During this period in time, say from the divorce in 1972 to 1974, (and most of the time before this) we did OK. During this period in time, we went camping, fishing, snowmobiling and the like on numerous occasions.
By 1974, we were living in an apartment in the suburbs of St. Paul, Roseville, MN, and I was attending Parkview Junior High School. I had a B average in school, and had tried for the football team and made it.
I was 14, my brother was 11. There had been some minor trouble that had led to my being placed on probation: truancy from school. The problem was that I slept like a rock. In fact, both myself and my brother did. My mother worked tending bar until the early hours of the morning, and usually didn't make it home until about 2 in the morning. An alarm clock proved useless for me and my brother, and on occasion my mother slept through her alarm, which had to be set at 5:30 AM. So, after 3 1/2 hours of sleep, my mother had to get up to see that I made it to the school bus at 6:10, and my brother at 7:00.
On the occasions we all overslept, she made me walk the five miles to school, even in January. Nevertheless, the hours missed when I had to walk were still included in the findings of truancy. Remember that during all this time, a had maintained a B average in school. My brother had less of a problem with truancy because he got to get up almost an hour later than I did.
I suppose that part of the blame for the trouble that followed was mine: what I did was wrong, but to this day I fail to see how it was any worse than being offered $2.50 for $20 worth of effort.
At any rate, this is where Minnesota's first offense occurred. What I might have done does not excuse what Minnesota did.
By regulation, I should have been put into a juvenile delinquent facility for 3 or 6 months. Instead, the welfare department steps in and says that my mother is an unfit mother, and they place me into a foster home. Undoubtedly, someone saw an opportunity for one of their foster home running friends to make money, and took advantage of it.
Note that although they made this accusation and removed me to place me in a foster home, they did not take my brother. If she were truly an unfit mother, it stands to reason that they would have taken both of us.
This incident broke my mother's spirit, and she developed a severe case of depression which she addressed by becoming an alcoholic. Within a year, she had become what they had accused her of being, and she remained so for at least the next 7 or 8 years or so. The damage this had caused my mother was, as a result, extended to myself and my brother. It created a situation for later years in which both myself and my brother had to be placed in foster homes.
This action, illegal and against regulations as I later learned, was the destruction of my nuclear family. If the action had been legal, they would have been required to take my brother and place him into foster care as well. They did not.
This was the first time I was royally screwed by a Minnesota government
agency. I should have done 3 or 6 month's time in the juvenile detention
facility, and then returned home. Instead, my family was destroyed. I had
a B average in school prior to this incident. The first half of the following
year, it had fallen to a D.
I tolerated it, because I didn't have a choice. I worked on improving my grade average, since this was the only way I might be able to return home. The fall, winter of 1974 passed, and most of the spring of 1975 passed. The there was trouble.
I came 'home' one day, and George jacks me up against the wall, slapping me around and accusing me of stealing. He said that he knew I had stolen whatever it was he thought I had stolen and that I had best return it. In fact, I had not stolen anything from him. It did stand to reason that it had to be one of the newer guys that had moved in, since nothing had been stolen in the 8 months or so I had been living there.
I figured that I really did not need to suffer this kind of treatment, and there were other areas where the foster home left much to be desired, the food for example, and so I left. I ran away from the foster home about late May of 1975. I had just turned 15.
For the first month, I lived with three females I had met in the new school I had started attending when I moved to the foster home. Then I moved down West 7th Street and moved in with some old friends (Pat Connors, mentioned elsewhere).
I knew Mary, Marcie and Mariel Gatzke from Ray Connors, Pat's brother, going out with Marcie. About a week after I moved in with Pat, I got a chance to earn some cash baby-sitting for Mary over at their mother's house. Later that night, Mariel came home and hit up on me, and I took her up on it.
After that, I ended up staying the entire summer with Mariel over at her mother's house. Athena was the result of this.
My probation officer knew where I was, and how I was living, but for some reason he failed to detain me and forward me to the juvenile detention facility, and instead let me live with her all summer long. Technically, he was required by law to arrest me as soon as he found me, since I had broken my probation by running away from the foster home.
