I just put put the flag there cause I was inspired by life in Rochdale. After the vision something had to come of it all. There was hitchhiking and cold and boredom standing around waiting for a ride.
When i’d gotten expelled at least once, and the teachers were dumb they sent me away from my brother and sisters to Chicago and there I did all right getting arrested a couple of times, or once. The riot was the main thing. They didn’t kill any of us even that year. They started killing us at school in Chicago the next year. That Kenwood Academy in pictures now, I don’t see any white kids like us at all. We were still 30 percent.
I got punched the first day in the hallway was where. I got punched hard in the face by someone just passing in the mob. My junior year of High School at Kenwood on the South Side of Chicago living with my cousins where my Uncle was priest to Hyde Park Episcopal which wasn’t far down the block way there somewhere we can find it in Chicago
Ronnie Hartfield got me into some scholarship from school for my writings of poetry that was started by a lack of hate for poems started by some words from my father’s young boyfriend from long ago before the divorce. I didn’t know but so much. It is as opposed to the boyfriend his own age that worked at the typewriter factory. Or there was the orthodontist. His hands were soft and how else was dad to afford to get my teeth fixed?
So I had complained about the school and got sent to the city. I was given the opportunity to go to the school in the city. They put me on a plane with my records and some clothes. I feel bad about any of the money I can look back that was spent on me. Now I have reasons.
There are lots of times I don’t remember. There are some times I remember over and over that take up for it.
Something must have happened to give me the opportunity to go to downtown. I got to go downtown for a writers workshop once a week led by a Doctoral candidate whose name I’ve more than once tried to remember. The kid I went with dropped out because he was the other white kid and he said they wouldn’t accept him as a human being.
There was one other black boy who was gay, 7 or 8 black girls, Colin and me. Colin and I had been riding the cab with the stipend to get a cab together. I had to get there by myself after that. We had all be picked out of a writing class.
There was a writing and an acting class and Mandy Pitinkin was the big success out of the acting class. I did alright but he was so good I didn’t feel very hopeful about acting till after I did stand-up comedy enough to get offered a job. Still I never moved to the right places at the right time and things weren’t fully understood and there were fights and failures and I wanted to do too much.
What do you want me to tell you?
Anyway I got a scholarship to a school called Adventure in Creativity from the Urban Gateways Writers Workshop. It is real doubtful that anything much would have come good out of the times in high school in Greensboro, NC. I went back to that place after the year and 6 weeks of summer in Michigan outside of Detroit and to shorten the story it was my American Graffitt.
There had been Ron and Diane Chudley and they said that when I graduated from high school I could come and stay with them to avoid the draft for the war in Vietnam.
I didn’t know that often people say such things and don’t really mean them. I went to Toronto right after graduating from high school. I had to hitch hike because my mother wouldn’t let her boyfriend give me some motorcycle he had.
He probably didn’t mean it about he motorcycle either, but he said it and she said it and I went hitch hiking to Toronto right away. I was in solidarity with the black people of the inner cities in my mind as the Black Panthers had pointed out how white boy didn’t have to go to Vietnam.
By then there was a lottery and I and anybody might have to go and the war had been going on since I had been in the 9th grade, and I wasn’t going.
Three weeks went by with me staying there at the Chudley’s. That is the absolute limit for a visit.
I never mean to be rude. I never meant to be rude. They should have told me to go to Vietnam an take my chances. They were Canadians and could just look down and talk bad about Americans of the US in a language Americans can understand.
We went to a caberate together they took me too. They told me to keep thinking the way I did which was that I can make up whole stories possible out of little incidents. Maybe I can get the neighbor to come over and then shoot him inside my house and take his land., for instance. I could make a whole movie out of that. That’s what’s left of them. I can’t find them.
But they dropped me off at Rochdale College where I rented a room with what money I had left. I had enough to rent a room. I really could be frugal. There are laws about who can work in one country from the next. Rochdale was a fine place for deserters and dodgers. There were paying criminal activities to do.