My oldest son is a great kid, and not much of a kid anymore as he’s nearly 24 and is engaged to be married.
He was a bit of a handful through his teen years and the first couple into his twenties though. Alice Cooper’s “18” described him perfectly. He got into a bit of trouble in school, nothing major, or so I thought until we went to take him to join the Navy, which he really wanted to do.
Busted ass on the ABSVABS books etc and got a decent grade on that test and then they say he has a Class B misdemeanor and won’t be allowed to join. I’m like WTF, class B, and Melody Ralls and Richard Dows too, will probably remember this. I’ve known those two for years.

Anyway in school when he was a junior in art class, at which he excelled by the way, and was even sent to State and won there, but I digress…in art class they were making woodcuts of things and using water soluble paint as the stamping medium. Damn I’m sorry, but David WN, I bet you may remember this too.
Anywho, John made a chicken and had his chicken when he walked out of art class and stamped the wall. Perfect chicken. Now the cameras caught this, and even though it took a soapy rag and one rinse to remove said chicken, he was charged with destruction of school property. I don’t remember what sentence the JP gave him, but probably keep your grades up and some Community Service. NO ONE EVER SAID IT WAS A FUCKING CLASS B MISDEMEANOR. And damn well never should have been. This is one thing wrong with our schools today. If that would have happened when I was in school I’d have been made to clean it up and maybe gotten a few days of detention, but that would have been that. Destruction of school property. Sigh
He did a few things around the house here that thoroughly pissed his father off, and this is after sending him to the junior college for a semester to see if he’d study, but he didn’t so no more school. He had a couple go nowhere jobs that paid diddly, never got around to getting his license etc. Ater the last shenanigan he pulled around the homestead, his dad told him “Hit the Road, Jack”.
He stayed with friends off and on, stayed with his sister Stephanie Eckert for a bit, but it was trouble for him one way or another and he ended up on the street.
I begged his dad to let him come home and he agreed but was NOT happy about it and let John know, and told him he had three weeks. Have a job, pay rent, or get back out. He even tried the Army and Marines and they wouldn’t take him either, all because of a goddamn chicken. Of course if we were trying to stop our country from being invaded and keeping our deterrent force up to par or IN a major war I’m sure that wouldn’t have mattered. So here’s this 22 year old with no real job skills, although he did build the sets for music venues at Cynthia Woods and Toyota Center etc. but try to pay rent with the pay from those short hours.
Time was passing quickly, I think he had one week left to deadline and I saw a commercial for Job Corps. It is the only time I have EVER seen the commercial, never again. Well I thought what can it hurt? I called and left messages, never got a return call, so I called the National Headquarters and raised hell.
This is primarily a program for under-privelaged kids from crappy homes and or poor neighborhoods, and is run by The United States Department of Labor. They pay for EVERYTHING. They even give the students money weekly for personal items, and at the end of their stay they get about $1200.00 and assistance in finding a job.
I didn’t think John would qualify because his father makes well over the poverty level, but they said that didn’t matter because he was 21. After I called the National people guess what happened? Man they busted their ass to get him through the process because I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I can be persuasive, and it showed, because a month after I saw the commercial he was in San Marcos at Gary Job Corps studying to be an electrician. He finished that and took the lineman course. He got his driver’s license and passed all the CDL tests. He has OSHA certifications along with his electrical and lineman certs. Oh ya, and his fiancé, Jen Walton.
He’s been back about a month, and Monday starts a job for a great construction company; 401K available, insurance, advanced training. The sky’s the limit, and starting out at $16.50 an hour, $75.00 a day for food and lodging. Lots of OT to be had. His instructors were instrumental in helping him obtain the job with glowing reports as to his knowledge and attitude.
Anyways he needed a car and the one his dad picked needed quite a bit of fixing up, although it should be really reliable now the works been done, but it’s a STANDARD. LOL. He just got the job this past Monday so it’s been a rush trying to get him ready to hit that long and winding road to being the wonderful man I know he will be; but he’s got to get some tennies in order to be able to drive safely to this great opportunity he would never have had without Job Corps and his decision to become a responsible man and make his parents proud.
There are some things that occurred while he was at Job Corp I’m going to put in a different post and I doubt they’ll like me saying them but they are a government program and I have that right. I’m thankful I saw that commercial, and I’m thankful John did well, but they have some issues that need to be addressed and I’m just the one to do it…. If you got this far, congratulations, and wish the guy luck! No electrocutions, no clutch mishaps, no suddenly discovering wireless electricity at a cheap cost, and no falling! We’re talking about those huge steel transmission towers!
Job Corps is the nation’s largest residential education and vocational training program for the economically disadvantaged youth. It is a U. S. Department of Labor program, established in 1964, that provides thousands of students every year with hands-on training in America’s fastest growing caree…


  1. My eldest has a dissimilar story with a different middle. “18” is mild compared to it. Kicked out by me at 17 – at his mother’s request, on Christmas day. Back three days later. A thief (no chicken stamps for this boy) and a middle school CREATEout. When he was of age and no job prospects Job Corps came along with the opportunity. Six months we had. His mother and I bought clothes, good work boots and a laser carpenters level for him. The week he was due to leave he backed out. Not long after he was kicked out again. And back again. Five years later he still hasn’t got even a GED, much less a job, stole money from his only real employer, has been convicted of theft, has an illegitimate daughter and lives in our garage.
    Some you can help – they just need a little nudge, like yours. Others won’t take help, and they’re ungrateful for what they do get.
    I’m very glad things worked out for yours. Congratulations on raising a fine young man.

    • I’m sorry to hear that Perri. It wasn’t all chickens for John, he had a couple pot charges in there too along the way, but it was the damn chicken that hurt him worst. He REALLY wanted the Navy, but he’s very happy with the results from this. Left yesterday for north Texas to start the new job, and stopping off in Dallas to pick up his fiancé. He better be set from here on in because I have-absolutely NO room in my garage. His dad has that stuffed with tools. I feel very fortunate that he finally grew up. He’s caused me a lot of worry over the years, so I am very happy over these events. Thanks so much for your comment.

  2. I am so glad that worked out for him! And of course I can’t wait to read the follow up posts. 😉

  3. That’s great!
    I can’t believe the class B thing either. I also would have been made to wash it off and attend detention for awhile. Not have something like that on my record. That’s just stupid.
    I bet we can blame that harshness because of the parents who DON’T raise their wild kids properly, so they have to be harsh. This is why we can’t have nice things….
    It’s great that he’s back on his feet. I wish shit like that was available for me here when I was his age.

    • This program was instituted here in 1964. Their success rate is about 50% or so but then they usually aren’t dealing with the same type of kid that John is, or was, I should say because at 24 he’s really a man. For instance, he already had a diploma going in, and most don’t.

  4. GO JOHN!
    I miss him tremendously along with you and Big John lol.
    Never thought I’d say I miss Big John but after I grew up he didn’t seem so evil and intimidating as he was. Hell I don’t think I’ve ever seen him smile until last year. I think I’m going to give little John a call later, I feel bad not stopping by the month I had con-leave..

  5. Where you been Reecie Pooh? The Gummint working you hard? Love you babe wherever you are!

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