One day, Mariel fell asleep under a sun lamp for two hours, and got second-degree burns on the entire length of both legs. I had to carry her to the bathroom for two weeks. The burns were serious, and so was the fever she developed, but she refused to go to the doctor or the hospital, and no one could make her go. Then a kitten ran up her leg and compounded the problem, but she still refused. Therefore I decided to override her foolishness and I called up Dr. Indihar (my voluntary probation officer, mentioned elsewhere) and asked if he would come over and take a look. He was always an alright guy, and his agreeing did not surprise me. He prescribed some antibiotics and some pain killer. He also told me to contact my assigned probation officer and give my location, or he would, and so I did. I fully expected to be removed from Mariel real quick-like, but no one ever came around.
This is the second time I was screwed by malfeasance on the part of a Minnesota government agency. Not so much because Athena was the result, although being a father at 16 doesn't do much for your potential, but because my being such led to other people judging me in the future.
After accusing my mother of being unfit, the example the State set in that respect was absurd. After taking over the position of being my mother, when my real mother was more than capable, they let me at age 15 live with a female all summer long. This much I knew: anything was better than the foster home, and it would have been hard to imagine the existence of any situation that would have been preferable to being with Mariel.
To make a long story short, I would have went back to my mother's after
leaving the home, but I would have expected to be caught and sent right
back. There are other reasons I wasn't living with my mother after leaving
the foster home. Mariel and I broke up in the fall of 1975.
During this stay, Dr. Indihar arranged the scholarship to St. John's Prep School. I began attending there after I got out of the hospital. Unfortunately, I let him down, and got kicked out for a drug offense about 6 months later. Basically, almost everyone there was into some minor drug or alcohol offense, and where me and the guy I was with got caught was basically immune to inspection, but on that particular night someone decided to accidentally start the dormitory on fire, and the Benedictine monks had to move the school bus we were hiding in, parked 1/4 mile from the dormitory, so that the fire truck could get to the dormitory.
This was basically terribly bad luck, considering the number of people who had successfully used that bus as a refuge. There was never any need for the monks to inspect the school bus, or anywhere outside the dormitory, because the monks did not know about the secret exit out of the dormitory, and believed that it was a virtual prison.
As far as my fault lies in this, I might remind you that I never did drugs before 1975. I had made the football team at Parkview in 1974. It wasn't until after I ran away from the foster home and became a juvenile delinquent street rat that I really had anything to do with drugs, other than cigarettes. I never had a drug problem, although I did experiment from time to time after 1975. Actually, the incident at St. John's was basically experimentation, and it was only once out of two times I had ever used drugs there in the six months I was there. We wouldn't have gotten kicked out, instead placed on probation, but we were already on probation for sneaking into the monastery and playing the big pipe organ. Also, two weeks before this incident, two guys had been caught with 10,000 hits of speed in their locker, and they had to make an example out of someone. Most of the drug and alcohol use there was minor in nature, and at least more than half the students experimented with one or the other from time to time.
After getting kicked out, I moved back in with my mother, who had moved to a different apartment down on West 7th Street, and finished out the year at Monroe High School.
My attendance was perfect for Central and St. Johns that year, except for excused absences like the hospital stay. There were only minor infractions at Monroe, and these did not meet the definition of truancy. This finished out my first year of High School, 10th grade 1975-1976.
The problem with the lack of food got so bad that my brother and I ended up going down to the welfare department and begging to be placed into foster homes. I was 16, he was 13.
We ended up being placed into the same foster home in North St. Paul. This one was an improvement over the first one I had been in, and I started attending North St. Paul High School.
I realized that I was going to turn 18, and have to start paying child support, and that the chances of getting back together with Mariel weren't the greatest, and knew that my only hope was to get a scholarship and go on to college. Therefore I made a great effort, and I did well in school. I got an A+ in math, (I kept an A average in math all throughout high school), and maintained a B+ average in 1976-1977. This was what I needed to get a scholarship, a B+ average. It likely would have improved past a B+, but then new trouble arrived on two different fronts.
The first was minor: I had been working after school at York Steak House as a dishwasher, but the foster home wouldn't allow anyone under 18 to get a driver's license. This basically screwed me out of my job, because I ended up having to work late at night, and it started interfering with school. I was fired from the job, but I had planned on quitting soon because of the interference with school, and when I got tickets to a rock concert that was scheduled for a night I was scheduled to work, and the supervisor wouldn't change the schedule, I told him I was going to the concert anyway, and was fired. I would have quit within a week anyway, and not wanting to miss that concert was a good excuse to terminate early.
This was minor, but it figured into what happened later.
