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THE LIKES OF ME CAN'T BREED



Twenty of us boys watched with eyes wide open as the girls filed into the orphanage dining room. All eyes were upon Vel Addison. She was marching past us wearing a pair of white, skin-tight shorts.

"Oh my God, you can see everything she has!" whispered Wayne Evers.

The head matron pointed to Wayne and me. "You and you, come here right this minute,” she ordered.

As we approached, she reached out and grabbed us by our shirt collars. With all her might, she dragged us into the long hallway leading to her living quarters.

“I have devoted my entire life to making sure that the likes of you never breed," she said.

She stared at me as though I were the most evil thing that ever lived on the face of this earth. Even though I was only 10 years old, I knew very well what the term "breeding" meant. I knew that a man and a woman had to "do it" in order to make a baby. What I could not understand was how she knew what we boys were thinking. She always seemed to know.

"Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah," she ranted on.

I stood there trying to shut down my little brain. Her big floppy lips kept moving back and forth. Half of what she said just passed by my ears without me hearing a word. “POW” went her hand as she slapped me up side my face, knocking me against the wall.

"Are you paying attention to me, young man?"

"Yes ma'am. You said I couldn’t have no kind of breeding."

I watched as the matron drew back her hand to slap Wayne. Wayne stepped back several feet, drew back his arm and balled up both his fists.

"Don't you dare try and strike at me young man," said Mother Winters.

"How come you ain't got no husband like other people has?" asked Wayne.

All at once, she tore into Wayne with both hands. She grabbed him by the head and started banging it into the wall as hard as she could.

"You're going to kill him. You're going to kill him," I kept yelling as loud as I could.

Several seconds’ later, other house parents ran down the hallway and grabbed Mrs. Winters. I watched as they held her against the wall. She stood there rapidly breathing in and out. I looked over at Wayne who was wiping blood from his mouth and face.

"YOU TWO ARE AS GOOD AS DEAD! Call the police. RIGHT NOW!” screamed Mother Winters at the black cook.

"Come on," said Wayne as he hit me on the arm.

We began to run down the hallway toward the screened breezeway. Out through the dining room we dashed, wind whipping at our heels. By the time we stopped running, we had left the orphanage several miles behind us.

"We ain't going to get out of this one, are we Wayne?" I asked.

Wayne said nothing. He just sat down on the curb and began to wail.

"How come she knows what we were thinking, when we was looking at Vel in those shorts?" I asked.

"She doesn't know what we were thinking. She only knows what she was thinking. She's just got a dirty mind," he replied.

"Wayne, you sure are smart. Real smart to know all those kinds of things."

After several days on the run, we turned ourselves in to the police. We were exhausted, cold and hungry. Several years later, I left the orphanage on my way to the Florida School for Boys Reform School in Marianna, Florida. Wayne was not so lucky. He remained in the orphanage for another eight years, until his 18th birthday.

Most of the boys and girls from the orphanage had never been on a date. Most had never even held the hand of someone of the opposite sex. Many had never even spoken to someone of the opposite sex, until leaving the orphanage on their 18th birthday. At last count, many of the boys and girls from the orphanage were on their fifth or sixth marriage.

I do not think that has anything to do with breeding or does it?



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