CHAPTER 6


                              BLIND SCHOOL





          We stood  in the  breezeway connecting  the dormitory  and school
     building; our sobbing clearly heard down the long halls.    I    cried
     recklessly.  "I'll never see you  again," I muttered as I held my  Mom
     closely.
          "Yes you will Honey.   I'll be back Friday afternoon  to pick you
     up for the weekend."
          "I  don't want you to go.  I'm  afraid," I said choking on my own
     tears.  My sisters stood around me crying and blowing noses.     M   y
     Mom's own tears burned her cheeks as she tried to encourage  me but no
     words could cut through my sorrow.  She looked up and saw the school's
     wrestling  coach standing nearby.  ""I'm sorry  sir but this is really
     hard for us.  His father just..."
          "It's all right  mam," he said gently.  "I went through this once
     myself many  years  ago so  take as  much time  as you  need," and  he
     stepped back another pace to show he did not wish to intrude.
          "It'll be ok  Philip," I could hear  my sister Kay say.   "You'll
     only have four  and a  half days  now till Friday  afternoon and  then
     you'll have the whole weekend at home."
          "It's not  like home  though," I argued  feebly.  "I'm  all alone
     here.  I don't know anybody.  I'll never make any friends."
          "You'll make friends right away," Mom tried to say cheerfully but
     her words were smothered by her tears.
          "No I won't," I argued, "I'll never see you again."
          A few days after  getting home from the hospital, Mom  told me we
     were going to take a short trip.
          "Where to, Mom" I enquired, my voice reflecting indifference.
          "Oh, to a little town not far from hear on the Missouri River."
          "Oh, yeah!  What's it called?"
          "Nebraska City."
          "I've  never heard of it.   What we goin' down  there fer and how
     far is it?  Will it take all day?"
          "It  isn't very  far," Mom  assured me.   "It's  about forty-five
     miles is all.
          "You didn't say what we were goin' down there fer Mom?"
          "Oh," she said haltingly, "we're goin'  down to take a look at  a
     school."
          "Oh," I  said without comment.   In my heart I knew  what she was
     talking about but refused to consider it.  "I'd never be going down to
     no school for blind kids," I thought  to myself, "'cause I aint really
     blind.   My  sight will  be  comin' back  in  like it  always did,"  I
     thought.  "Sure,  just like it  always did.   I won't  be needin'  any
     special school."
          One of  the professors from the Bible  college pulled up in front
     of the house who had offered to take us.  "Hi Noreen," he said, "ready
     to go?"  We climbed down the  long steps to the street below and piled
     in.  The trip was uneventful.
          There  were few  kids in  the  school during  the weekends;  most
     riding  the  Greyhound  bus home  Friday  night  and  returning Sunday
     evening.  "Here's are dinning room," our guide was saying.
          "Feel these window panes,  Philip," Mom was saying.  "Can you see
     any of the colors?  They're each a real bright shiny color."
          "Yeah," I said straining to see through  the watery blur.  "I can
     see sorta' the bright colors."
          We continued down the hall, through the breeze way,  and into the
     school building.   Our  guide was friendly  and talkative;  showing us
     each room and it's purpose.  "If you'll follow me down  these stairs,"
     he was  saying," I'll  show  you the  lower floors  where our  bowling
     alley,  swimming pool,  and gymnasium  are."   I  smelled the  pungent
     chlorine of the swimming pool, the vinyl scent of the wrestling mat in
     the gym and the polish  of the bowling lanes.   "And here is our  wood
     shop."  The doors creaked and we entered.  The clean smell of wood was
     in the air.  Somehow I felt like I was floating through a maze.  I was
     only mildly  interested in the  things I heard the  adults discussing.
     "Why were we hear,"  I wondered.  "I mean,  this is all ok for  people
     that need this  kind of a school  but why were we  spending a Saturday
     afternoon walking through this place?"
          I heard the  breeze way doors swish  shut as my family  left; the
     cold winter air swirling about my feet.   I stood with my head  bowed,
     my hands hanging loosely at my side, and tears dripping off my chin.
          "I'm sorry son," i could hear the coach speaking softly; his hand
     resting lightly  on my shoulder.  "I  know it isn't easy.   I'm almost
     blind myself.  I have  real low vision; just enough to  get around and
     to read  print  with  thick glasses.    I  grew up  in  the  state  of
     Kentucky," he continued, "and  I had to go to the  Kentucky school for
     the blind.  It's  always hard to leave your family and I know it seems
     like you'll never see them again but we'll keep you so busy this week,
     you'll be  amazed how fast  it goes.  Friday  will be hear  before you
     know it."  I stood listening but not believing.  I could see my family
     in my mind's eye walking down the three rows of steps in front of this
     building,  crossing the  parking lot,  starting the  car,  and driving
     away.  I wondered if they'd miss me.  "Why don't we start learning the
     building  Phil," I  heard the coach  say.   "It'll take your  mind off
     everything.
          Turning toward  the  dorm, we  began  walking slowly,  the  coach
     describing the area as we walked.  "To  your left is our dinning room,
     which has doors at either end, but I'll  show you that later.  To your
     right  is an area  with chairs, small  low tables, and  couches.  It's
     kinda a  visitors room.   It's open on  two sides...here, let  me show
     you."  We walked through the waiting area and he showed me the various
     articles of  furniture.  "This  wall here,"  he said  placing my  hand
     against it's cold  surface, "separates this room from  the hallway but
     it doesn't continue  clear to each end so you can  walk into this area
     from either side.
          Back in the hall he said, "Starting from here we'll walk down the
     hall  and I'll show you  where the doorway is which  leads to the dorm
     and your room."  Placing my right hand against the wall  he said, "Now
     the rule in this place is you always stay to the right.  After awhile,
     you'll be  used to where you are and  where you're going and you won't
     often need to trail, as we call it, the wall with your hand.  However,
     you always  must remember to keep to the right  hand side of the hall.
     That way you won't run into anybody and they won't run into  you.  Use
     your index finger like this:" he turned the palm of my hand outward so
     the edge of  my index finger scraped  the wall lightly.   "Now there's
     nothing in the way so go ahead and start walking; trailing the wall as
     you go."   I obeyed and almost  immediately my finger came  in contact
     with a door frame.  "That's a men's rest room.   Keep going and you'll
     run into the  ladies rest room  with a drinking fountain  in between."
     He was right, I  did.  "Now,"  he said," you'll go  for a little  ways
     before coming  to the  next door."   I walked  and eventually  came in
     contact with a third  door.  "This is the nurses office.   We won't go
     in  right  now but  there  are four  rooms  with hospital  beds  and a
     teachers  lounge area in  behind this door.   Later I'll  show you the
     layout.  Let's keep going till we reach the next door."