The other incident was major. My High School counselor, Mrs. Fesenmeier, disliked me because she knew some of my background. She looked down on me like some kind of plague because I was living in a foster home, and because she knew that I had been a father at age 16.
She arbitrarily wiped out more than half of my first year of High School. Legally, she did not have this right, but this did not stop her from doing it.
I was filling out the application forms for the ACT and SAT, knowing that my B+ average guaranteed me a scholarship, and she calls me into her office and tells me there is a problem with my first year of High School. She said I did not have enough credits to graduate, and that I would have to attend summer school and attend an entire extra semester.
This was absurd, since even with the excused absences, I had attended the required minimum number of days in my first year of High School. If it had been their son, the foster parents would have been down at the school with a shotgun, but they did not lift a finger to help me. I tried to contact St. Paul Public Schools, but all they would do was give me a copy of my High School record, which I already possessed.
Basically, she arbitrarily wiped out the majority of my first year of High School, as if I had never attended. Nothing I did to try to resolve the matter accomplished anything.
This screwed me over royally, because I was going to turn 18 the next March, and I was going to have to pay rent to stay in the foster home after I turned 18. If I had a license and an automobile, I might have been able to accomplish it, but I didn't. I had a hard time holding onto a part time job without that, so a full time job was out of the question.
As it had been, I could have turned to Dr. Indihar or a number of other sources to borrow 3 months rent from March 1978 to June 1978 when I should have graduated, but not 12 months rent.
I made plans to drop out of school when I turned 18, and then get a lawyer and sue the school district. This is exactly what I did, but when I started calling lawyers, I realized that the legal system had been engineered to screw people out of their rights rather than to uphold their rights. A talked to at least 50 lawyers and described my case. At least half of them said that I had an open and shut case, but none of them would take the case.
The incident with the High School Counselor's actions and the inaction of the foster home constitute the third time I was screwed by Minnesota agencies.
Minnesota having rigged the legal system to make it impossible for anyone to sue the State constitutes the fourth.
After this, facing having to pay child support (the State never did come after me for child support, but this is likely due to the fact that I never had any money to take) and likely being without Mariel, the only way that stood any realistic chance for me to obtain financial success was to make it as a rock musician. No other profession that I was qualified for had the income potential.
New Year's eve in 1977 brought Mariel back to me, and we went out again a few times. After I dropped out of school in March or April of 1988, I moved in with her. It lasted about two months. My goal to be a musician had something to do with it, but most of it was my having had my potential destroyed, and her being able to see it. I don't have a large family, and as a result, if I were to be able to provide a secure existence for her, I would have to have a high paying job. My prospects for attaining one were dismal, and she realized this.
This was the destruction of my extended family.
In 1980, I received my GED. In 1982, (after I had the 'experience' and got my goals changed) I had planned to go into the Air Force. I figured that I would go further with a diploma than with a GED, so I went to St. Paul public schools and asked what I needed to do and what courses I needed to enroll in to obtain my Diploma. The counselor examined my High School record, and told me that he didn't see anything wrong with it. I had not finished my senior year 1977-1978 because I dropped out about 45 days prior to completion, but this was within acceptable limits.
He said that the only problem he saw was that I was two credits short in Phy Ed, but I had attended and completed basic training in Job Corps and that Phy Ed program qualified as replacement credit. Considering this he said, he failed to see what the problem was, and handed me a Diploma on the spot.
It is not possible for a human being to be more pissed off than I was at that moment. I spent a few more hours after this, calling an additional 40 or 50 lawyers, but I got the same story from those maggots that I got the first time.
The Minnesota government and its agencies destroy people's lives at their whim, and they retain this power and hold themselves immune to any potential legal ramifications. This is what government has degenerated into since the Constitution was written.
What is really disgusting is that millions have fought and died to protect the principles that the Constitution represents, and these maggots probably have rolls of toilet paper with the Constitution printed on them that they use in their private office bathrooms as they decide upon the next way they can devise to screw people out of their supposedly guaranteed rights.
My dad and his five brothers (the Nelsons from Stanhope, Iowa) all went over to fight World War II. My old man has almost beheaded by a Nazi piano wire strung across a Berlin street in occupied Germany, and my Uncle Earl, a B-17 pilot, was shot down over France and never did come back. This is what they fought to protect.
Notice that the government has never established an oversight agency
to deal with people's problems, especially those caused by the government.
I suspect that you will never see such an agency come into existence.