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I Donald Fred Smith do swear by God Almighty that this biography is to be the truth and nothing but the truth so help me God
This is a story that is so horrific and so unbelievable that no one has believed it for more than half of a century. That is until a notable man and author by the name of Roger Kiser brought all of this into the scope of the media. He is an advocate of child abuse and has been in the process of bringing this catastrophic news to the people for almost seventeen years. There are about 600 elderly men, now in our sixties, who have come forward to tell their stories of the abuse; terrible abuses that took place at the Florida School for Boys in Mariana, Florida.
There have been many of us who have gone to the media and told our story but I am going to tell you the whole story; the real story; the"HELL" that I and many others experienced as White House Boys.
You can get on your computer and go to: http://www.thewhitehouseboys.com.
I think that Roger Kiser has done an outstanding job and has devoted a lot of time and effort to the web site. With this presentation I will present my own personal story.
I was a problem child and was very mischievous as a teenager; one who would skip school almost every day of the week. I was expelled on four different occasions and sent to a juvenile detention center in Escambia County, Pensacola, Florida. After being sentenced to Youth Harbor Youth Facility, I escaped and hung around my cousin's house in a suburb called Ferry Pass. His name was Jerry Varadore. Many nights I spent the night in the woods. One day I went downtown and late that evening I went to the VFW to attend a teenage dance. Shortly after I arrived I became bored because I knew no one at that the dance. I walked outside and in the parking lot was a 1952 Chevrolet with the key in the ignition. As I had nowhere to sleep I got into the vehicle and drove it away. That way I would have somewhere to sleep and a form of transportation. I did steal the car, but I wasn`t doing it to make a profit, only for transportation and housing. In that era we always referred to it as “joyriding,” not stealing.
I drove over to pick up a couple of friends, Ronald and Donald Johnson, and we rode around most of that day. That evening I went to another friend’s house and left the car parked on the side of the street, about a block away from his house. My friend asked me, “Weren’t you sent to the detention center the other day?” I told him I was but that I run away. His mother must have heard the conversation and called the police. She informed them of what I had done. I was sitting in their house when all of a sudden there was a knock on the door. When opened, there stood a policeman. I was arrested and taken to jail. I was held for a short time but once released I went back to my friend's house. It had been about a week and I was surprised that the car was still parked on the side of the road. I got into the vehicle and drove it all that day and into the evening. Getting bored and being the mischief child that I was, I thought about when I had previously gone to the races at Five Flag Speedway. I had been watching demolition derbies, so I decided to see what it would be like to ram the car into a large bush, and I proceeded to do so. I was about five blocks from my home, so I deserted the automobile and I walked to my home and began bragging to my brother about what I had done. I had looked in the trunk of the vehicle before I left where I found a large box of craftsmen tools. I told my brother about the tools. My brother asked me to show him where the car was located so he could get the tools for himself. I knew from experience that if my brother came up with those tools that my mother would surely ask where they had came from. I also knew that my brother would have to tell her. So, I refused to show him where the vehicle was. He threatened to tell mother if I did not tell him where the car was located. I did not know at that time the hatred my brother had for me and still has to this day. I said “No” so he immediately told mother, and not knowing how bad my mother wanted to be rid of this problem child, she immediately called the police and had me arrested for the theft of the vehicle. I was taken before Judge Bruno, the judge for juvenile court and having been before him recently, as well as having escaped from the juvenile detention, he sentenced me to the Florida School for Boys at Mariana, Florida for nine months or until the institution thought I was rehabilitated. I would have called it the ‘training to be a better criminal’ more so than do not make the same mistake twice.
