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
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.