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Thank You for What I’ve Learned PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 31 October 2013 13:20

In Wilmington, DE I don’t remember before I was 5 years old and my father Raymond at 24 married my mother Helen at age 14.  I don’t remember the alcohol, the negligence, or the abuse.  I don’t remember Rayleaha being slapped to death; I wasn’t born yet.  I don’t remember my father being drunk or my mother’s suicide attempts.  Nor do I remember my older sister Ellen Lee putting us all in a wagon to run away and checking into a hotel where the police came and picked all the Huffman children up.

I do remember Helen Lee, Eddie, Al, Mary and myself being put in the Klingberg’s Children’s Home in New Britain, CT.  I didn’t know Susan until I came back from Wilmington from the orphanage 8 years later.  I stayed there from 1953-1961.  I didn’t remember Robin until she was brought to the Klingberg’s home a year after we arrived.  When being sent to the orphanage I didn’t know Helen was pregnant with Raymond; I did know my youngest sibling, Nancy was born in 1954 one day before my birthday November 24th.  I was told a long distance birthday present.

My memories of the orphanage were groups of boys and girls: 50 boys on one side; 50 girls on the other side.  Everything was done together and I loved following the weather by looking at the sky.  I loved snow.   I learned to stand in line.  When I came back from the Klingberg’s home to Wilmington, I lived in the projects and had black and white friends and learned to fight.  I learned it was good to be athletic and dumb to be intelligent.  I flunked and dropped out of school and worked for an appliance store Justice Brothers, and was a volunteer fireman.   My attitude wasn’t good. The Marine Corps and Vietnam helped me change. 

Being blinded in Vietnam on 9/29/68 and breaking both my shoulders and my neck and being paralyzed for a while 2/26/70 again helped in a car accident.  I still believed I was invincible and took up judo with my injuries –throw me on my back!  Judo helped me with my stress from going from high school dropout to becoming an attorney.  It was hard on the family.  By 20 years I was divorced and went through another 2 wives in the 90’s.  It was partly me and my choice of women that had their own problems.  I learned a lot from them.  I had a successful career in the Wilmington and Philadelphia area helping veterans; and then a general law practice from ’86 to 2000.  I had a partner.  We had differences and we had success. 

After going through divorces in the 90’s and having a family member I love steal from me; I moved to WV.  In WV, I’ve managed to help veterans and disabled people all over the country with the help of good employees and not so good employees.  Throughout my life, I was always facing failure and success at the same time, but success would always come when I kept faith.  Thank you God for what I have learned and I am grateful for the support of those around me. It’s forgiveness of me and others that makes the difference.