          After trailing the wall for several yards, my fingers touched the
     door frame and the coach instructed me to walk through; showing me the
     stairwell.  Reaching  the top we turned right and walked down the hall
     until  reaching double  doors.   "Take it  easy when  you know  you're
     coming up on a doorway Phil," he warned.  "You never know if doors are
     going to  be opened or  closed.  Generally  these doors are  left open
     during  the day  time so there's  not much  of a problem  running into
     them."  We passed through and turned right again.  We were in the boys
     dorm.  "Your  room is the  third door  on the left,"  he said, "so  go
     ahead and trail the wall till you reach the third doorway."
          "I can't trail the left side of the hall you said."
          "You're right," he laughed,  "but we're all alone  for now so  go
     ahead."
          "But," I stammered, "how do I find  the third door when there are
     people around?"
          "Good question,"  the coach  acknowledged.  "As  you walk  down a
     narrow hall like this, you'll be able to hear the different acoustical
     changes in air pressure.  By that  I mean, when doors are open, you'll
     hear  and feel a  change in the  way the  sounds are bouncing  off the
     walls.  This works both indoors and outdoors but let's not worry about
     that right now.  Go ahead and trail the left wall and find your room."
          I obeyed and stopped at the third opening.  The coach  encouraged
     me into  the room and went over where  everything was situated.  I had
     done  this earlier  with my  family  when getting  settled but  didn't
     remember.  Each  pair of rooms was  inner connected by a  bathroom and
     shower.  The rooms likewise each had  two closets and two small desks.
     "Here's your  bed," he  said guiding me  to the far  end of  the room.
     It's right  up at  the end  next to the  windows.   Have you  met your
     roommate yet?"
          "No," I confessed, "I haven't met anybody."
          "Ok,  well,  your  roommate  is  a fellow  by  the  name  of John
     Klingman.  John's  a nice fellow from  Western Nebraska.  He  lives so
     far away that  he isn't  able to  get home much  except for  holidays.
     John's here most weekends.  Ok, let's go  back the way we came.  We'll
     spend a  couple of hours just learning how  to get you from your room,
     down to the dinning room, and to the main office  in the school.  That
     way  when you  go to  supper tonight  and breakfast  tomorrow morning,
     you'll be able to find it  yourself.  Then after breakfast, I'll  meet
     you at the office and I'll teach you how to get around the school."
          We  spent  the  next  two hours  trailing  the  walls,  examining
     doorways, and  learning the floor  plan of the  dorm area.   The coach
     showed me how to locate the door  of the dinning room, where my  table
     was, and to which chair I was assigned.   "How am I going to find this
     table,"  I  said  with a  twinge  of  fear in  my  voice,  "there's no
     reference to guide me to this spot."
          He took me back to the doorway and let me feel  the table nearest
     the door.  "If  you put your left hand out, you'll  feel the chairs as
     you pass by.  When  you reach the end of the table,  there'll be about
     three more steps  till you reach your  table."  I tried  several times
     but  missed the second table repeatedly.
          Finally the  coach stopped  and said, "Here,  Phil, come  over to
     this wall.  You are directly across from your place at the table.  Now
     trail the wall  back to the doorway which leads into the dinning hall.
     I did so  and then upon his instructions, retraced  my steps; trailing
     the way to  where he stood.   "Did you feel  the mortar cracks in  the
     wall as you walked," he asked."
          "Yes, I did," I confessed.
          "How many where there?"
          "I didn't count," I admitted sheepishly.
          "Ok.  Go back to the door and count the cracks as you walk toward
     me."  I did so and stopped.  "Well, how many?"
          "Three," I announced proudly.
          "NOw," he said, "after coming to the third crack, turn left, walk
     about three  steps and you'll be  right at your  chair.  I did  so and
     found it promptly.  We practiced it a few more times to insure I would
     target  the chair  and  then retreated  down the  hallway to  the main
     office.
          "Do you  think you can find  this office from your  room tomorrow
     morning Phil?" the coach inquired.
          "I think so," I said with some hesitation.
          "Well, before  I take  you to your  first class  of the  day, why
     don't you walk from here,  down the hall, up to  the dorm and to  your
     room and then come back again by yourself.  Do you think you can do it
     alone?"
          "I think so," I said again with a little more hesitancy.
          "I'll watch from here in case  you get stuck.  If you  don't come
     back shortly, and if  you get lost, just stop and  wait for awhile and
     I'll come looking for you.
          After going  over the  number of door  openings between  where we
     stood and the door to the dorm, I moved off slowly.  I managed to made
     it each time  successfully without getting lost and by the third time,
     the coach said,  "Ok, that's it  for this morning.   I'll take  you to
     your next class and tomorrow we'll learn more of the building."
          "How will  I get to where  I need to go  in the school today?   I
     don't know  my way around."  I could  feel hot tears beginning to seep
     from the corners of my eyes.
          "Oh, don't worry about that.  We always assign somebody to you to
     help you get from class to class and to lunch or the bathroom and just
     about any other  place you need to  go.  If you get  stranded or lost,
     just let somebody  know and they'll be glad to help you.  The teachers
     all know you're  knew and they  keep an  eye out for  the new kids  so
     don't worry Buddy."
          After introducing me  to Mrs. Girdis, the coach left  and I began
     my first Braille lesson.  "You are my only Braille student during this
     hour Phil," she said.  "I have a couple of other students who are also
     new  to  the  school and  you'll  probably  be  moved  to their  class
     eventually but for now it's just you and me.  Here, take a seat  right
     here and let's visit."
          After  talking for a  bit, Mrs. Girdis  placed a  single sheet of
     heavy  paper in front of me.   "Here's a sheet  of Braille paper.  See
     how it's much thicker than normal typing paper?"  I felt the paper and
     agreed.
          "How's come it's so thick like this?"
          "Well," she  said lifting a Braille  writer on to my  disk, "this
     Braille writer  uses thicker paper so that  the Braille dots will stay
     on the page longer  after being read many times."   She rolled a piece
     of  paper into the  machine and  told me to  go ahead  and explore the
     device.  "You'll be using one of these every day," she  continued as I
     felt  the cool metal,  "but we won't  get too worried  about that just
     yet."
          Sliding  the machine  to the  side, she  placed another  sheet of
     paper in  front of  me and said,  "Here, Phil,  feel this."   The dots
     under my fingers felt tiny.
          "I'll never be able to feel these little things," I protested.
          "She laughed  jovially; her voice  sounding like tiny bells  in a
     wind chime.  "Oh, that's what everybody says but you'll get on to  it.
     We're not  in any hurry  right now so  don't worry too much  about all
     this at first."
