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Both of my brothers, Bobby and George, died after they turned twenty years old. In 1966, Bobby was in the Navy, stationed at Treasure Island. He loved the service and wanted the Navy to be his career. After a weekend leave he returned to base. He left his car at momís house where he was living before joining the Navy. Bobby checked into Treasure Island and was never seen or heard from again. He had no money. Payday was in a couple more days away. All his belongings were there, including all of his clothes and wallet. His glasses, which he always wore, were still there. Everything was there, except for Bobby. We came to believe he was killed, maybe by accident. He liked to gamble and was very friendly with blacks. Either of those could have been the cause of trouble.
An FBI agent, Mr. Sheets, would call me every once in awhile to ask if Iíd seen Bobby. He called my mother for years. The FBI believed he was AWOL (Absent Without Leave). My family knew that was not the case. About ten years ago, the FBI called my mother. She never really told me why. Apparently, they just asked questions. She thought they had found bones or something. After all those years, she didnít want to pursue it further.
In 1967, my brother George was killed instantly in a motorcycle accident. He was cremated. A plaque for Bobby and George is in Oakhill cemetery in San Jose. I have only been their once. I have never been there to see my motherís grave. She was buried there with John Lott in May 1999.
During my school years, I attended M.R. Trace through elementary school, one year at Herbert Hoover Jr. High, Castro Jr. High, two years at Campbell and was in the second graduating class at Blackford High. I donít know how much diversity there was but I remember only one black student in all my school years. In my early school years I functioned at lower level than most of the students. Then in seventh grade, I got a new attitude that helped me get through all my school days. I always thought that I was not smart but had a lot of common sense. So, I learned how to get good grades. It was simple, just learn to listen to what the teacher wants. Once you find out exactly what you have to do, itís not that hard to do it. I could get all Aís and Bís with not too much effort.
I wanted to take art classes but my father thought the subject would never be useful. I always thought that I would like to be an architect or interior designer. I planned to go to San Jose State and I did pass the entrance exam but my "step-mother," Laura, talked me into going to San Jose Beauty College. She said that I should do what I enjoyed doing instead of going to college. I did always have a flair for it and enjoyed fooling around with my friendís hair. I decided to go because I felt that she wanted me out of the house. I donít know why because I did everything for her. She also didnít care to do housework.