Excerpt from CHAPTER 4 ALTERED STATE page 71Published June 16, 2017
I didn’t respect any man enough to emulate or use as a positive
role model. I evolved my own composite of the model male adult
from ideals I drew from history, culture, books, and film. The Southwest
Boys Club was strategically located among Rice Heights, Charter
Oak Terrace, and the surrounding neighborhoods. The Boys Club
felt like a home away from home. I joined while I attending
Batchelder. I enjoyed hanging out and playing pool or other table
games. I was intimidated by better and aggressive basketball players,
so I avoided competing on the basketball court.
I joined the woodworking class at the club and impressed the
instructor with my knowledge from shop class at high school. The
teacher named me vice president of our woodworking class. As vice
president, I was a sort-of mentor to other kids who had no shop experience.
I looked forward to our classes and took pride in my role as a
helper; I enjoyed the knowledge I was acquiring in class. At the end
of our project season, we were awarded jackets with the Boys Club
logo, and I wore mine proudly. I had started something and followed
through without quitting for the first time I could remember.