          My tears  filled my  eyes many  times that  first day.   I  cried
     during  class when my mind drifted back to my family.  I cried between
     classes when listening to all the students talking and laughing.  "How
     could they be so  happy when I was  so sad?" I  wondered.  I cried  at
     lunch  and went into the  visitors area and sat  on one of the couches
     and  cried during  the entire  thirty minutes  of free  time following
     lunch.   That was something  I would practice  daily for the  next two
     weeks.   I longed  for night to  come when this terrible  day would be
     over.   Then I  could lay  in my  bed, I  thought, and  cry all  night
     without being interrupted.
          "Hello, Phil.  My name is Mr. Bower.  I'm the shop teacher."  His
     voice was deep and somehow  kind.  "This is the last class  of the day
     and believe  it or not,  you're the only student  in the class."   Mr.
     Bower began taking me on a tour of the shop; showing me different work
     tables, tool cabinets,  and power tolls.   We spent  most of the  time
     just  getting  used to  walking  about  the  shop  area.   It  was  so
     confusing.
          "I'm  not sure I can find  my way out of  hear," I said with some
     concern.
          "Here," Mr. Bower  said, "listen to this."  I heard him walk away
     and then  from the  other side of  the shop he  said, "Listen  to this
     Phil."  He tapped on the school bell with his wedding ring.  "This  is
     where the bell is and when it rings, you can listen for it's direction
     and head for it when the bell sounds."
          "Hey," I said confidently, "that's a pretty good idea!"
          "Yeah," Mr. Bower said, "you'll learn a lot of little things like
     that  which help you get  around.  It won't take  long so don't worry.
     Everybody's here to help yah'"
          When the bell  rang, I turned and listened  for it's location and
     began moving toward it.  "Be careful Phil.  Go slow whenever you're in
     the shop  because you'll never know what might  be just sittin' out in
     the way."
          "Ok," I said, "I'll go slow."  He didn't  have to really warn me,
     I wasn't going to move quickly in an area which I was unfamiliar.
          "Can yah find your way back to your dorm?"
          "Well," I hesitated at the door, "I haven't learned my way around
     in the school yet but I know I can find my way from the office."
          "Here," he said walking over to  the door, "I'll guide you up  to
     the office then."
          Approaching  the double  doors of the  boys side  of the  dorm, I
     slowed down.  I could hear voices coming from the various rooms.  "The
     doors  must be  opened," I  thought  and touched  their cold  surface.
     Turning right  I edged over  to the left side  of the hall.   I wasn't
     supposed to do that but until I figured out what the coach was talking
     about with acoustics and air pressures,  I didn't have any choice.   I
     listened carefully as I  walked to make sure no one  would come out of
     their room and collide with me.
          Touching  the door  frame  of the  third  room, I  walked in  and
     gingerly crossed the room; feeling for my  bed.  Finding it, I dropped
     on  it and immediately  burst into tears.   I felt  terribly alone and
     sobbed from my acute home sickness.
          "Hello Philip," a  woman said close by; I hadn't heard her enter.
     "I'm  Miss Kopache, the dorm mother."  I was crying so hard I couldn't
     responde to her greeting.  "I know it's hard being away from home like
     this but there  are plenty of kids  here to get  to know and it  won't
     take too  long.  Here, let me  show you around the dorm  a little bit.
     Things   always   seem   better  when   you're   familiar   with  your
     surroundings."  I wasn't at all interested in going  with her.  I just
     wanted to be left alone to cry but I got to my feet  and let her guide
     me to the main area of the dorm.
          After showing me the  location of the tables,  chairs, television
     set,  book shelves, and  the back door  exit, she visited  with me for
     awhile; trying  to lift my spirits.   "Oh, did I tell you  my name was
     Miss Kopache?"
          "Yes," I said sheepishly.  "That's kind of a different name."
          "Yes," she laughed, "the new kids all remember it when they first
     come because it sounds kind of like an indian name...apache, you know"
          Some  of the  kids began  entering  the dorm  carrying books  and
     Braille writers.  They  were talking and laughing and acting like they
     were having a good time.  "How," I thought,  "could anyone have a good
     time in a place like this.  I don't even know any of  these kids and I
     probably never  will.  I  bet I get  my sight back  any day now  and I
     won't have to stay here any longer."
          "Supper is at 5:30," I heard her saying, "and the kids have about
     an  hour before they have to come in to  get washed up.  I ring a bell
     out one of the  back windows here to signal everybody to come in about
     5 o'clock but  I doubt any of the  children will want to  go out today
     since  it's so cold and snowy."  I  wasn't listening; I just wanted to
     be left alone.
          "Can I go back to my room now?" I asked, sounding detached.
          "Oh, sure,"  she said.  Do you think you can find your way?"  She
     led me  to the edge of the hallway leading  down to the various rooms.
     "Can  you make it from here?"  I  said I could and slowly edged my way
     down to the third door.  Finding my  bed once again, I sat on the edge
     and squeezing my eyes shut, began to cry silently.
          I heard him shuffling down the hallway.  He called out a greeting
     to the dorm mother and again to someone in one  of the bedrooms before
     mine.  His voice was loud but friendly and he laughed to himself as he
     walked.   His books  and Braille  writer banged  against the  wall and
     again  on the door frame as he felt  for the opening and stepping into
     my room, he dropped his books and Braille  writer on his desk.  "Whose
     that?" I said hesitantly.
          "Oh, I didn't know anybody was in here.  You must be the new kid.
     I'm John, John Klingman.  I'm your roommate.  Where are you from?"
          "I live in Omaha," I said matter of factly.
          "Oh, yeah," well I'm a farm kid  from way out in western Nebraska
     in a place called Chapel.  Ever heard of it?"
          "Nope,"  I confessed,  "I  guess I  haven't.    A farm,  huh?"  I
     questioned.
          "Yeah.  You a farm kid, too?"
          "No," I  said wishfully, "but  I spent lots  of time on  farms in
     Iowa where I came from."
          "Oh, yeah.  Well, those Iowa farmers sure raise lots of  corn and
     pigs and stuff," he said with admiration.
          Maybe this kid wouldn't  be half bad as a roommate.   "What'd you
     say your name was again?" I asked.
          "I'm John.  What's yours?"
          "I'm Phil."
          "What's your last name Phil."  I told him.
          "Hummm," John said  pulling at his chin, "don't  reckon I've ever
     heard that one before."
          John and I spent the rest of the hour visiting and  talking about
     the school.  He told me  about each of the teachers and where  most of
     them were from  and what they taught.   He talked about  the wrestling
     team and the  bowling alley and  swimming pool.  "yeah,  every Tuesday
     night we have  a recreation night for  a couple of  hours.  We get  to
     swim or bowl or play around in the gym.
