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High School Drop Out

My sister Joy and I did'nt return to the country school again. Mama made arrangements for us to attend my senior year in town. I think I would have received a high school diploma if I had stayed at the country school. You can run but you can't hide.

 Everybody in the new school knew that I was the girl from the country that they read about in the newspaper. I made a decision to be brave and bold.My grades slipped from A's & B's to D's & F's. Everyday I was in a battle with some male students but mostly male teachers.

 I would'nt tell mama because she was trying so hard to please her babies. I did'nt know how to talk about my pain. I just felt like I was dying daily. I was becoming more and more sick like mama, with depression and mood swings. I could not handle any more taunting. I left school and I left home.

 I knew Mabel would make me feel better. For the first time I drove the '56 Ford without mama or daddy. I knew two other young people who wanted to leave home, we decided to go to New York. We put our little money together and left South Carolina. The old car was a peice of junk before we reached New York but we made it.

I was right about Mabel, she treated me like a queen. A heavy load fell from my shoulders. I rested for a month and Mabel found me a great job.  In 1961 I was paid over $125.00 weekly, Some jobs don't pay that much today, especially in the south. People treated me different up the road.  Mabel did'nt put any pressure on me. We had lots of fun together.

 I met celebrities.  Some jazz musicians lived in the Bronx off  the  Grand Concourse where we lived.  I hung out in the basements where some of  them had recording studios.  A heavy weight boxer ask Mabel for my hand in marriage. NO !Of course not!  He took me to Sugar Ray Lounge, carrying me on his shoulders, to listen to me sing. I was getting my spirit back!  I was beginning to trust again!  I felt whole. I almost forgot about the mess. The only thing that bothered me now is that I did'nt graduate.

 By the way I even tried marriage before I left home. He made me feel dirty too.  Mama signed for me to marry him. I told her if she did'nt I would kill myself. He was seventeen years my senior. What was I thinking about?

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Upload Date: 31/12/1969

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