Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 16, 1972 · Page 81
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 81

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 16, 1972
Page 81
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Page 81 article text (OCR)

As we orove around the grounds, I asked about the marching. Yes, the biy» stiO march wherever they go, arms folded now and some progress has been made in that they no longer march to military cadence such as was the case for years. We visited what had been the "little boys cottage" while I was there, but now is used to house all age groups according to size and behaviour. It was obvious immediately that the old "bench" rule still is in effect. This is the practice--for punishment or not obeying rules--where a boy is made to sit apart from the others with his back to them, not allowed to talk or participate in the others' activities. This tradition is as old as the Institution itself and no dovbt on the day when Pruntytown finally, collapses, hopefully no boys will be in the buildings for as sure as they are, then just as sorely will you find some sitting on a bench, all by themselves--part of their training. I stopped and talked to some of the boys who were busily mowing some grass at the lower end of the institutional grounds. This was, I was told by an officer, a combination punishment and orientation program, New boys had to do this type of work as their introduction to the school. Others, who had been bad, must do this as extra punishment. Again, a very good start for the new boys, assuring them they will learn all the tricks and the games of the older more sophisticated ones. Just behind where they were working was the old Chapel, rotting away day by day. no longer sale for use. f recalled the Chaplain who was there in my day. He was one of the only fighters for progress. He was a very proud man the day the stained glass windows were put in. I worked for him and with him on several projects. He was a terrible preacher or speaker, but a good man, who cared for what happened to the boys. It was he. in 1959, who helped institute the honor system. This enabled the boys who had good conduct and the proper attitudes to gain extra privileges in six months, among which were free run of the grounds, (this has now been curtailed i, visits home on certain holidays and a part in the policy making of the Institution. In fact, so far progressed were we in those days, that established honor boys had some say in who among the boys were qualified to join their ranks. Perhaps this is still in effect. I didn't ask. Perhaps this sounds a little critical and if so, then the purpose has been accomplished. The people of the State of West Virginia and their duly elected and appointed representatives should truly be ashamed to be a part of the perpetuation of such a dismal, self-defeating system such as is evidenced by the very existence of Pruntytown's Industrial School. If you doubt the degree of the ruin there go visit. ' While there, don't look at the employes in scorn. They only work as a part of the total system and have very little influence on what goes on in the halls of the legislature, where monies and law changes must occur. Most of them are good people as much victims of the system as the boys locked into a state of never knowing how long the political system in power will continue programs or people. They are protected by a merit system, but all the progress they can make in four years can be eradicated with one phone caU or one signature on an inter office memorandum If you wonder why crime is steadily on the increase, why violence is the order of the day, then in your survey for facts don t overlook places like Pruntytown as a mam contributor. In too many instances the training you receive there far better «fars you for a further criminal career than it does towards restoring you to Mod Citizen standing, * J w KWU I would hope that should it be my good fortune to be ahye in 25 more yewsfay next visit migh find just this onimarkS; ·'Once the sight of the now itf West Virginia Industrial School for abolished by an act of tta£nrt\ ture, us buildings demobbed Edited by wersity The Reincarnation of Grandma's Album ByKayllaugaanl As a young girl looking through my grandmother's ord, velvet covered family album. at the daguerreotypes therein, I used to wonder at the pictures of the men--like the one of my grandfather just before he was married. Grandma said he was barely 20 at the time, but with a huge, luxuriant, black, walrus moustache like that! I knew she must be joking. I had never seen a man that young with a moustache. And whenever I would read, in a piece ot l»th century literature, of a "dashingly handsome" young man with a full beard or long. ' l u x u r i a n t m o u s t a c h e which he twisted proudly. I would just giggle at the absurdity of it. Frankly, such a thing was as incredible to me as some of those African fashions I s a w i n t h e N a t i o n a l Geographic such as the big;, wooden plugs some women wore in their lips or the metal coils around their g i r a f f e - l i k e n e c k s . EVERYONE then knew that a moustache or a beard on a man meant age. A young man with a beard was a phenomenon that surpasseth all human understanding. Now and then I would reflect on the strange thought of a young man with facial foli.