Upon my arrival at the Florida School for Boys I came across the cattle gap at the entrance of the institution. Immediately, I was amazed at the looks of the campus. I thought I had come to hog heaven. It was so beautiful and the grounds were so well kept. It had outstanding cottages and a beautiful church. We drove right up to the administration building where they took us into the office. There were three other boys with me but I don’t remember their names. We were given a Brochure with a copy of the rules and regulations and a verbal preview of what to expect within the next few days. I believe we were given a test to find out the extent of our education. We were then sent to the laundry to have institutional clothing issued. Then we were taken to our assigned cottages and introduced to our cottage father. He immediately informed me that we were not to speak of truancy. I was the only individual of the group of boys that was assigned to Madison Cottage. He then took me to the locker room where he opened a locker located next to mine and instructed me to put my clothing and other articles into my locker and keep them as neat as I had seen, and do so every time. I was told that I was to open the locker for their inspection at any time, and especially in the morning before fallout.
There was which a ranking system started you out as a Rookie then Explorer, Pioneer, Pilot and finally Ace. If you even spoke about running away you went to the lowest rank of Grub with A zero. When finished, I was instructed to go to the living area. He took me into the dormitory and assigned me the bed in which I was to sleep and then he pointed out how I was to make the bed. Made with the hospital corners and it to be drawn tight enough to where he could bounce a quarter in the center of the bunk. He then showed me where to place the New Testament that I had been given. After I had completed making my bed I was to return to the living area. I was then told to go to the shower room, undress and get into the shower and that he would be there shortly. He came in the shower room and sprayed me with DDT and gave me a bar of soap. He told to soap down as he turned the water on for me to rinse off. He told me to come to the living area as soon as I finished dressing.
After getting dressed, I came out of the locker room. The other boys were arriving from their workplace or school and began getting ready to go to chow hall to eat supper. Mr. Hollon, my cottage father, had me to go outside to the ball court where he blew his whistle to have all of the boys go to their assigned benches on the count. He then introduced me to the rest of the boys and then assigned me to a seat on the beach. Again he blew his whistle and you could go play for a short time or go into the living area or the playroom area until it was time for us to go to chow. As I was standing there with Mr. Hollon, Pierce Cottages’ boys came walking up the sidewalk on their way to chow. He said for me to watch all the boys as to how they marched instep and that I was to do the same when we marched to chow. Then he went back inside and I went over to the straight bars and watched the boys do acrobats. It wasn't long before the cottage father came out, blew his whistle for us to go to our benches. Then he called out a number and the assigned bench of boys went over to the sidewall to line up, and so on until the whole cottage of boys were in line. He then blew his whistle and we started to march to the dining hall. When we went through the chow line to get our meal if you thought you did not want something that was on the chow line you did not get it. If you got something from the chow line and did not eat it you are written up. When I got to the table my cottage father assigned the chair where I was to sit. There were four people assigned to each table. When he blew his whistle and you were not finished eating you got written up. They had a table for us to put our trays, glasses and utensils as we exited the building. You then stepped out onto the sidewalk, lined up and marched back to the cottage.
After we got back to the cottage we went directly to the bench position that we were assigned. Then the cottage father blew his whistle and we were to play or shine our shoes or perform any other chores we had until shower time. We could set in the living area and watch the television, go into the game room, stay outside and play on the court, workout with the weights or the parallel bars. After we had our shower you were told to use the restroom, shave and any actions you wish to perform before going to the dormitory. Once inside you did not go out the building until the cottage father told you. If you did you were considered to be out of bounds or attempting to run a way. You would be taken to the White House and severely beaten. There you would receive a minimum of 100 licks. Even when you were outside you had boundaries. If caught out of bounds you were considered “a runaway.” If you were playing ball and the ball went out of bounds you had to go and get the cottage father to be present for you to retrieve the ball. If you thought you could go and get the ball without someone telling on you, you could be sure that you would be reported within the hour. There was always someone wanting to make brownie points with the cottage father.
It wasn't long; I think about a week maybe two that I became Grub with a zero. The next write up I got I would go down to the White House.
My work assignment was at the kitchen. We had to get up at 5:00 to go to work and we didn't get back to the cottage until about seven that evening. You went to work two days and three days you attended school.
