My house was a "rooming house" as were most of the houses in my neighborhood. The first room I stayed in was right above the front door. It was in this room where I almost lost my life in a fire. I was seven years old and strange as it might seem, I had never seen fire before. Until I came here I did not know children walked without crutches and/or braces; I had only seen adults walk. I had never had a toy of my own except for a yarn ball when in the hospital. I had a lot to learn about life on "the outside". I'm not sure if I learned all the lessons that others learned! It's as though I was behind in all the "normal" things in life but at the same time knew things beyond my years.

I came to this house because this was where my relatives lived. I had just been released from the New England Peabody Home for Crippled Children

(It is hard to believe the number of times in my childhood that I did NOT die!! My guardian angel had to really work hard to keep me alive!)


These streets and public alleys were my playground; my "Home On The Range". My ranch went from Exeter St. to Hereford St. and from Boylston St. to the Esplanade on the Charles River. My front yard was the stoop of my house and my backyard was Public Alley 432. 

My playground was not a village!!

One hot day Tommy, Geoffrey and I decided to go swimming in the Charles River. This was going to be my first experience swimming and I was excited. Being 8 years old, I wanted to do what all the other kids were doing. When I saw some of them hanging on a row boat and kicking their feet in the water; I hung with them. As the boat moved further out from the bank, the rower pushed us off with an oar. I immediately sank underwater. I had the thought, if I kept on walking on the floor of the river that the water would become shallow again. This was my last memory. My "guardian angel" found me in the murky water and brought me back to life. The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was the Longfellow Bridge. I didn't know any of the people who were standing around looking at me.

I have to be "a very special person" for I have been "baptized by the fire" and "baptized by the water"!!

A philosophy of life began where the red star is on the map above.


If you look at this photo closely, you will NOT see the butterfly that landed on my nose and you can hardly see the gun in my hand. These symbols would become integrated into a philosophy of life. One has to be as soft and gentle as a butterfly while also being ready to take on any fight. Most of all, one has to learn to wear their God given flaws with pride.... such as seen being worn on the feet of a crippled child.

(At this time I had no idea that I had a brother"out there". I would not know this for a least another thirty years.)



I wish I had a name for someone to call me.