. Prior to that experience my life was a complete mess! I suffered parental abandonment at the age of eight when my father took me, without my mother's knowledge, from our hometown in Pennsylvania to Michigan. We arrived at a home there, my father talked with the people who lived there and then left, and he never returned. A year later my mother found me and I came home. At the age of eleven I was put in an orphanage with my younger brother and sister because my mother couldn't take care of five of us and work at the same time. She felt she was left with no choice, and the three of us were left in that place until I was 16 years old. My mom remarried, we came home from the orphanage, the marriage lasted for a while and then it ended in divorce because of abuse by my stepfather. We were very poor during all those years because my father was never around for the first part, and the family was too big for my stepfather to provide for. To top that off, my mother had another child outside of wedlock and we numbered seven for a little while. The baby that came from that relationship was given up for adoption at the age of three months and my mother died with the secret of where he was and who adopted him. So I graduated high school and then left for the Air Force where I spent nearly eight years of my life.
In the Air Force I learned some valuable lessons on life such as organization and discipline. I also learned some new lessons such as drinking and cursing and sexual intimacy with a number of women which were rapidly becoming a big part of my life. I guess, all in all, I had become what most people think of as a typical soldier in those days. I could dance and drink with the best, croon a tune drunk or sober that got the ladies swooning, and could curse up a storm which included God or Jesus Christ routinely and many times daily..
The military was boring to me all those years, but the money was okay so I opted to reenlist and keep it going. In my second tour of duty I decided that I didn't want to stay in until eligible for retirement but I couldn't get out with an honorable discharge until the full term was up or a good excuse was provided for me to request an honorable discharge under hardship conditions. My mom provided that excuse when she said she needed me at home to help her keep afloat with all the demands placed on her, and so I was able to get out early with an honorable discharge and I took advantage of it. I had full intentions of helping my mom, but good intentions are never enough to get the job done.
A new distraction came along in the form of two beautiful women who were visiting our area because their husbands were incarcerated in the penitentiary close to our little town. It all started out innocently enough. I volunteered to help them move into the hotel in town with their things because they didn't know anyone, and I just happened to be in the right spot at the right time. Beside that, one of them was attractive to me, and I thought I could get closer to her if I helped them. After we moved everything into the hotel the women pulled out some marijuana and offered me a smoke. Now I had refused my brother's offer to smoke marijuana, but I just couldn't resist this offer, and, to be honest with you, I was a little curious as to what it would do. Well, it did absolutely nothing for me initially, and they ran out. I told them I knew where we could get some more, and took them to my brother's house where there was an intense party going on. My brother was so happy that I had finally tried marijuana the he got everyone involved in making sure I had the time of my life. Around early morning, after all night smoking marijuana and drinking many beers it all hit me at once and I experienced my first high. That started a whole new stage of my life!
I forgot about helping my Mom, not because I was cruel or ignorant or uncaring. I just forgot about everything that I used to consider as important because I was high on drugs seven days a week and all day long. I couldn't hold a job so I began to chase truckers at a local store and work for them unloading the trucks and getting instant money. The money went for housing and whatever that entailed, and to supply food and drugs. We had a party in our home every day with booze and drugs and "munchies" (a substitute for food - called junk food). Eventually my brother became a drug dealer and I got in on that action as well.