Tom Mott - My Stay at the Lark Ellen Home for Boys - 1955

My name is Tom Mott, born in 1941 and was 14 years old at Lark Ellen. I lived in the Lyon's Den just down the walk-way from Mr. Miller's office. I don't have any pictures, but remember George Bunce, Norman Palmer, Gordon Oliver, Doug Mathison, Tiny Mullins Doug Miller and Kenny Gamble who we called "Gumballs."

In 1955, the address was 6620 North Citrus Avenue, Azusa, California, today it's a swimming pool for Citrus College. It was run by Carl Miller and Kenneth Gamble. Then the school teacher was Mr. Reedy, one of the best guys I ever met. The house-mothers were Ma Hoxley and some others. In 1954, one of the house-mothers took all of the boys in her den to Covina for a movie. They got as far as Citrus Avenue and Covina Blvd when a car accident occurred and all in the car were killed. We went to school in Azusa at Slauson Elementary, but were all known as being from Lark Ellen, if anything was missing and one of the Lark Ellen boys was in the class, everyone knew who was guilty. I remember "Cappy Davis" who would sniff gas tanks in the parking lot to get high and Tommy Veins who sniffed plastic wood to get high and was murdered by his step-father who was a San Bernardino Policeman, and who shot him in the back of the head in about 1956. We made roller derby cars in 1955 for the roller derby in Los Angeles. On rainy days, Dad Miller would fix chili for us in the kitchen, sure hit the spot. It was probably the best home I ever had.

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