I was very bashful and with the new environment had gotten constipated and was in the bathroom for a longtime. I wasn't working in the kitchen but about two days when I came out of the bathroom. One of the biggest and strongest boys named of Paul Knowles said something smart about what I was doing that took so long. He said that I was in their playing with myself and before I thought what I was doing, I picked up a steal folding chair and hit him. Before I could see it coming he about knocked four of my teeth out; it was on the left upper jaw. Needless to say, I had to go to the hospital. Dr. Wexler said to me, “I believe I can save those teeth” and he began to push up on the four teeth. He, using his two thumbs and the nurse, Mrs. Womack holding my head, I thought I was about to passed out from the pain. But I can say that the teeth were there until about age 30. When I came back to the cottage Mr. Hollon met me at the entrance to Madison cottage and looked at me and said, “What swinging door did you run into with that big son of a bitch behind it?” I could not laugh for I was in real bad pain. This is a good way to give a good example of how Dr. Wexler was. The first time I saw him he was giving about 10 of us boys an examination for hemorrhoids and he had all of us to drop our pants, bend over as he came to you and told us that if anybody farted or should I say break wind he had this cigar and all of you understand what I will do with it. And he meant what he said. Right next to me was a real smartass. Dr. Wexler at that time was almost blind for he had the thickest glasses you ever seen and he was lazy. He had a half chair that had rollers and was rolling down the line and as he got to the boy next to me the boy done just what he wasn't supposed to do and I think you can guess what happened. That was Dr. Wexler.
The next three days I wore this bandage to keep my jaw from moving so all I had to eat was soup. Also I did not go back to the kitchen for I got a new assignment to the band as I had been playing a trumpet in school before being sent to the reformatory. I went to school and was in Mr. Moore`s class and had to go to school for about two weeks before I was assigned to the band. I had to let my jaw heel before I could do anything with an instrument. I enjoyed playing in the band and on many occasions we went to cities to perform in parades to make this reformatory look good. We also went to all the football games that the football team went to. I remember going to Cottondale, Florida and Monticello, Florida to the watermelon festival parade. We also went to Marianna on many occasions to perform in parades.
Now the first time I was taken down to the White House; I was taken by Mr. Burgess and Mr. Sealander. Mr. Burgess was the cottage father for Madison cottage also when Mr. Hollon was on break and I did not associate or even look at him after my first beating. Believe it or not you could be taken down for just looking at someone if the staff member thought the look was disrespectful. I was taken down again about a month later for fighting. We were marching in line and there were always bullies that would kick the hell of your boot and caused your foot to lock with your other foot and you would fall flat on your face. It was a tripping method. This was done to me and I eventually found out who it was and tried to straighten the problem out. He lost in rank and I went to the White House. Again Mr. Burgess done the whipping and Mr. Sealander was the witness. I do not remember what the whipping or the write up was for Mr. Sealander done the whipping but I don't remember who the witness was. I think that one time I got into a fight over the nickname I had been given by one the boys at the cottage. The nickname was buzzard breath and I cannot help the fact that I had halitosis, a disease of the gums. If I remember right it was a boy by the name of Jimmy Campbell and he could fight and he whipped me good and proper in the locker room but we were not caught fighting. There was another boy that was teasing me and we were caught and he received a demotion in rank and I went to the White House again. And now that I've thought about it Mr. Sealander did whip me on that occasion also.
A day of ''HELL ‘at the Florida school for boys in Mariana, Florida.
