James Laird - Adventures at the Lark Ellen Home - Page 1

I was ten years old, my brother Gene was eight, and brother Charles was seven when we arrived at the home. Gene was always sort of independent and did not like to be told what to do. Charles was easy going and could be easily led in any direction if it was not too hard to do. I guess I was somewhere in between. As the big brother I was supposed to look after them. Size did not mean anything to Gene and when someone bigger did something he did not like he would let them know about it. This often led to a fight he could not win which put me in the middle. Most of the time, I could stop them without getting into a fight myself. In that respect I'm glad he spent most of his time on the little boy's side of the grounds.

Of course I got in a few fights of my own. The first one I remembers was shortly after we arrived at the home. What the fight was all about I don't remember. It was with another boy about my equal in all respects who had come to the home shortly after we had. At the time the middle boys shared the small boy's bathroom and the fight started just outside the bathroom in the hall. It started as a fist fight and I felt I was not winning so I turned it into a wrestling match. I did not think I was winning even then when it was stopped by some of the older boys.

We were lucky as we did not have to go to the first aid room to get any swats. I was surprised when the other boys said I was winning the fight all the way. I did not feel like a winner and resolved to not get into any more fights if I could help it, and if I did to try to be a quick winner. That strategy seemed to work as I don't remember losing any more fights and usually won with single hard blow to the nose or the stomach which caused the other person to back off. That first boy's last name was Porter and we became good friends.