they took that poor mentally retarded boy away

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they took that poor mentally retarded boy away

Postby watertore » Sat Dec 01, 2007 12:25 am

I recorded this one and bad alcohol in your blood tonight. the boy is a true story from my job today. Walter
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Postby david » Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:44 pm

Walter, your songs have a way of hitting right to the quick.

I've got the final program for the semester today with my students working with mentally handicapped adults. I won't be with that group again until next semester. I always wonder, especially over the summer break, which ones won't be there next time.

We've lost them from all sorts of reasons--from family's deciding to institutionalize them to death. One of the ones that hurt me most was a guy named Bobby Fisher who was wheel chair bound with one functioning hand and barely able to speak. At one of our sessions with my students Bobby finally communicated to me that he wanted me to push him over near the piano in the corner of the room.

I thought he'd not be too disruptive pecking around on the thing so I pushed him over. Bobby Fisher began, one handed and gazing up at the ceiling, to play song after song on that piano. The whole room stopped what they were doing and watched in amazement. The staff that worked with him everyday were dumbfounded. Nobody had any idea he could do that. Bobby just grinned like he had just conquered the world!

The next week I brought Bobby a harmonica. He played that thing constantly, and got reasonably good on it.

When the fall semester began and my program started back up Bobby wasn't there. I asked where he was and was told that Bobby choked to death on a sandwich.
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Postby watertore » Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:27 pm

hi David: That story hit me. It never ceases to amaze me what talent is burried in some of these people. I think a song about Bobby Fisher will be coming out of me at some time. Keep up the good work! Walter
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Postby Pickin'4memories » Mon Dec 03, 2007 11:10 pm

wow... just, damn, dude. Don't seem right, but i suppose it's the way things work. Poor guy.
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Postby watertore » Tue Dec 04, 2007 12:58 am

I added a few more from last night

I got no christmas home
how many people get the blues around christmas
she taught me how to rock and roll

Walter
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Postby david » Mon Dec 10, 2007 4:37 pm

Walter, if you come up with something about Bobby Fisher let me know.

He was a real eye opener for me about what kinds of secret lives are going on inside those folks that can't/don't fit into the standard assumptions.

At the same center there is an autistic gentleman in his mid-twenties. He has some abililty to interact, but any bit of chaos or even rhythmic noise seems him into hysterical fits, like it is causing him serious pain.

Somebody brought in a Trivial Pursuit game, as much to entertain the staff as the clients. This autistic gentleman took a tremendous interest in the game, as a spectator. He took it to his room for the evening, without anyone really noticing.

By the next morning he insisted on everyone playing. He had literally memorized every answer. It wasn't believed that he could read beyond about a first or second grade level!

There is somebody home, we just don't know where the entrance is. So, who is it that is limited?
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Postby watertore » Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:00 pm

Hi David: I have a girl like that in my class now. Her thing is classic movies, tv, and music. Evan Johns, my good friend, is putting her poems to music. Here is what she wrote today. She is another that operates at the 1-2nd grade level on standardized tests, but is a genuis in her interests. She is rarely stumped when asked anything in her field. Walter

Cats, Dogs, Horses, Hogs

Cats and dogs, horses and hogs
They make the world go round

The rain is falling
Thunder is crashing
The rain stops
Then the sun is shining
The dogs playing in the rain
The horses runing in the grass

My mom drives in a pickup truck
I playing the piano
Then I ride on the morning train
Then I drive the tractor
And pulled the trigger
To catch a spark

I went hunting and fishing
I went to the church and told the preacher
I call the mom on the phone
I was driving in Chicago
I walking in the ghetto
I walking in the cold wind
Then I went camping
I heard ghost stories
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Postby ricochet » Mon Dec 10, 2007 6:55 pm

That's cool!
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Postby allanlummox » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:32 pm

That's some fairly magical language right there. I like it.
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Postby watertore » Tue Dec 11, 2007 2:08 am

Gwen is a trip. Here she is in action dancing in our classroom. She loves to see herself and her writing on the net. She told evan to put the words to an elvis beat like jailhouse rock or in the ghetto. Walter

Image

here they are working hard making our home made dog biscuits- Max's T-Biscuits. I am hoping sales will graduate them all with a new Caddy :lol:
Image
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Postby david » Tue Dec 11, 2007 3:18 pm

Those pictures look so much like the facility in Paducah that I had to do a second take to make sure what I was seeing. I guess they are all pretty generic when it comes down to it.

When I first started working with these folks there was an older lady that stood maybe five feet tall in her tallest shoes. She had incredibly narrow shoulders and her mid section was enormous. It didn't make any difference which direction she was facing, her profile was exactly the same.

Everybody called her "Dancing Jan." In the years I knew her (she died of heart failure not long ago) the only words I ever heard her say were, "I like to dance." And then her eyes would twinkle and she'd go into the most outrageous version of the twist you ever saw. Her mid section and her knees and shoulders would get going in opposite directions. Her feet never moved at all. It was a phenomenal sight.

If a stranger asked her name she would say, "I like to dance," twinkle at them and then do the twist. If you asked if she was hungry you got the same response. It was as if she were hearing music nobody else could hear and she'd dance until someone told her to stop.

When we played "actual" music she would be the first to start dancing and the last to stop. And after she "stopped," parts of her would make a few more gyrations.

"Normal" people are just boring when it comes right down to it.
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