Joseph Richardson - My Stay at the Lark Ellen Home for Boys - 1960-62 - Page 1

Its November 2005 - making a trip out to a motor shop in Covina - got off the 210 Freeway at Citrus Ave. This is a VERY familiar area - turned left instead of right to go to the shop and drove up towards the hills - memories flooding back - now all there is of the Lark Ellen Home site is parts of the college.

Later at home Googled the name Lark Ellen. WOW - a network site for Lark Ellen and the boys that stayed there. So many questions about what happened to the Home and where did everyone go.

So - a little about me and what my life has been for these 40+ years.

My family placed me at Lark Ellen in 1960, too much of a troublemaker for them to handle and our church helped with the arrangements. I was one of the older boys, I was very tall and thin, and during the early years I was a chosen target by a lot of the boys - I was a handful with a big mouth and was always getting myself in trouble. It was a tough time for me but what was to ensue over the nearly three years at the home would provide me with some really basic values that have worked for me all my life.

I had always done well at school, testing had consistently shown I had intelligence if not Good sense - and as a result I was allowed to attend public school at Glendora High. I was fairly athletic playing football and on the track team both at Glendora and at the home. Sports and my decent grades would be the one asset that I would come to depend on even when I went off the deep end with things like 'sniffing' glue and sneaking out at night to get in trouble around town.

I was given a lot of chances while at the home to learn and partake in programs that would help to shape my life. The first summer I was sent to Camp Pendleton as part of a Marines Devil Pup program - later in life this 4 weeks would prove to be very helpful.

As I said sports, especially track, would become the focus of my few accomplishments with the high jump and 440 yard run being my best events. I also played football though I wasn't the greatest but lettered in Varsity for Glendora and was the leading receiver on the Lark Ellen team. Another area that would help me in life was the theatre program at the home, where I played parts in a number of plays. This experience would assist me in being comfortable speaking in public.

My senior year I varsity lettered in track, baseball, and football at Glendora, I was voted the Athlete of the Day at the Lark Ellen Relays and awarded the Athlete of the Year from the home. The result was assistance and a small scholarship check that helped get me into the athletic program at Cal-Poly Pomona College.