Back In The Day - Tales from the Hood


Washington - Job Corps - & God pt.2

Being sent to another state to live for the first time in my life was not a scary feeling for me, maybe it should have been, but the way i felt just to be able to get far far away from L.A. was a relief to me.
The problems i left behind weren't my common law wife of 6 years or my sons, the problem was with me and the kind of life i was leading.
I would say in two words-Self Destructive.
Between the girls on the side and smoking herb and having no real future for myself or family , this was my only hope to make something out of myself, It was all up to me.

My wife and kids were going to stay with my mother-in-law. We were having our problems and it wasn't looking good at all, and i knew it was my fault. I can say i actually abandoned them when i left for Job Corps.
Even though, I still know i did the right thing-the only thing , or else become another "victim" of Society or swallowed up into the Penal System, either way it was a thin line.

You know........ I believe that alot of these guys around here need to escape to a better life and i know it is the solution for the majority , but i also know first hand that its gotta be what they would want to do- that goes without saying.
The saying goes; you can take the homeboy out of the hood, but you can't take the hood out of the homeboy.
Well this was one homeboy who was ready and willing and thats all it takes (after you hit rock bottom).
So the day came and i said my good-byes and got on board the Amtrak. The trip up was really nice. I had a good view in the Scenic Car and i had my portable 8-track player & case of tapes so it was pretty cool.
The music i was just getting into was Jazz, so it fit right in nicely.
It was as if we were going through all the seasons, I saw the most beautiful scenery going through Oregon and then Washington, it was awesome!

Once we arrived and drove to the center , i felt far away from all my troubles. Everything went as it should and i got settled in. As i continued at school one week then vocational training the next i asked to see the Director.

I let him know how important it was for my school to be continious so to concentrate on my studies but he told me that the program was to be one week on and one week the other. I saw the options but was not interested in what they had to offer. I tried a few and i didn't really want to learn the trades.
So again we sat down to discuss what was in my better interest and he agreed to let me do school full time. with-in 5 months i was ready to take the G.E.D. test. Actually i wasn't really ready but my teacher told me to take it then see where i needed to concentrate on, I agreed and failed. Good, now i know.

The following month i went to re-test, and this time i passed.
Now for a while i was being called on to leave class and drive the corpsmen to town for appointments and i really didn't mind getting out for a while and seeing the near by town 12 miles away.
At one point i was asked if i would be willing to do
this and they would issue me a Government Drivers license to drive the long vans and even the buses.

I thought it was pretty cool to do that and it was fun too. One day after being called from class too often, the director sat me down and let me know he was going to get another driver cause he didn't like the idea of me being pulled out of class too often.

I remember him saying " we're here for you to use- and not us to use you ".
I had an apreciation for that man and he saw something in me that stood out- determination ?

Well in those 6 months i worked hard on my GOAL, and i finally accomplished something positive in my life. That was a good start, maybe a little late but never too late.
I sent every one of my corpsman awards home to my parents so they would see how well i was doing, i recieved all kinds even for corpsman of the month and to me that was big!

Now , at 21 i still had plenty of un-answered questions inside of me, just like as people do. Questions to do with all sorts of things including religion and the such. Myself, I could do fine with out it but i realized then (after a month of denial) if God does or doesn't exsist i had to clear this up once for all, just to know one way or another and move on with my life.

I would take these walks around the track at night and look up at all the stars and ask "Are You For Real ? I need to know". Is that your ear or is that your nose? That was basically it besides being in my own deep thoughts and thinking about my sons and family.

Little did i know at that time the MAN UPSTAIRS was already answering my question.
Everyone has heard that saying; God works in mysterious ways?
I was soon to find out just what that meant in my life.


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