          That's nice," but I really wasn't interested since I'd be getting
     my sight back and leaving this awful place.
          John snapped his Braille watch  closed and announced, "Well, it's
     time for supper.  I'm hungry, too."
          "How'd you do that?" I questioned.
          "Do what?"
          "How'd you know the time?"
          "Oh," he said, "I have a Braille watch.  You ever see one?"
          "No," I said, curiosity getting the best of me.
          "Here," he said shuffling over to my  chair, "let me show you how
     they work."
          After  examining the watch,  I said, "How  do you feel  the crazy
     thing?"
          "Feel along side  the right side of the  watch," John instructed.
     "Feel the long skinny button-like thing above the stem?"
          "Yeah," I said slowly, I feel it."
          "Push it in."
          "Wow!" I exclaimed, "it opened."
          "Sure," John  said, "that's how they  work.  "Be kind  of careful
     now and put your finger inside.  You'll feel the  hands and dots where
     the numbers are for each hour."
          I followed his instructions but though I could feel the hands and
     dots, they all seemed to run together and I told him so.
          "I know what you  mean.  That's only  cuz you aren't used  to it.
     Once you  get on to using one  for awhile, you'll be able  to read the
     time just fine like any sighted person."
          Snapping  his watch  closed, I  returned it  to him  and silently
     disagreed.   "I'll  never get  used to  reading one  of those  things.
     Besides," I thought,  "I'll be gettin' my  sight back any day  now and
     won't need one of those dumb Braille watches."
          John moved to the bathroom.  I heard the water run.  He  whistled
     as he  washed.   "Boy," he  sighed upon  returning to  the room,  "I'm
     really hungry tonight.  It's nearly supper time, too."
          I  didn't want  to go  to supper;  I didn't  want to eat;  I just
     wanted to  stay in my room and cry.   The warm tears touched my cheeks
     once again.  "Do you know where  your seat is in the dinning room?" he
     questioned.
          "I think so," I said a little dubiously.
          "Oh, well,  don't  worry about  that.   We'll see  yah find  your
     place."
          "Everybody up  to the front,"  came Miss Kopche's voice  down the
     hall.  I  got to my feet and  wiped the tears from my  face.  The kids
     were all talking and  laughing again.  I felt them all  about me as we
     stood at the double doors waiting.
          "John," I called, "what we waitin' for?"
          "The girls dorm  is straight down this here  hallway," John said,
     tapping one  of the closed  double doors with  a finger nail,  "and we
     always let them go first."
          "Ok," Miss Kopache announced, "go ahead."  The  doors were pushed
     open and the kids pressed forward.  I stood still; waiting till I knew
     no one was in  my way and stepped forward hesitantly;  feeling for the
     left wall.  I  knew that was against the rules but they were all ahead
     of me so I wasn't afraid of crashing into anyone.
          "You're doing  just fine," I  heard Miss Kopache say, "just trail
     the wall down to the second  doorway and that'll be the stairs."   She
     followed me to  the dinning  room and I  found my  chair by using  the
     method the  mobility instructor  had taught me.   "That's  great," the
     house mother encouraged."   I began to pull my chair  out to sit down.
     "Wait," she said close to my ear and her hand over mine, "we all stand
     behind  our chair and someone rings a bell allowing each of us to pray
     to  ourself before  we are  seated."   I  listened as  the  bell rang,
     sounding just like an electric door bell, which I found out later was,
     and silence fell for a few seconds.  Then the doorbell rang once again
     and everyone sat to eat.
          Eating at the  school for the blind  was different at first.   We
     had to pass food to those seated beside us.  We were taught how to cut
     meat and scoop peas on to our fork.   Time was taken to teach how meat
     could be  cut without  assistance, how  to butter bread,  how to  pour
     syrup on pancakes, and  how to cut up a  tough old baked potato  skin.
     None of these things were too difficult for me since I had seen before
     but  I still  found myself  uneasy  and self  conscious eating  around
     others even if they were blind.
          Finally the  evening meal was  over and I followed  the murmuring
     voices back  up the stairs to  the dorm and my  room.  Now I  would be
     left alone.
          At 8:00 o'clock we had study hour.  I let my fingers slide slowly
     over the bumps on the page I had been given in Braille class that day.
     Some of the bumps felt  familiar but most felt  like just bumps.   Why
     were they making me learn this stuff?  I knew I wouldn't be needing it
     cuz I was gonna' be getting all my sight back before too long.
          "Ok  everybody," came the house mother's  voice floating down the
     hall, "time to get ready for bed."
          "What's that all about John?" I inquired.
          "Time to hit the old showers," he said pushing his chair back and
     closing our door.
          "We gotta do this every night like this?"
          "Yep," he said with a yawn, "every night we study at 8:00 o'clock
     and then at nine we take showers and have to be in bed by ten.  
          "Ten!" I said with genuine astonishment.
          I  explored the  little  bathroom cautiously  but found  taking a
     shower before bed pleasant.  I looked forward to bed, too.  In fact, I
     had been desirous  of getting to bed  all day so I  could continue the
     cry that kept getting delayed  because of all that had  been happening
     throughout the busy day.
          John and I talked softly after getting into bed about the school,
     what time we  had to rise in  the morning, who the  teachers were, and
     how long he had been coming to the Nebraska school for the blind.  The
     door opened and  the light switched  on, "Good night boys,"  the house
     mother said and snapping the light off again, the door closed.
          Finally I could  cry.  I pulled  the little bear skin  animal Mom
     had gotten for me to spread over my pillow close  to me and hugged him
     tightly and thought of  my family.  I waited for the tears to come but
     strangely  they refused me  comfort.  The  Lord must  have answered my
     family's  prayers that night and every night thereafter.  The tears of
     the day were simply not available to me at night and I felt a  strange
     sense of peace.
          Though I had prepared myself to spend the night emersed in tears,
     I was  jolted to reality  at the 6:00 A.M.  bell.  When  the deafening
     sounds died away, I  heard John on the  other end of the room  yawning
     voluminously.  "Hi John," I said almost cheerfully.
     "Mornin' Phil.  How'd you sleep?"
     "Just great.  I didn't think I was gonna" though."
     "Well," John said  through another large yawn, "this  place takes some
     getting used to but it isn't really too bad."
     "What we gotta do now?" I wondered aloud.
     "Well,  breakfast  is  at 7:00  O'clock  so  we have  an  hour  to get
     dressed."
     "Can we leave our rooms?"
     "Nope,"  he  muttered  climbing from  his  bed;  the springs  creaking
     loudly.   "They don't want us leaving our  rooms because it might slow
     down some of the other younger kids in getting ready so we stay put."
