MY LIFE AND TIMES
From my Biological birth to my adopted life back to my biological life A picture of me at age 60 something Chapter 1: My birth I was born Gary Washington, August 2, 1952. I don’t know if I had a middle name. Now understand, I have no recollection of being in my mother’s womb or coming out and the doctor spanking the breath of life into me. So, I really can’t prove I was even born. I could have been an alien dropped off on this earth one day, somehow winding up with a family in their house somewhere. But seeing that I had to have come out of my mother’s womb, let’s begin with that fact. Our memories as a child are faint at best. In fact, we all differ in when and what we first remember. Some remember their first Christmas and even a toy or two they got. Others start at a later age with some event that left a lasting impression. It’s even harder to correlate the event with the age we were when the event occurred. But whatever age we were when our memories began, that day, as far as we are concerned, is where our lives here on earth began. So my being adopted at 2 months old left me without any memories of my life as an infant. I learned that after two months on this earth, I was adopted. I have no idea of what any of my biological family looked like or what they were about. Were my real parents good, wholesome people? Or were they drug addicts, alcoholics or criminals? The bottom line is that I remained in the dark on that issue for 65 years. The reason being, once I was adopted, my name changed and even if my biological family were looking for me, they could not have found me. The record of my adoption was sealed. This means, my name was changed and all ties to my original family were severed. My adopted family My name was changed to Michael Thomas Venegar. I had an adopted sister from Korea one year younger than me, and an adopted brother who was two years younger. I remember when my sister got off the plane. I was at the airport with my parents to meet her. I can’t quite remember our ages at that time, but I must have been maybe 4 or 5 years old or possibly younger. I often wonder why that memory is so vivid. I understood that she looked different than me and most of the people I had seen so far in my life. But, at that time it didn’t register that she was of a different race. I didn’t even know there was a difference in people. Anyway, I can’t remember much about those days. I remember some of the Christmases. We all would receive presents under the tree that we would swear Santa Claus left for us. I also remember a couple Christmases, we went to bed early on Christmas Eve so Santa Clause would be sure to stop by our house. You remember our parents warned us that if we didn’t get to sleep, Santa Clause would not leave any presents. “He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you are awake”. Remember that song (Santa Clause is Coming to Town)? One Christmas, our parents ran into our bedroom in a frenzied state. They woke us and prodded us to run to the front door to see Santa Clause as he was leaving. So, we would hurry up, put on our house shoes and run to the front door which had been left open (as if Santa had used the door to exit). When we stepped onto the porch, they would point to the sky and sadly say, “well I guess ‘you all’ were too slow.” Santa was gone! As we scanned the sky, we would become sad because we were unable to see him – either in our house or putting toys under the tree; or at least get a glimpse of him leaving in his sleigh being pulled by his reindeer. For all our younger years we were never able to catch Santa no matter how fast we moved. I still wonder why (smile)! My adopted parents were good people. My dad would do all the things the traditional husband, or dad was supposed to do. He would do all the yard work. He was good at planting and taking care of flowers; cutting and watering the grass. He was a handy man if there ever was one because if anything broke in the house, he could fix it. He built a huge, brick barbecue pit on an extra lot we owned. He also built a patio on that lot which was surrounded by a big wrought iron fence. We kept nice cars like the Chevrolet Corvair (some of you remember the Corvair; they stop making them probably in the 60’s). He loved Buicks. We had a Buick Special, Super, Wildcat, and Lasabre. We kept a motor home in which we would travel to different states. He kept two jobs, one as a gas station attendant and another as a die-setter at Ford Motor Company. Before I met them, my father was a dental technician by trade. He would go fishing and take me and my brother sometimes. He hunted for rabbit, squirrel, pheasants, and raccoons and other wildlife. In short, he did all the things that the man was supposed to do as a dad and husband and left the stuff that the wife should do to my mom. My mom would make sure we went to school in clean clothes. She cooked breakfast and dinner for the family and made sure we were never hungry. She sewed, ironed, washed, cleaned house, and bought what we needed for the home. She took care of the finances, played numbers (I never knew that was illegal), whipped us when we were bad and put us to bed when it was bedtime. Together they were a team. I never heard them argue or fight and neither drank liquor except my dad would do “Old Grand Dad” from time to time to wind down from a hard day at the factory. But he was one of only a few people I’ve known that could drink entirely socially. My mother never touched any form of liquor. We were raised in the church; me, my brother and sister got along well. But I was obviously, the black sheep of the family because I started stealing from stores early in life. I can’t ever remember of my brother or sister committing any kind of crime. Always in trouble I would get in trouble a lot. My very first theft, if I don’t count climbing neighbors Cherry and Plum trees, was of a yo-yo from Kresges store. I think I was about 8 years old. I remember the brand – a Duncan imperial. It was a blueish-green, fiber glass material. It cost $1.04 with tax. It was the top of the line in yo-yos. If fact, it had what was called, “sleeper” capabilities. That means when I threw it down towards the ground, it would suspend on the string until I jerked it to bring it back up to my hand. At age 14 I began playing in a band. We didn’t have any amplifiers, so it wasn’t much of a band. So, I decided to do something about that. One rainy night me and the drummer, Conrad Mathis, broke into one of the local elementary schools to try and steal an amp or two. Somebody saw us, called the police and next thing we knew, police were outside the school. We hid as they entered the parking lot entrance. When they were far enough away from the entrance, we bolted through the door. We both bolted across the street where we went separate ways. I ran through the alley, hid in a yard and when I felt it was safe, made it back home. Later I learned Conrad had gotten caught. I learned that when two police showed up at our front door. He had squealed on me. They took me to juvenile home where I stayed for about 3 days until my parents, who were boiling angry, picked me up. I got the whipping of my life. It was also around age 14 that I began committing more serious crimes out of curiosity and thrill – not for any financial gain. But I never did anything violent. Nor did I ever have a gun. I didn’t take anything by force. If I couldn’t sneak and get it, I left it alone. I remember once, I got caught trying to steal a tape-player out of a car. I was charged with “Tampering with an Automobile” and went to juvenile again. You already know the outcome when my parents came to pick me up! During this time, I became aware of my deviant sexual urges that were causing me to peep into windows trying to catch a girl in panties or naked and thoughts of rape. An account of one of my many deviant sexual ventures One such incident was when I was peeping through Gail Wiggins back door. We had just returned from roller skating and she had worn a mini-skirt. I loved her pretty legs. So, I crept up to her back door where she was sitting in their den watching TV. I was so horny that I got completely naked and started masturbating as I stared at her legs. She must have saw me and told her father that someone was peeping though the back door. Because next thing I knew, her father came running out of the house from the side door. I took off running, but he was fast as grease lightening. Before I could get to the front, he had caught me. There I was, butt-naked with my pants still at the back door. I had to think fast. So, I told him I had to take a shit and was trying not to do it in public. He took me back to my pants and told me I had to clean up the mess. But, of course, there wasn’t any. I told him that it hadn’t come out yet, so he let me put on my pants and took me into his house to call the police. Now, this is where something happened that I cannot for the life of me understand. He picked up the phone, but Gail stepped up to the plate and told him I wasn’t the one peeping through the back door. It was somebody else. So, her father finally put the phone down and let me go. I thank Gail so much for standing up for me. I don’t know why she stood up for me. At least I didn’t know at that time. I later learned that she had a crush on me. Thank God for her crush.