Norm Hayslett - My Stay at the Lark Ellen Home for Boys - 1953 to 1954

My Name is Norm Hayslett. I lived at the Lark Ellen Home for Boys from 1954 to 1954. I entered at age 15.

Yes I was there for about one year, in 53 and 54, in Azusa Calif, or was it Glendora? During my sophomore year of high school my housemothers name was Mamie Yokum. My number was 450. I think mainly used for laundry identification. I do not remember the names of the elderly couple that ran it at that time, but the main overseer and his wife lived on the premises. I believe his name was Glen. He was a pretty big guy that had no trouble handling troublesome teenagers. I enjoyed feeding oranges to the pigs and piglets and raising chickens and pigeons. I also learned most of my musical piano talents there. I can remember a girls dancing school coming out and putting on little shows for us at the auditorium. I think we called it that. I also remember the famed Judy Collins would also visit and sing and play, long before she became famous.

My name is Norm Hayslett, born December 10,1938 in Chicago heights, Illinois. We moved to Puente, California (now called La Puente) the summer after my seventh year of school. My eighth grade was spent at Hudson junior high where I received my first football letter. My freshman year was spent at many schools in southern calif including Pasadena, Covina, Huntington park, West Covina, sophomore year was begun in Phoenix, AZ, at Phoenix union high school, the largest I have ever attended in my recollection. But shortly after (about 8 weeks).

I was transferred to Azusa Citrus Union H.S., after moving into the Lark Ellen home. I spent my junior year at Berkeley high in Berkeley Calif. and my senior year at Bloom high back in Chicago Heights graduating in 1956. I left home shortly after graduating to go to Berkeley but missed the enrollment deadline and wound up going to Oakland junior college for a short time, until I ran out of funds and unable to obtain employment returned to Chicago, only to boost my draft status after a few dead-end jobs.

I was drafted in July 58 and spent 1959 in Wackernheim Germany (near Mainz). I returned home in October of 1960 and went to work at Ford stamping plant in Chicago heights where I remained and retired in 1990 from middle management. started flying; in 1964 received my private license in January 1965. I still keep my medical current and own a 74 Cessna C-172 and have been an A.O.P.A member since 1964.

I moved to the Ozarks of MO. in 1990 where I still remain retired with my second wife (Shirley) of 24 years. I have three children from a previous marriage Carla, Rhonda, and Jeff. Rhonda lives near you in Sherwood Oregon where she recently married and bought a house. Carla's daughter Leia is staying with Rhonda in Sherwood while she finishes her schooling and Rhonda looks after my two great grandsons, Carla and Jeff both reside in Phoenix, AZ

Getting back to the subject of Lark Ellen. I remember only a very few names off the top of my head, Arturo Briones, Art Bumanglag, Jerry Rose, and I am sure I could find more if I dug out my old Azusa citrus union year book. There was a fella by the name of Bill Knight who drove a Cadillac convertible and would take four of five of us for long drives to Palm Springs to show us his properties which was mostly desert, but knew about the future that Palm Springs had at that time. He was a very kind and gentle man. I remember one whole street that he owned that was bordered by tall palm trees for about a quarter of a mile, no buildings just desert. He owned it all. It sure would be interesting to know what became of him.

Contact: Norm Hayslett at: