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Steve M. Coker

January 2, 2006

Dear Mr. Kiser

I happened to run across your web page as I was searching for the Florida school for Boys in Marianna. I was also saddened to hear of your horrible experiences at the school. You see I too was at Marianna in 1963/1964 for approx. 11 months. I spent most of the time at Wilson cottage. I also was taken down behind the mess hall to the "White House" several times for beatings as you have told in your stories.

I also remember (KNOWN OFFICIAL TO BE NAMED AT A LATER TIME) seeming to enjoy hear us cry and plead to stop hitting us. I remember getting taken out of bed in my pajamas in the middle of the night and taken down to the "White House" to be beaten and my buttocks were black and blue and also bleeding and having the threads picked from my butt. I'm glad to hear that they finally quit that in the late 60's. I often wonder about the other guy's that were there, and I pray that they got over it. My memory of that place has haunted me for a long time.

I'm now 58 years old and I have finally gotten my life together. I have been married for the last 18 years to a wonderful lady, who I am finally now sharing this awful past with her. I have had a lot of problems in my life with booze and relationships. I would never trust anyone as you can relate so well. I have recently rededicated my life to Christ and we have joined a wonderful church, and I have been considering sharing this story with some of them. I have to think God is using you and your wonderful gift of writing the stories of abused children to help even older children like me get over the hurt and fear that was beaten into us long ago.

Thanks for sharing you story with me. I have gotten such a blessing from reading and sharing my story with you. May God bless you and your family, my wife and I will be praying for you all, and I hope you keep on telling folks that child abuse is wrong and that we carry it around all our lives. Sincerely,

Steve M. Coker Sr.

NOTE: I think it needs to be noted that the reason Steve was taken to the White House and had his pajamas beaten into his buttocks was because he received an extra pancake during the breakfast meal.