-ige. How could you tell he was young? How o/uM you stand to. kiss or be kissed t h r o u g h a l l t h a t shrubbery? The mystery was compounded by reflecting on whether women of those times really were attracted to these men or whether the poor, oppressed creatures were simply subjected to the Little Girls Are Nice STATE MAGAZINE, July 16,1972 By Louis A. Orlando Little girls are the nicest things that happen to people. This little girl's name is Karen Lee. She likes pretty dresses, dolls that go to sleep. Mom's dress shoes, pretty hairdo's, noise makers, the little girl next door, make-believe, dancing lessons, tea parties. TV cartoons and her favorite Uncle Lou. She- doesn't care too much foe her big brother or boys in g e n e r a l , for v i s i t o r s , vegetables, large hats and her crabby Aunt Alice. She is loudest when I am thinking, prettiest when she has provoked me, the busiest at bedtime, quietest when I want her to show off, and the most flirtatious when I vow she absolutely must not get the best of me again. She believes in "Herman the Bear" who lives down in her uncle's cellar. Every time she goes for a ride in the country she keeps looking and hoping to see Herman just once, but he's never around. On every visit to her uncle's house, she takes him by the hand and c;m't w;iil to go down in the celler to see if Herman is at home. She knocks on the door but Herman doesn't answer. There is, however, a Exotic Driving ByKayBaugaari First Student: "Did you hear about George? He got a ticket for erotic driving." Second Student: "What are you talking about, erotic driving! The word is erratic!" First Student: "That's what you think! Some cop caught kim kissing his girl whilt drivinf on tht freeway." little note from Herman which reads: "Dear Karen: Thanks so much for the cookies you left for me the o t h e r d a y -- t h e y were delicious." Karen likes to hide things and write little notes- like " K a r e n Lee's birthday--Friday, October 18. please come," and put them in my desk calender, sometime during August or September. I doivt know who else can cause me more grief, joy, irrilation. satisfaction, embarrassment and genuine delight than this combination of Eve, Salome, and Florence Nightingale. She can muss up my hair and my dignity--spend my money, my time and my temper. Then, just when my patience is ready to crack, her sunshine peeks through and I've lost again. She is innocence playing in the mud, beauty standing on its head, and motherhood dragging a doll by the foot. She is nothing but a noisy bundle of mischief and a nerve-wracking nuisance. But, when my dreams are shattered and the whole world is a mess; when it seems that everything I do is wrong, and I feel like a no- good bum; it is at a time like this when she climbs on my knee, kisses me on the cheek and whispers, "Uncle Lou. I love you best of all.' 1 Yes. she always says he? prayers at bedtime. "God. watch over mommy and daddy, my Uncle Lou and Aunt Alice, all my friends and my big brother too, and please watch over Herman, wherever he may be. Thank you God-and goodnight." Olf. Orl»i» It · t y r a n n y of a h a i r y , masculine world and had no choice but (o suffer the outrageous tickling of nostril, cheefc and eye because they had not been liberated enough to rebel. I would finally give up trying to understand and simply take it on faith that people were different--and strange -in THOSE DAYS. But many strange and marvelous things are made clear if one lives long enough. Mysteries are made p l a i n and i n s i g h t s are received--some unlocked lor, some merely uncalled for--and V'OILA! 'it seems as though THOSE DAYS have returned. As I sit behind my desk in front of a college class I find myself looking out at my grandmother's album. My records toll me that these are young, college age boys 1 am seeing but 1 know differently. Anyone who has managed, to cultivate a s h a r p l y upward-curved. spiky, "Kaiser Wilhelm" moustache, which he keeps neally waxed is no young man! And that gentleman silling in the back row who wears thosp broad", black and white striped pants with broad suspenders and a neatly trimmed black fringe contouring his chin--I just know he is a dour, old, Amish patriarch although someone in the office insists he is 19 and was born and raised in beautiful, downtown Burbank, California. I always call him MR. Hansen. though, because I'm not fooled for a minute about his age and I can't get over my habit of being slightly deferential to my ciders and not calling tlmiti by their first names. Another gentleman in my class has wide, fuzzzy, m u t t o n - c h o p w h i