I was running behind that morning and had failed inspection because I had not had time to sew a button on my shirt and my cottage father wrote me up for the failure. I was called to the guidance center and Mr. Aubrey called me into his office to discuss the write up. He said to me, “Donald I do not understand why you keep getting into trouble and cannot get out of the grubs for you have been in them for the last nine months. I think we're going to have to do something about this, I think I will have you go outside of my office and sit until I can talk to Mr. Walters and see if he can find a way to straighten you out.” I sat in the chair for about an hour before Mr. Aubrey came and got me and took me to Mr. Walters’s office. Mr. Walters had already heard from Mr. Aubrey of what my ranking had been for the last nine months, so Mr. Walters said to me. “Donald, it looks to me that you're having a problem and the disciplinary actions that Mr. Burgess or Mr. Sealander have been doing has not done any good for I have not seen any improvement in your actions. Now, what seems to be the problem?” I looked at Mr. Walters and just shrugged my shoulders. Maybe I should explain what I meant by that I just lifted my shoulders. He then said to me, “Now you have to tell me, what the problem is?” I told him that I had been trying to go by the rules. He then told me go back to the guidance center and sit in the chair for we will have to take a trip. I went back to the chair and was sitting there for about 30 minutes until Mr. Williams and Mr. Walters came through the door. This scared me so bad I thought my heart would stop mainly because Mr. Williams had the reputation of beating the black boys to death, for he had the nickname “Nigger killer.”
Just then Mr. Walters said to me “Let's go.” I got up and started walking toward the White House. On the way to the White House Mr. Walters said to Mr. Williams, Lenox, “Step over to the kitchen and got about four good size kitchen boys for I think we will need them.” I looked at Mr. Walters and said to me him, “You will not need them to hold me down Mr. Walters.” Walters said, “Is that a fact?” We proceeded on to the White House. Mr. Williams had the keys to the lock and unlocked the door where all of us could enter. There were no other boys that went down with me so I knew the procedure. I went to the room on the left and lay down on the bed on my stomach and looked toward the wall. I placed my hands in the right position on the bed rail. Mr. Williams went to the fan and turned it on. The industrial fan made a lot of noise so it would drown out the sounds of the beating. They were talking for a few minutes before Mr. Walters stepped in and started to whip me. As he started his swing I could hear his foot scratch the floor in his windup as if he were a baseball player who was about to hit the ball with a bat. The first time he hit me I knew I had never been hit that hard before. I had heard from the other boys about the reputation that Mr. Walters had and they were right. Then I started to count the licks I was getting. It seemed like it took a long time for him to start another swing for he would pause for about 4 seconds before the next lick. He did this throughout the beating. I received 67 licks before Mr. Walters said, “Okay, get up Donald.” I had to struggle to get up because I was numb from about the middle of my back to my ankles. Mr. Williams had already turned the fan off and had gone outside. I followed Mr. Walters and as I was stepping outside the door of the White House I limped as I stepped down the steps. Mr. Walters said to me, “It looks to me that you need to go back in and get some more for you are limping Donald.” I replied, “Sir, I will be all right.” Then he said, “Let's see how fast you can go around this White House.” Though limping, I took off running as fast as I could and around the White House. When I had finished running I was standing in front of Mr. Walters. He looked directly into my eyes and said, “Now Donald you're to say nothing about what has happened to no one do you understand?” “Yes sir,” I replied. Mr. Walter then yelled, “Let's see how fast you can make it back to your cottage.” I took off in a half run and limping toward my cottage.
As I came down the hill on the sidewalk to return to Madison cottage; my college father met me and told me to go to the shower and take off my boots, socks and shirt and to throw them out of the shower. That he would be in to turn the water on. When he came to the shower room he said for me to wait until my pants were soaked before attempting to take them off. As I looked at the floor of the shower room all I could see was red water going down the drain. I understand now why he had me get into the shower because it was still very painful to remove my pants and underwear. The underwear was stuck to my skin and plus I got most of the blood of my clothing.
As I got out of the shower he handed me some state hair dressing which was like a thick wax and told me to spread this all over the cuts and busted places. I spread the wax on my backside from about the center of my back to my ankles. This stopped the bleeding for a little while then after I dressed it started bleeding again. I could feel the blood running down my legs and gathering in my boots. It wasn't long before we were to go to lunch so I went outside and stood at the end of the bench that I was assigned because I could not sit down for it would've been too painful. I had not stood there very long before the cottage father came out and blew his whistle for the boys to go to their assigned benches.
