My Life Through the Span

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My name is Mike. I’m 60 years, diagnosed at age 30. It’s 2024, and I wish it was still 1994. 1994 was six years after 1988, when I wanted to go to the Antioch Undergraduate Program in Cooperative Studies at Antioch College. They had a relationship with Washington University to do a five-year double major in mathematics and aesthetics.

1982 was the last year of boarding school when I was sent to Wooster, because I was not able to survive in public middle school. That was readily apparent. Manheim Township was a mess. It was really bad.

Six years before 1982, in 1976, I was 12. I was a happy kid in Pennsylvania. I remember being in Philadelphia saying to my mom in 1975 – “next year is going to be quite a celebration because it’s the Bicentennial, blah blah blah.”

I was four years old when I bolted. It was the summer of 1968. I bolted from preschool at the UCC at Lemon Street and College Avenue, across from the North Museum. They filled up the pool everyday at Buchanan Park. It must have been in the afternoon. They were trying to keep me settled, but I wanted to be at the pool. My mother wanted me in preschool to develop social skills. My dad said no. My sister was there – it was early summer. It was warm, but I remember running across the street. I was only at that preschool a few days.

Mrs. Giberson was a friend of my parents who lived on Pheasant Hill. She was my babysitter. Instead of preschool, I spent my days with Mrs. Giberson after being booted from preschool. Wonderful memories at the basement of UCC.

Number two memory of that – there was a zinc-galvanized trough and I was splashing around, and there was a person singing, “Do You Know the Muffin Man?” and “The Farmer in the Dell.” It was the tricycle moment that I bolted. Kids would step on the back of tricycles and were going around in the basement. And I said no, I didn’t want to do that. Now I have memory – the person was trying to settle me down at the water trough, at the floaty boats. What am I going to do with myself now, at 60 years old?