FROM GANGSTA TO MAN (PART 3)

Forget school, I had to run the streets with my new family, sale drugs to take care of my brothers and sisters. I had to learn quick, what it takes to survive in the heart of Tacomas Hill Top area.

The 14th street Baby Loc’s died out as we all became Hill Top Crips (HTC), thats where the love was at. You mess with one you ha with all. We had our little groups within, who hung out with each other all the time.

We were so close we slept at eachothers house, ate at the same tables, slept in the same bed, wore eachothers close, and shared the same parents when they was around.

Around this time my mom figured out what I was really doing in the streets. Bless her heart, she checked herself into rehab, and tryed to get clean. Right after that she had the police pick me up and take me to a foster home way out in Buckley, Washington. This was a good and bad idea.

BUCKLEY, WASHINGTON! This place was so forein to me. I was placed in foster care on a farm where I didn’t know anybody. To tell the truth I was scared to death, I had never been on a farm, everything around me was farms and ranches, and all the people in Buckely were WHITE!!!

This was the first time I had been around so many white people, bare in mind that I am Black, White, & Native but I only knew my Grandmother Edith Ann Nash (AKA) (Edna Harriet Eaman), one aunt whos name I don’t remember, and 2 cousins Sam & Chris (Christine).
My grandmother was shunned by her family for being wed to a Black Man.

So being in Buckley was a whole different world to me. I went to White
River Elementry and was the only Black boy in the school. I was about to learn some valueable lessons.

I didn’t really talk for the first three months, but there was this scrony little boy that just would not stop messing with me. Finally I said F that I have to show this fool who he was messing with. One day in the lunch room he did something to me and I chased that boy all around the lunch room trying to get at him. He ran down one row and as I gave chase his buddy who was supposed to be the school bully and the most popular boy in the school stood up along with his buddies and blocked my way. He told me to stop messing with his buddy and I told him that his buddy better stop messing with me.

I procceded to pass by and go back to my table and he blocked my way and told me to go back the way I came. That pissed me off so I put my little fifth grade foot on his stool and said fool I’m a crip and aint nobody going go make me do shit. He took a second and then let me by.
That got me some respect and made the girls like me even more.

This school was like no other I had ever exprienced, in this school I excelled. If I had a question the teacher would come to my desk and help me, this never happened in Tacoma. I became the little boy I should have been and I enjoyed it, I also had my first real girlfriend, Kristy Q.

Being the only Black boy in a all white school was a challenge not for me, I adapted. It was the adults that had a problem, they didn’t know how to deal with this ghetto child. Two teachers stand out for me, I don’t remember their names but one was a white man and the other was a woman from Cairo, they were the best teachers I’ve ever met in my life. This school was alot of firsts for me.

I was in an all white school, I was doing excellent in school, it was my first time getting A’s & B’s, it was the first time in a long time I was enjoying life. Me and Christy broke up right before I had another first. I went to a camp called camp Symore (probably spelled wrong) it was there on the archery range that a love I will never forget began.
Laura Inks, the love that was forbidden. I was black and she was the popular white girl. The first time I got called to the principles office is right when we returned from camp. I was told that she can’t be my girlfriend, I don’t remember what I said but I walked out that office so mad I was in tears. I never told anyone about that until now.

As soon as that bell rung we met at the lockers like everyone else and I gave her the biggest most passionate kiss I’ve ever given and have never duplicated. I got suspended.
As you probably figured out, I wasn’t giving up my beautiful, loving girlfriend.

Thats exactly what I told my foster parents George & Helen Dupue who I loved deeply. They then told me I had to go back to Tacoma.
I was packed and on my way back within an hour. Laura and I stayed in contact for a while. I even did good in school for a while but them same streets my mom tryed to save me from was calling. I ANSWERED!!!

James Rollins
DOC #732975

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