     "What is  there to do  during this whole  hour then?" I  said somewhat
     puzzled.
     "Well, get dressed,  brush your teeth, and make your bed for starters.
     I don't have  a radio but if  you do, we can  listen to it."   We were
     done in less than an hour and got in more visiting until breakfast.
          The dorm was empty; I was the last to leave.  Skimming the walls,
     I made my way down  to the lower floor  and slowly traversed the  long
     hallway from the  dorm to the school  office.  Touching the  open door
     frame, I hesitated.  The receptionist spoke and asked me if I had need
     of anything.   I told her the  mobility instructor, Mr. Davis,  said I
     was to meet him here.
          "Oh, well, just call him coach.  We all do,  even me, and I'm his
     wife.   Have a seat right there by  the door.  He'll be here shortly."
     I felt the couch next to the door with my leg and sat.
          "Mornin' Phil," the coach  said confidently.  "I see you  made it
     downstairs by yourself without mishap...at least I don't see any bumps
     on your head."
     "Yes," I said, laughing and matching his confident tone.
     ""Well, you ready to go some more then?"
     "Sure," I said getting to my feet.
          Leaving the  office the coach  said, "The school is  real easy to
     learn.   We'll  learn the  top floor  first.   The  basement floor  is
     exactly as the top, so once you get this one down, you'll already know
     the lower level."
          Two hours later  we were done and  he had been right.   Each hall
     was a single corridor running north and south.  The only difference in
     the two floors  were the classrooms  themselves.  The lower  level was
     even easier to learn with the gymnasium being  at one end, the shop at
     the other, and mostly school lockers between.
          "It's pretty cold outside, Phil," the coach said, "you better get
     your heavy coat and some gloves."
          "What we gonna do today, Coach?"
          "Well, since it's  Friday, and since  you've already learned  the
     entire building, I thought I'd take you outside and show you  a little
     of the campus.  You won't need to  know much of this right now because
     most of  the kids  don't spend  much time outside  during the  winter.
     I'll meet you at the front doors after you've gotten your coat."
          Five minutes later  we stood at the  front doors.  I  buttoned my
     coat and slid my gloves on.
          "Do you remember  coming up three sets  of steps Monday when  you
     and your  family came?"   He watched my  face carefully for  any signs
     that  perhaps the mention of  my family would bring  on a case of home
     sickness.
          "Yeah," I said, "I sure do."
          "Good," he said, remembering it was  Friday and I'd be going home
     soon for  the weekend.   "The sidewalk  goes down  to the  parking lot
     directly  in front  of the building.   There's a  walkway going either
     direction from there  and I think we'll just walk  together around the
     area for now.  When the weather is better, I'll  take you around again
     but by then other kids will probably have shown you the whole place."
          Leaving  the breezeway,  we  pushed into  the cold  December air.
     "Watch your step, Phil," he warned, "there's lots of little patches of
     ice on the walks."
          Thirty  minutes  later we  had  returned  to  the warmth  of  the
     building.   "Phil,  go hang  up your  coat and come  back down  to the
     waiting  room.  We'll  visit for awhile  since you have  a few minutes
     before your Braille class with Mrs. Girdis.
          Upon returning to the  waiting room, I found the  Coach seated on
     one  of the  long vinyl  couches.   "Have  a seat,  Philip,"  he said,
     patting the couch so I  could hear where he was.  Locating  it with my
     foot, I sat and made myself comfortable.
          "Phil, how has school been going this week for you?"    "Well," I
     said, "pretty good I guess."
          "You made any friends yet?"
          "Well,  yeah," I  hesitated as  I  thought.   "John Klingman,  of
     course, since he's my roommate and the first person I've really gotten
     to know.   I  made friends  with Mike  Jamison.   He came  to my  room
     Tuesday night  and he  talked with  me and  John for  about two  hours
     before we had to break up for our study hall at 8 o'clock."
          "That's good.  Mike's a good guy.  He's a farm kid, too.  Did you
     know that?"
          "Yeah, that's what he said."
          "Mike's one of our best wrestlers, too.  Would you like to be  on
     the wrestling team?"
          "Well, I guess so.  I guess I could learn."
          "Oh, sure you could," the Coach  said confidently.  "We'll wait a
     little while for that though because you  have lots of other things to
     get used to first."
          Silence fell between  us and I  rubbed warmth  back into my  cold
     ears.
          "Phil," the  Coach began,  "I want you  to know  that in  all the
     years  I've been here  teaching mobility, I've never  seen a kid learn
     this building as fast as you did."
          "That so?" I said, uncertain how to responde.
          "Yes," he continued.  "You learned this entire building, both the
     school and dorm,  in just two  days and only  two hours each  session.
     I've never seen anyone learn that quickly."
          "How long do others take?" I wondered out loud.
          "Well, I've never  seen any kid hear  learn the building  in less
     than two  weeks.   You  are to  be commended  for being  such a  quick
     learner.  I'm sure you'll do well here, Phil.  I know being away  from
     your  family for the first  time like this is  pretty hard, it was for
     me, but you seem to be adjusting to it quite well."
          I  had no answer  for him because  I still hated  it; I was still
     lonely,  I  was  still  home  sick, and  I  never  wanted  to  return.
     "Besides, I was  going home today, I  thought, "and in a  week or two,
     I'll be gettin' my sight back and won't need this place."    "It's
     time to wake up Philip," her voice pierced the gloom as lights through
     the fog.
          "Oh, Mom,"  I don't  wanna get up  and I don't  wanna go  back to
     school."
          "I know it  Honey," she said  quietly, trying not to  wake anyone
     else in the house.  "You've got to go though."
               I began to  cry softly.  "Please  Mom, don't make me  go," I
     pleated, "I hate it."
          "Come on, now, I've got some breakfast down on the table.   We've
     got to eat so I can get you to school  on time.  I've got to drive all
     the way back in order to get to the doctor's office on time."
          We ate in silence.  I chewed my toast mechanically; never tasting
     its flavor.   The weekend  had been too  short.  I  dreaded every hour
     because it brought me closer to  the time I'd have to return.   At the
     same time I cherished  each hour because I was home.   My tears seeped
     from beneath my eye lids and slid down my face.
          "I'm sorry Philip," my Mom tried to say but her words trailed off
     and I could hear the tears in her voice, too.
          Suddenly she brightened.  "Hey, you only have one more week, five
     days, before Christmas  vacation.   Then you'll be  home for two  full
     weeks."
          "I  don't care," I  said gloomily, "I  don't want to  go back.  I
     don't need that school.  I'm  gonna get my..." my voice cracked  and I
     was unable to finish.
          Mom stood  and began clearing the  table.  "I've  got your little
     suitcase all packed.  Go get your coat...it's time to go or I won't be
     able to get back to work in time."