s k e r s sticking out on both sides of his face like a Scottish terrier in a high wind and there is one whose full, brown beard spills down over his blue wprkshirt which he wears with sadly faded and worn dungarees. I keep looking around in the parking lot to sec where his pick - and-ax-and-gold-pan- laden burro is parked but I haven't found it yet. His registration card indicates he is 21 but the whole thing is just a practical joke laugh right along with It. It is obvious that he is at LEAST 45. I sometimes wonder hew it is that all these old gentlemen from my grand- molhcr's album have suddenly come to life and decided to go back to college at the same time. It appears to be some k i n d of wid'espread movement, perhaps because college, wasn't as widely available to them in their time. But the one that I like the best is a fine, kindly, looking gentleman with a merry twinkle in his old, blue eyes (that are surprisingly bright for one so elderly) who listed on my records as 22. He is dark,' rather slightly, built man of mixed French ancestry. His hair is dark and so is his abundant, f l o w i n g , w a l r u s - l i k e moustache. He reminds me so much of my grandfather tliat I just know some day I'm going to slip and call him. "Grandpa!" (Mrs. HaugaarU is a teacher, free lance writer, and humorist of Calif.) Ulcers, See Decisions ByG.M.Wosk Two purchases recently entered our household at the same time: *-A medical dictionary which was to prove finally to e a c h m e m b e r of that household that his or her symptoms were the most serious, i*A lamp, not to shed more light on these symptoms, although not a bad idea either, but to look good on the table next to the sofa. The medical dictionary, purchased hastily because the father of the household was w a i l i n g impatiently with the cartoned lamp, but also purchased victoriously because it was on sale even beyund the discounted price, is really thi first medical book to enter the household. The lamp is the fourth in a period of four weeks. Each of its predecessors has been either too big, too colorful, too den-ish--decisions reached indecisively by the f i n a l a r b i t e r o f ' t h e household, the mother, who. after all spends the most time with it. who is the family art expert, and reached also in fear and trembling, because she must also ask the father to repack the lamps and return them. Let us now set the next scene: * The mother is perwingthe lamp with a sinking feeling. Its pitted, mottled ceramic base looks, after aO. less like Jackson Pollack ui ceramic lhaa one *f the oral elections describe* in th* medical *-The daughter is perusing the new medical book. "Doctor," reads the daughter. "Doctors are just like fish in the sea, in more than one respect, that is, they are in all sizes, shapes, colors and constitution and mentality. .'' She continues to read more of "Doctor. 1 ' which continues to inform similarly and concludes with: "Of all good doctors in the world I shall use the best four Doctor Clean Doctor Quiet Doctor Merrvman Doctor Diet These doctors prescribe no harmful drugs Charge no fees Treat no disease But prevent them. "See 'Diet,' Hygine,' 'Mind and Body', 'Worry.' ". The mother now openly groaning out the lamp's shortcomings recheeks the copyright dates of the medical book: 1950, 1952, 1%2. 1962 isn't bad, she remembers herself thinking at the time of the purchase, although the p i c t u r e d hemlines of the nurses and the lady patients at the hospital emergency, just below the knees, are neither mini or midi. With an added sinking feeling now, the mother returns to her lamp studies and the daughter to the dictionary. Fourteen years old, Mfet's age. the daughter Mitt "Ivove" in tte medical CHARLESTON, W.VA. "Love!" she reads loudly. "See Marriage." But "Marriage" turns out to be several columns titled "Marriage and Reproduction, 1 ' and she fails to go beyond the caption, partly from indignation and partly becuse REPRODUCTION was what she learned in sixth grade. In searching back for "Love" now to make sure "See Marriage" is all that follows "Love," she finds a few topics ahead of it, "Lamp." "Gofld grief!" she shouts. "Lamp!" Before her mother can lift her stricken eyes from the newly purchased lamp to say, "Must be ultra-violet heat lamps like for muscle pains." the daughter on the trail of two-can-play-this- metHcal diclionary-game-as- well-as-one-and.-probably - wcl)er-at-fourteen. she calls forth her own, "Lamp, See Ulcers." As tilings turned out in this household, even though the youthful game player's later perusal revealed "The Love Relationship and Mental and Spiritual Health of Modern Man, See 'Adolescence/ 'Child T r a i n i n g / 'Contraception/ 'Sex Organs/ had followed "Marriage and Reproduction," the medical dictionary was required to go back to the store, and the lamp allowed to stay. As was the ulcer. See "Decisions." EDITOR'S NOTB: Mn. Wtsk b · free tact writer ·f EvaastM, III. 19m

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