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SHARING A MOM
"Can you come over and play baseball with us?" asked Larry as he looked at the young boy who was staring through the six-foot high chain link fence, which surrounded the Children's Home Society Orphanage in Jacksonville, Florida.
"We’re not allowed to play with nobody when you live in here," said 7-year-old Freddie Hutchins looking down at the ground.
"My mom lets me come here to play baseball anytime I want," said Larry as he tossed the baseball into the air and caught it with his glove.
"We kids ain't got no moms that live inside ‘The Home,’ Freddie said as he tightened his fingers between the holes in the chain link fence and pressed his face against the hard, silver colored steel.
"NO MOM? said Larry Evans. "How come you ain't got no mom?"
"Just don't got one, I guess," said Freddie.
"What's your name?" asked Larry.
"Freddie David Hutchins," he replied.
Larry and Freddie just stood there staring at one another and not saying a word. Suddenly, Larry turned around and began running as fast as he could to his own house located over on Home Park Circle.
"MOM! MOM!" yelled Larry as loud as he could.
"What is it Dear?" asked Larry's mother.
"I met this boy who lives in the orphanage home over by the school and he ain't got no mom. I don't even think he's got no dad. How can that be?" Larry asked with a puzzled look on his face. "Can you be his mom, so he can play baseball with us?" he asked.
"What's his name, Larry? asked his mother as she sat down in the chair.
"Freddie. His name is FREDDIE," yelled Larry.
"You go back over there and you tell your friend Freddie that I will be his mom," she said softly placing her hand on the side of her son's face.
It has been 40-something years since this all happened. Several days ago, I found my Spring Park Elementary School friend, Larry Evans, living In Tallahassee, Florida. He gave me his mother's phone number, who happens to still live in that same house over on Home Park Circle. It is the same house where we orphans use to drop by, generally when we ran away from the orphanage, and were given free cookies and a cold drink almost any time we wanted.
About half an hour after I hung up the telephone with Larry's mother, it rang again. I was very surprised to hear the words "Roger this is Freddie Hutchins."
He and I talked with one another for about half an hour and have decide to meet somewhere in Georgia this coming Thursday. This all really made my day. I found a good friend from long ago, as well as another one of my orphan brothers.
”Oh! By the way, Freddie. ‘Mom Evans’ said that she loves you and she told me that she loves me too.”
That sure gave me a real warm feeling inside and it made tears come to my eyes, so I guess that even if we had a mom like Larry, when we were little boys, we still would have tears in our eyes anyway.