          We stood  in my  room, unpacking the  suitcase, and  arranging my
     close on the shelves and hangers.
          "I've got to  leave now Honey,"  Mom said almost  apologetically.
     "I'll be back Friday  right after school to  pick you up.   We'll have
     lots of  fun over the Christmas holidays.   Maybe you'll be able to do
     some of the ice skating down on the pond in the park.   It's been cold
     enough," but her voice lack conviction.
          I cried hard and held her close once again; my mind flashing back
     to just a week earlier when we  had stood in the breezeway.  All those
     emotions rushed back and crashed over me like a tidal wave.  I sobbed.
          Untangling herself from  my grasp, she walked to  the door, "Good
     bye Philip.   I'll be back Friday," and she quickly left the room so I
     couldn't hear her crying.
          Following lunch  I made my  way to the  visitor's room, as  I had
     every day since coming to the school, and finding my favorite couch, I
     sat and began to cry.
          "Hello," came a friendly voice.
          "Hello," I croaked, trying to clear my voice.
          "My name is Lynn Blesh. Aren't you the new kid in school?"
          "Oh, yeah," I stuttered.  "This is only my second week."
          "Well,"  he said,  "I've noticed  you sitting  in here  every day
     after lunch by yourself.  Mind if I join you?"
          "No," I  said sighing, "suit yourself," wishing he'd go away so I
     could continue crying.
          "I live right here in Nebraska City.  Where you from?"
          "Omaha," I sniffled.
          "Oh, well, I got lots of friends there."
          Drying my  face with  my hands,  I said,  "You say  your name  is
     Lynn?"
          "Yep, Lynn."
          "And you say you live here in Nebraska City?"
          "Yeah, I live here in town."
          "That mean you go home every night I guess?"
          "That's right.  I used to live  out of town and stayed here every
     night just like most  of the kids do now.  My folks  moved here and my
     mom got a job so we live here."
          "Guess it's kinda nice being able to go home each night," I said;
     it wasn't a question.
          "Oh, yeah,  that's pretty nice  I guess.   I walk home  by myself
     during the warmer months."
          "Really," I said, my voice  elevating with interest, "How far you
     gotta go?"
          "'Bout ten  blocks but it's  straight up tenth avenue  and pretty
     easy to do."
          "Hey," Lynn  said, changing the  subject abruptly,  "you got  any
     hobbies?"
          "Hobbies?" I said, "what you mean by that?"
          "Well, you have anything you like doing for fun."
          "I used to put model cars together."
          "Yeah?  That sounds good.  I'm into ham radio."
          "What's that?"
          "Ham  radio is  where  you get  a license  by  learning a  little
     electronics and the Morse code."
          "Oh, really," I said, becoming  interested.  "That sounds  pretty
     fun."
          "Oh, yeah, it is.   I don't have my license yet but  I'm studying
     for it now and should get it before too long.  You wanna see our radio
     room?"
          "Sure," I said, my voice brightening, "I'd really like that."
          I heard his Braille watch snap shut.  "I tell you what, it's just
     a couple minutes  before the next class starts.  Can  you meet me back
     here right after school?"
          "Sure," I said.  "I got shop  class with Mr. Bower last thing and
     I'll  check in up  at the dorm  with Miss  Kopache and then come right
     down."
          "That'd be great," Lynn said with a little laugh.
          Immediately after school, I dumped my books on my desk, and asked
     Mrs. Kopache for permission to go downstairs  to meet Lynn.   A minute
     later I was in the visitor's room.
          "Phil, you here yet?" Lynn called, entering.
          "Yep, I'm here.  Let's go."
          My new  friend showed  me the radio  equipment and  explained how
     each piece  of gear  worked.   "The antennas  are on the  roof of  the
     building so we get out pretty well," he said, tuning the receiver to a
     sideband signal.
          "Boy," I said, "I'd sure like to get my license, too."
          "Well,  listen," Lynn  said, "I'll  bring some  of the  tapes Bob
     Lockwood made for us and you can start."
          "Whose Bob Lockwood?" I asked.
          "Bob is a guy who is nearly blind himself.  He lives in Omaha but
     he has helped several of us working toward getting our license.  Hey,"
     Lynn said, his voice elevating, "Since Bob lives in Omaha.   I'll give
     you Bob's phone number and you can call him next time you're home."
          "That'd be  great," I  confirmed.   "So  tell me  more about  ham
     radio.   I was  getting into electronics  just before  I had  my eye's
     worked on."
          "You were," Lynn said, "how so?"
          "Well, I  was over at  a friends house and  his brother was  a TV
     repair man.  I  got interested in all the electronic stuff and he said
     I should get  my ham license.  Since  I didn't know what  that was, he
     took me into his radio room and showed me his station.  He said he had
     a novice license  and let  me play around  with the receiver.   I  had
     forgotten about  it until you brought me here  today.  I think he said
     he had an HQ129X, or something like that, for a receiver."
          "Hey," Lynn said, surprised, "that's what I've got at home."
          "Hey, that's neat," I replied.   "Well, anyhow, that's when I got
     interested in  this stuff but  then I started  having trouble  with my
     eyes and forgot about all of it  till now.  Thanks Lynn for telling me
     about ham radio."
          Lynn and  I became close friends at the  school for the blind and
     we  spent  every spare  minute  in  the radio  room  playing with  the
     equipment,  listening to the receiver, practicing  the Morse code, and
     studying the  electronics needed to past the  written exam.  It helped
     take the edge off my home sickness.
          "Hello Philip," Mom said  coming into my room, "are you  ready to
     go home for Christmas?  I brought somebody with me."
          "Who'd you bring Mom?" I wanted to know.
          "Hello Philip."
          "Janice?  Is that you?"
          "Yes, it's me."
          "What are you doing here?"
          "I'm here, too," her sister Jo Ann said.
          "Jo?  Man, this is really something."
          "That's not all," Mom said,  cutting in before we could continue.
     "Your Uncle Fred is here, too."
          "Hi, Phil," he said in his quiet manner.  "How you doin'"
          "Uncle Fred, boy it's good to hear your  voice.  Did you drive up
     here all the way from Wichita?"
          "Yep," he said confidently, "drove up last night."
          I  quickly forgot  about my  home  sickness, the  school for  the
     blind, and my blindness.  This was going to be a great Christmas.
          "How long do you  and your sister get to stay  Janice," I said on
     the way home.
          "Well, we are staying just this week and then my Mom is going  to
     drive over from Des Moines to pick us up for Christmas."
          "Boy," I said, "a whole week...that's great."
          After arriving home,  we had something to eat and then sat in the
     living room.   "Your Uncle Fred  has something to  give you Philip,  I
     heard Mom say.