We lined up to go to chow and began marching towards the dining hall. I noticed that my cottage father was caring a pillow. When I got my tray I went to my table and the pillow was in my chair. I looked at my cottage father and he motioned for me to sit down. I did so but I did not feel like eating, so the other boys finished my tray of food. My cottage father usually sat with us and ate his meals but for some reason he went to the staff dining room and was there about 20 minutes. He came back to his table he blew his whistle for us to line up outside. It normally was about 30 minutes that we had to finish our meal but this time the cottage father was in a hurry to get back to the cottage. He passed me and was going toward the front of the line and he had the pillow that had some blood on it. I look up the street and I saw Mr. Walters driving down the street. Normally our cottage father would blow his whistle for the line to stop to let the superintendent and any other staff to pass through and then blow the whistle again and the line would stop and let the rest of us catch up. Instead my cottage father shook the pillow at Mr. Walters and was pointing at him as he walked in front of him.
staff dining area but I found out about 28 years later. I went back to visit my cottage father when I was 44 years old. Mr. Hollon explains to me the conversation he had with Mr. Walters at that time. He said to Mr. Walters that the beating you gave Donald was uncalled for and that he would go to the authorities above him. When I got to his home just outside of Mariana and stepped out of my van and when up the steps to the front door, Mrs. Hollon answered the door, and said that if you are looking for my husband he is in the backyard mowing grass, and so I walked around the house to the back yard. Now when my cottage father saw me coming toward him in his backyard he was operating a riding lawnmower, he immediately stopped what he was doing, got off his tractor and came at a fast pace toward me. I held out my hand to shake hands with him but he said no, I'm going to hug your neck for he later explained to me that after the beating he had heard through the Grapevine and from other staff employees that they had taken me to the White House again after lunch for another beating. Mr. Hollon had always thought that I was dead but if you understood Marianna Florida and the authorities of Jackson County you would understand how Mr. Hollon was left in the dark. There had been on many occasions in the past of cruelty and abuse at the Florida School for Boys. This history has been documented for 60 years, more or less, from when the institution or reformatory was established. After Mr. Hollon and I had visited for about two hours, I said to him that if I could get the documentation of my juvenile records at Jackson County courthouse would he be a witness to the allegations that I was going to produce to the court. He said he would. I then went to the Jackson County courthouse to get my juvenile records. I entered the courthouse and said to the attendant that I wanted to get a copy of my juvenile records. The attendant said you were a juvenile and those records are sealed. I said to the attendant, “I am Donald Fred Smith.” I showed her my identification but she refused any documentation. I'd never saw Mr. Hollon again before his death. This was about the month of August 1991. Also Mr. Holland quit his job at the reformatory 30 days after the incident, moved to Georgia to another institution for employment.
When we got back to the cottage my cottage father had me take a shower again and put the state hair dressing on the cuts to stop them from bleeding. By the time I got dressed the rest of the boys had already gone to school or their workplaces. So I had to hurry all the way to the band hall. As I was walking in front of the administration building a boy was sitting on the retainer wall and as I came by he came off the retainer wall and started walking beside me and he said to me, “Why are you limping?” I told him, “They beat the hell out of me at the White House.” Ss I said it I looked down the street. There was the light green 1956 Ford that Mr. Williams drove. My heart skipped a beat for I knew what Mr. Walters had told me at the White House. Mr. Williams pulled over to the curb and call the boy by his first name and said, “Now John, I generally know what two boys are talking about by their expressions on their faces, John what was Donald telling you?” “Sir, he was telling me about him going to the White House.” Mr. Williams said, “John you go on to the laundry, Donald, you get into the front seat.” At that time we were in front of the hospital for it was a short distance from there to the administration building. Mr. Williams parked in front of the administration building and told me to get out and stand there. When he stepped out of the car and came around it he took me by the arm, up the stairs and into Mr. Walters’s office.
I have told the story so many times, I have always thought about this, how did Mr. Williams know John by his first name and how did he know that he worked in the laundry. Mr. Williams worked on number two side, as it was called, because Florida school for boys was segregated and that was the black side.
