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CORKY AND WHITE SHADOW



I will never forget sitting in the TV room at the orphanage watching the small black and white television. It had become sort of a game to us kids to see which one of us would be the last one to be sent to our bedroom because of something that we had said or done while watching television. We were made to sit erect and we were to remain perfectly still. Our hands were to be kept to our sides and we were not allowed to talk, laugh or move.

I remember this one night in particular. I believe it was on a Sunday. There was a show on called "Corky and White Shadow." Little Billy Smith was crying because of something that had happened on the show. Many of the boys started poking each other in the side with their elbows and nodding toward Billy.

"Alright. What is going on here?" said asked the matron.

No one said a word.

The matron got up out of her chair and started walking around the room.

"And just what is wrong with you?" she said, as she came around to Billy.

"It's White Shadow. He's lost and he can't be found," he told her.

"JESUS H. CHRIST. It's just a damn movie show."

"It's really real. White Shadow is a real dog and he's really lost," said Billy, to the Matron.

"He just thinks it is a real true story," said Eugene.

"Get your ass up and get to your bedroom. I wasn't talking to you," yelled the matron.

Slowly Eugene got up from his chair. We waited to see if he was going to say anything else to her. Eugene was a few years older than the rest of us. Sometimes he would stand up to the house-parents. But this time he said not a word. He just pushed his chair back with his foot and he walked out the door and ran up the stairs.

By now Little Billy was crying full force.

"You get up to your bed too," she said, pointing at little Billy.

"I LOVE YOU WHITE SHADOW" yelled out Billy, as he slowly walked around the group of boys. His eyes never leaving the television screen.

"Please let me see what happens to White Shadow. Please," begged Billy.

"You go stand with your head in the corner until the show is over. Do you understand me?" she told Billy.

"Yes Ma'am," he replied.

We could hardly believe that she was allowing him to listen to the rest of the show. That was almost a miracle to us boys. Never once in all the years that she had looked after us did she ever change her mind on anything that she had said.

We sat there quietly as the show continued. I still could not figure out why she had allowed Little Billy to stay. I know that many of the other boys did not know either. Once in a while we would look at one another and move our eyebrows as if in total disbelief.

Everything was going well until, all at once, the matron jumped up from her chair and yelled out "Cut off the television and everyone go to bed. Now!"

"But the show is not over for another five minutes," said one of the boys.

"What did I just tell you?" she said, standing up, placing her fat arms on her hips.

We never did find out what happened to White Shadow. Through out the years I have watched to see if the show might appear once again. I have no idea who made the show or if in fact that was even the name of the show.

There are some things that stick in your mind forever. I do not have any idea if Billy Smith is still alive today. Many of the kids have already died, three just last year. But just in case I ever run into Billy I would like to find that show and make a copy of it for him. I think that that would be one of the best gifts that he could ever receive.



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