          I heard  Uncle Fred  get up  from his  seat and  cross the  room.
     "Here ya' go  Philip," he said, his  voice soft and gentle  as always.
     "I bought you  this here watch back in  Des Moines at the  blind place
     downtown."
          I  turned the  watch over  in my hands  and felt  its smoothness.
     After a  moment I  said, "Where's  the button  to push so  I can  feel
     inside.  I saw one watch like this at school but the button was on the
     right side."
          "Here,"  Janice  said,  "there's  a  little  button down  at  the
     bottom."  Guiding  my fingers, she showed me the button.  "Push that,"
     she instructed, "I bet that'll do it.
          It did.  "Man!" I exclaimed, "it's smaller than the one  I saw at
     school."
          "Can you feel it?" everybody wanted to know at once.
          "Well, I  don't know.  It is kind of difficult since I'm not used
     to it."
          "Well," Mom said assuredly, "you'll get on to it."
          Over the  next few  days, everyone asked  me what  time it  was a
     couple of times an hour.   By Christmas I was getting used to  feeling
     the tiny hands and the sharp Braille dots.  I finally discovered, with
     help, that 3, 6, and 9 had two dots side-by-side and all the odd hours
     had a single  dot.  The 12  o'clock position had three  vertical dots.
     It gave me a sense of pride to be able to tell the time for myself.
          "Thanks a lot Uncle Fred," I said.  "I hope you  didn't spend too
     much on it."
          "Oh, that's all right.  It wasn't much.  Do you like it?"
          "You bet.  It's really nice."
          It felt  good being home and with friends,  too.  Janice had been
     my girlfriend at church just before I lost my sight.  I hadn't thought
     of her much  in the past  two weeks because  home sickness and  school
     itself had captured most  of my emotions.  Now I got  to spend a whole
     week with her and her sister, plus Uncle Fred, too.
          "Philip?" Kay began,  "I wanted to buy you  something really nice
     for Christmas but I'm not sure now if you'll want it."
          "Why wouldn't I want  it Kay," I said  puzzled as to why she  was
     worried about getting me something for Christmas.
          I was in my  room playing with bingo, my new dog,  on my bed when
     she had entered.  We sat quiet now, listening to every word, unable to
     figure out what was wrong.
          "Well," I  was going to get  you that big toe truck  that runs on
     batteries  we've seen advertized on television so much this year.  You
     know," she said, "that one that  has a siren, lights, and a  hook that
     goes up-and-down in back just like a real toe truck?"
          "Sure," I said, my eyes lighting  up.  "That'd be really neat  to
     have."
          "You  mean,"  she  stammered,  "you  would  still  like  to  have
     something like that?"
          "Sure," I agreed, "why not?"
          "Well,"  she  started, "I  just  thought since  you  couldn't see
     it..." and her voice trailed away.
          "Oh, no," I said  firmly, "that would be super to  have something
     like  that.  Why I could  take it outside and..."   The next night, my
     sister  took me downtown, purchased the truck,  and we carried it home
     on the crowded city bus.
          "Wake up Philip," Mom  said pulling on my covers.   "It's time to
     get up."
          "What time  is it?" I  said, attempting to feel  my Braille watch
     and determine the time myself.
          "It's 6 o'clock.  We've got to get moving."
          Suddenly it  dawned on me.   Christmas vacation was  over; school
     had come again.  I felt sick inside again as I remembered the emotions
     of  being separated from  my family and  living in the  school for the
     blind.
          As I  sat in the  car huddled close  to the  heater, tears in  my
     eyes, I told my Mom how much I  hated the school and how much I wanted
     to stay at home.
          "You've got to  go to school there Philip.   They're teaching you
     Braille and you're learning  how to type.  They know  how to teach you
     other things, too, which will help  you live alone some day.  I  don't
     know how to do that for you; I've never been blind."
          "But I don't have any friends," I protested."
          "How about your roommate?  What's his name...John?"
          "Well, yeah, sure.  John Klingman.  He's a friend, sure, but..."
          "Well," she said slowing for  the first curve into Nebraska City,
     "What about your radio friend?  He's a  friend you said and he's going
     to help you get your radio license you said."
          She was right, of course,  but she didn't get it.  I  didn't want
     any friends  because I  wasn't going to  stay in  this school.   I was
     going to  get  my sight  back some  day.   I sat  silently; the  tears
     stinging my useless eyes.  I felt cold, though the heater was hot, and
     pulled my coat up about me.  "But  I never laugh; I never have any fun
     any more," my mouth was dry now and I had to struggle to get the words
     to form.
          "Oh, Honey," that can't be true," Mom countered.
          "It's true, Mom, I never laugh any more."
          Once again  I heard  my mother  leave the  building.   Kids  were
     returning  from breakfast and gathering their things from their rooms.
     I dried my tears, picked up my Braille writer, and left the room.
          That evening a strange thing happened.   I was setting in my room
     all  alone.  The  house father, Mr.  McCoy, a  young seminary student,
     came  bursting into my  room and grabbed  my arm.   "Come on Phil," he
     said excitedly, "I want you to see something."
          "What," I said, startled.
          "You'll see," he said breathlessly.
          After being seated  in one of the couches in the  big room of the
     dorm,  the house  father introduced me  to Steve  Mahanes.   Steve was
     ahead of me by a couple  of grades but he had come to  the school just
     before I did  and was learning  Braille.  Later  that week I  would be
     placed in the same Braille class with Steve and Bob Newman.  Steve now
     is a teacher at the school we both attended.
          "Here, you guys," Mr.  McCoy said, placing something rubbery  and
     wiggly in our hands, "tell me what this is."
          For the next two hours Steve and I laughed till our  sides ached.
     Mr. McCoy had  opened a box of rubber animals, some were hand puppets,
     and had us  guessing as to what  kinds of animals they were.   He made
     the game fun and had us both laughing the entire time.
          As I drifted off to sleep that evening, I knew my broken emotions
     had somehow been mended.  School didn't seem so awful  now, I did have
     new friends, I didn't seemed to be  afraid any more, and I didn't feel
     alone any longer.  Later I  discovered my Mother had prayed that  just
     such an experience would occur as she left the school that morning.