As we entered Mr. Walter’s office, Mr. Williams said to Mr. Walters, “Guess what Dave? Donald has something to tell you.” Mr. Walters said to me, “What have you got to tell me?” My usual thing was to shrub my shoulders. Then Mr. Walters said, No! You are going to tell me what the problem is.” I said to Mr. Walters, Sir, I was talking about my paddling.” Mr. Walters said “You do know what I told you at White House?” “Yes sir.” Mr. Walters then said, “Well then Donald you know what we're going to have to do.” “Yes sir.” He replied “Turn around Donald and drop your plants.” “How about it Lenox, don't you think Donald can stand a little more?” I did not hear what Mr. Williams said and did not see any expression that he made for he was in back of me. We proceeded through the back door of the administration building to the guidance center and through the front door, down to the street to the White House. On the way Mr. Walters again said to Mr. Williams for him to go to the kitchen and get four kitchen boys. Again I said to Mr. Walters that he would not need anyone so we proceeded on to the White House. Mr. Williams unlocked the door, whet inside and turned the fan on. Knowing the routine, I went to the bed and lay down on my stomach and looked toward the wall and held on to the bedrails for all was to start all over again. Swish; bang one, swish, bang two and always a short pause between the swings of the paddle. The swish was his shoe on the floor the rest you would know. The count got up to 50 licks when Mr. Walters stepped out of the room and I could hear them having a conversation. In a few minutes it started again and I thought to myself they're going to kill me. Swish, bang 51, swish, and bang 52 until 75. Again he had a conversation with Mr. Williams and then after a few minutes it starts again I remember counting to 97 before I said to myself Oh God and I passed out.
When I regained consciousness I know that I was drugged I knew I was in solitary but how I got there I do not remember, I did not feel any pain, whatsoever. I remember the small room it was about eight by 10 and a platform with a mattress. The mattress was green a darker green than the pillow and all of the outside covering on the mattress and pillow was like Naugahyde. I remember only having a blanket with no sheets or pillowcases and dressed only in boxer shorts. I also remember waking up on a gurney with Dr. Seuss looking down at me and having some instrument around my head with wires coming from those instruments. Also being strapped down to the gurney and not remembering how I had gotten on the gurney or how I had got back to the room. I also remember going to visit my family in the visitors' park but do not remember how I got there or how I got back in the room. I also remember a pair of black and white shoes that my mother had brought to me for Christmas. I hated the shoes. I remember sitting and talking to my sister at a picnic table and was dressed in my usual state issue clothing but I don't remember how I got dressed. I don't even remember how long I was in solitary. They would serve us some soup and goulash that was prepare for solitary confinement. I don't even remember a commode in the room. The officer would come to the window and tell me to do exercise for about 30 minutes a day and I would see him look in the window occasionally to see that I performed it. As I think about it today I can’t remember but maybe two days of exercise. I don't remember ever taking a shower while I was in solitary confinement. I was not ever sexually abused but I've heard from the other men that this was being done by some staff members at that time. Most of the time I was under the influence of strong medications so they could've had their way with me.
I don't remember when I was assigned to Roosevelt cottages. I remember being on the basketball court and setting on number four bench and I was sitting there trying to understand a tape recorder that I had gotten for Christmas from my family. I don't remember how I got the tape recorder and I don't remember it being mailed to me or how I had gotten it. It is a real mystery how everything happened and the way I regained my consciousness. It was like someone shook me and woke me up. The only way I can remember or understand how long I was in that dream world is by the ranking system that they had for when I got the beating from Mr. Walters. I was Grub with a zero and when I regained consciousness I was pioneer. I do remember going to school to Mr. Moore’s class and I think I was assigned to the boxing team. I did not remember that I went back to the band hall. I remember the team would go to the baseball field and run 5 laps but I would have to do always one more lap than the rest of the boys. I was being called to the infirmary every other day to have my teeth cleaned and having all my bad teeth filled. I understand now why I was put on a boxing team. They wanted to get my legs back in shape because at first I could hardly walk let alone run. They were preparing my muscles in my legs so that no one would be able to tell what was done during the beating. Also, the dental work to show how outstanding the reformatory had been for me and how well that they took care and of us, for if ever my mother had taken them to court this was a good presentation. This was how sadistic this reformatory was. They had the personnel to back them up and no one would say anything.
