Well, I am back at the Children’s Center. I only stayed a few weeks in the Receiving Unit before I was placed in Cottage E. My sister J had to go to a different cottage because she was older and the cottages were organized by age. I didn’t get to see her, except when we had “gym time”. Gym time was fun. We could play outside, and when the weather was bad we could roller skate on the gym floor, or play dodge ball. On Saturdays we would watch movies on the big screen in the gym, we would get served popcorn and Kool Aide. It was lots of fun! There was a swimming pool at the orphanage. I enjoyed swimming. There were horses, too. People would come and we would have 4H classes and girl scouting. Sometimes we went to watch the local professional baseball players play. After the game they would raffle things off like bicycles, season passes, even ponies. They would call out the number on the admission tickets, and if that number matched your ticket you were the winner. I still remember that night as I heard the numbers being called out and repeating them. O my goodness! My numbers matched! I had won a pony! Can you believe it! It was really neat to go down to the corral and see “Buster”, not to mention the fact that it was really cool to have the the kids at the orphanage treat me like I was a celebrity. I must admit I really liked the attention.
I would have to say that Mr. & Mrs. R, the cottage parents for Cottage E, were the best ever. After the foster home experience, my caseworker tried one more time to reunite me with my family, but I just could not handle going on those weekend visits. They were unbearable! So on Fridays when everyone else was leaving for the weekend I got to stay with Mr. and Mrs. R. They treated me like I was one of their own. We’d do things like regular families, I liked them a lot I can’t say that I loved them, because I didn’t even know what love was. But, I sure liked them.
The administration at the Center agreed that if the cottage parents wanted to provide their cottage with a pet they could do so. Mr. R said we could have a dog! Everyone was so excited. It was decided that to name the dog everyone would write their name on a piece of paper and there would be a drawing and whatever name was drawn that was the name of the dog. I put in “Corky” I don’t remember where I heard it, probably on a cartoon or something. Anyway, that was the name that was drawn, and Mr. R went out and bought a Dachshund, (a “wiener dog” as we kids called it). He was a great little dog. Whenever I was sad I would take him into my closet and tell him all my troubles, he would lick my tears away.
I awoke one night to the flashing of red lights; I crawled out of bed and looked out the window, it was an ambulance. Mr. R suffered a heart attack. He died. My world was about to change, in a real big way.