     My  years at  the school for  the blind  became routine.   I made many
     friends, joined  the wrestling team,  and competed with other  kids in
     every  aspect  of  school  competition.    Our  wrestling  team mostly
     competed with sighted kids, our  track teams with other blind schools,
     and our school choir traveled; performing  in schools in the area.   I
     learned to bowl in our two  lane bowling alley with a hand  guide rail
     along the side  of the lane.  I  used the swimming pool as  often as I
     was permitted.   Our shop  teacher, Mr. Bower,   built a  special pool
     table for  us.  The table was  on a slant.  Pockets  were cut into the
     right and left sides  and three at the high end of the  pool table.  A
     small padded island was placed at the far end to block the center hole
     which  was worth the most points.  Players would roll the ball up hill
     toward the opposite end.  If the ball dropped into a  pocket, it would
     slowly roll back down  to the player at  the other end which  then was
     retrieved from the opening where the  players stood.  How did we  know
     which hole [pocket]  we had hit?   The shop  teacher had placed  small
     pieces  of wood in  the running tracks  under the table.   If the ball
     clicked once as it bumped passed these sticks of  wood, we knew we had
     hit the side  pockets half way up  the slanting table.   If it clicked
     twice, we  had hit  a corner  pocket.   Finally, if  there were  three
     clicks sounded from the returning ball under the table, we knew we had
     scored the difficult center pocket hidden by the middle island.
          What  other things  do blind  students  do?   Besides the  normal
     school classes we all attended - math, English, biology, typing class,
     home economics, -  we spent lots of  time playing as any  normal child
     might.  We even played baseball; howbeit a little differently.
          During off season  of wrestling and track, we  spent our one hour
     gym class at the end of the day playing blind baseball.  Now they have
     manufactured a  beeping baseball and  softball which the blind  use to
     attempt to  simulate a  normal baseball game.   The  internal beepers,
     however, often cease to beep once the ball has been belted a couple of
     times.   Our blind baseball games  were slightly different.  The coach
     pitched a  soccer ball on  the ground to  totally blind batters.   We,
     unlike the partial sighted batter, were given four strikes.  We simply
     listened to the  approaching ball rolling through the  grass and swung
     when it  bounced over the  plate at our feet.   Usually, if  unable to
     connect after three strikes, we would request the coach prompt us when
     to swing.  Opposite team members were  placed on each base as callers.
     This was  a job  I normally hated  because many times  the approaching
     blind runner would  run you down before  stopping.  I learned  to leap
     out of  the way when I heard the pounding feet of an on-coming runner.
     If a hit struck any blind player standing in the infield - most of the
     partially sighted guys stood in the outfield to retrieve the ball - it
     was an automatic out.  You may  think this doesn't sound like much but
     we enjoyed it and the competition made it even better.
          Our  track  teams  consisted  of  shot  put,  basketball  throws,
     standing  high  jump,  other jumping  distance  competition,  and even
     running competitions.   In short  runs, such  as fifty and  sixty yard
     dashes, school mates stood on the other end of the field as callers to
     insure we ran  the correct direction.   On long distance runs  such as
     220 and 440 yard  runs, we generally teamed up with  partially sighted
     school mates who could keep us on the track around the field.  Most of
     this competition  we conducted between other blind  schools across the
     country.
          The  wrestling,   however,  was  generally   with  other  sighted
     wrestlers.  Once or twice a week  we competed with sighted schools all
     around our  school area.   We went  to the district  meets and  to the
     state competitions as well.   The wrestling team was perhaps  our most
     competitive sport and nearly all the boys were on the team.
          Many  unusual, generally funny,  questions are asked  about blind
     people.   I once had someone ask me if the halls at the school for the
     blind were constructed in a certain way to make it easy to get around.
     I was stumped by that  one.  I never could  figure out exactly what  a
     builder could do to make a hallway any easier to navigate  for someone
     blind.  A man even asked me in church one day if I knew sign language.
     As I stood, dumb founded and trying to figure out what in the world he
     was talking about, my Mother rescued me by informing the man  that her
     son didn't need  to know sign language.   "He's blind; not  deaf," she
     said matter of factly.
          The blind  are normal people.   We  own television sets  and even
     confess to watching TV.  We read books either on tape, in Braille, and
     now can  use adaptive  synthetic speech  and special scanning  devices
     which scan the printed page and then read the material  to us.  I used
     a talking computer to write this book.  We swim, ski, fish, play ball,
     ice  skate, and  can  even  target shoot  with  special adapted  laser
     riffles which beep when the target is synchronized with the weapon.  I
     rode my bicycle  often after going blind but  eventually even my small
     amount of light perception  made it difficult to stay on the sidewalk.
     To  compensate, I began  riding with my  little sister.   Banana seats
     came out just at the time I lost my sight.  Ruth rode on the front and
     steered; I rode  on the  back and  peddled.  We  eventually made  life
     easier buy  purchasing a tandem  bicycle.  We  roller skated  often at
     school in  the gym and I  likewise skated the  sidewalks and driveways
     around my house  during the summers.   I loved winter ice  skating the
     most.   I've even flown  a single  engine airplane -  not alone -  and
     controlled the plane during take off.  Funny though; the pilot refused
     to allow me to land by myself.
          This chapter has been included in my story to simply show what it
     was like  going blind, leaving  home, and attempting to  learn Braille
     and  other needed  skills to function  in a  sighted society.   I only
     remained  at  the school  for the  blind  for three  and a  half years
     because of my interest  in joining in an  innovative idea whereby  the
     blind  student attends his  or her  own public  school in  their area.
     This is becoming the  norm in many blind student  state programs today
     because it helps prepare the blind student for college where he may be
     the only blind student.
          This  transition was  extremely difficult  for  me.   It made  me
     realize I was indeed blind and that I was viewed differently  by those
     in society  who could  see.   Although many  now know  that the  blind
     community have talented people who can hold jobs, pay taxes, and raise
     families just  as any normal person, there is  still a large amount of
     people unwilling to accept the abilities of a blind man or woman.  You
     will see just how true this statement is in another chapter.


                            End Of Chapter 6

                             LIQUID PURPLE

                                   BY

                              PHIL SCOVELL




                           Copyright 1991-2004

                            By Phil Scovell

                          All Rights Reserved



          Reproduction of the book  entitled "Liquid Purple" is granted  by
          the copyright holder, Phil Scovell,  if such reproduction is done
          in the  spirit in which it  was given.  It may  not be reproduced
          and sold  for financial gain  without written  permission of  the
          copyright  holder: Phil  Scovell.    Electronic  formats  may  be
          distributed freely  but this  copyright notice  must remain  with
          each  copy and  the  text cannot  be  altered in  any  way.   For
          convenience, this copyright notification may be placed at the end
          of the document  if reproduced electronically.   If chapters  and
          sections  of the  book entitled  "Liquid Purple" is  separated in
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          distribution,  this copyright notice must appear somewhere within
          each individual file.


          CONTACT INFORMATION

          Phil Scovell
          840 South Sheridan Boulevard
          Denver, Colorado  80226-8017
          Email:  phil@redwhiteandblue.org
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