I think it was on a Saturday because all the boys were at the cottage and I had to go to the boxing gym and run laps. I had started up the sidewalk from Roosevelt Cottage and Fred Condit had it in for me and he was waiting in behind a small cedar at the side of the dormitory which was out of bounds. He said he wanted to whip my ass so I went over to oblige him. He came at me and tried to kick me the balls but I avoided his attack, at that same time I hit him with a hay maker right on his big nose. He then grabbed his nose and said, “You broke my damn nose.” Then he ran back inside Roosevelt Cottage. I went on to the boxing gym and did my laps.
I returned to the cottage that afternoon and went into the locker room and there was Fred Condi’s friend. He wanted to whip my butt for what I had done to Fred`s nose. We began to fight and fight and fight. It must have gone on for about 15 minutes all around the locker room. The whole cottage had come to see the action. The cottage father had the fight broken up. I can't remember the boys name but I do remember that he was an upcoming ace. Now the ranking of ace as you have read in the previous pages is the highest rank you can achieve at the reformatory. Why would an upcoming ace start the fight in the first place? As you can see, I think I was being set up again to see if the psychiatrist had made me to forget by his use of mind block techniques about the beating. At that time the government was having doctors perform this experiment in the study of psychiatry.
For fighting on the weekend you were written up and the disciplinary committee came to the cottage and you were dropped in rank or you would be offered to have the disciplinary paddle off. I was already on the going home list so I told Mr. Sealander that I wished to have the write up “paddled off.” The upcoming ace had the same done with his write up. We were then driven to the White House where we received our spanking for it was nothing more than a pinky as of the 600 or so men in their sixties would have called it today. It was a spanking the only spanking I ever got at the reformatory. The rest were beatings and Mr. Williams was the witness to this event. Now I wonder if I had ever mentioned to any one that was assigned to the Roosevelt Cottage for this was considered the puke cottage. Just about all the boys in Roosevelt Cottage would run to the man the cottage father and tell him anything they heard me say that would get me into trouble or about the beating I received previously by Mr. Walters. Do any of you think who have read this story that if I would have mentioned anything to anybody that I would have gotten out of the Florida School for Boys at Mariana Florida alive? I was released about two months later and I returned home to Pensacola Florida.
For some reason, of which I don't even understand even today, why I was I put on juvenile probation in Escambia, County. I had to go to the probation office every week and every time a vehicle was stolen the police would come to my door and I would have to produce an alibi for the time the car was stolen. This happened four or five times within four months. I was getting very aggravated by the situation. I was leaving the probation office after I had spoken to my probation officer about the police always checking on my whereabouts. So the probation officer told me they were just doing their job. I was very disgusted when I left the probation office. I was walking down the sidewalk and there was a 1959 Plymouth with the keys in it. I got into the vehicle and started the engine and was backing up when an individual came to the passenger window and said, what are you doing in my car? Being very quick at lying I told him that I was backing the car so my mother could get out. I then shut the engine off and got out of the car and started to walk down the street and before I knew it the individual had me by the arm and said you were stealing my car. The man took me in the store and called the police and had me arrested. I was charged with attempted auto theft.
I guess you are wondering why I was doing this. I was very mad and disgusted when I left the probation office. I was going to leave the state and try to make a new life for myself and all I wanted a vehicle for was to get there.
This is to give you an idea as to how the government treated you after your release and the reason the juvenile system within the state of Florida had so large of a percentage of boys go to prison after their stay at the Florida school for boys.
I do swear for this to be the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God.
Donald Fred Smith