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Willie (W.L.) Roberts

Remember, rookie, explorer, pioneer, pilot, ace then grub. Remember, there is no where to go!! WHEN I WAS THERE 1962-1963.being a grub meant any infraction you were going down, my first time going down was at least the scariest day ever, so scared unable to think walking from the guidance center office to the white house, I just felt like running though the field behind the dinning hall. knowing the horror stories of what will happen if I did, scared is the right word as my heart hit super speed, we were there at the door unlocking it ( the door to the white house).there where 3 of us that went down that day, as we entered the white house the smell was intense. one of the men said "you 3 go left and sit on the nigger bed "the room was filled with a horrible smell, dried blood everywhere, the wall, ceiling, floor, bed...then a loud voice!

ďWho wants to pick the strap?Ē None of us were able to answer out of fear, they picked it, there where 4 or 5 to pick from.

All of them 4 or 5 inches wide with metal in the middle of them. Then the horror gets worse. The big fan goes on, thatís so no one can hear the screams from us boys. The loud voice again, one of you boys get in here! I guess out of fear I jumped up, and went across the hall to another room that had a metal bed with rails on the head of it.

The man said "lay face down, hold on to the rails and face the wall" then he asked if I had ever been down before? I said no sir! They told me donít let go of the rails and I remember saying Iíll try. I heard something hit the door frame and then it hit me(the straps where 5 or 6 feet long, so they had to stand in the door way to beat you) 52 times between crying, screaming and pissing myself I thought i was going to die before it was over! When it was over one of the men said "get your ass up and go to the fan and stand facing the wall" doing as I was told.

I could hear the sounds of the other boys even though the fan was so loud, I was hurt, humiliated, and feeling so helpless each of us boys were beaten. I was allowed to clean up early that evening at the cottage; I was bleeding in multiple places on my butt and legs. One of the other boys at the cottage helped me to remove the pieces of my pants that were in the cut on my back side.

One of the happenings and threats were that if you where unable to hold on to the rails and take the beating they would go get 4 of the kitchen boys and they would hold you. If one the kitchen boys refused they could get in line and take a beating too! I was never held by any of the other boys but it was a known fact on campus.

While I was there I was a 6th grade school monitor, on Saturdays Mr. Bernard took some of the boys on a hike. We always went by the grave site, his story was all the cottages in the past were locked at night, but smoking was allowed. When the fire broke out the boys where unable to get out and all died in the fire. We were not allowed to walk though the grave sites. Even though there are more horror stories I have or just remember Iím just glad to get this out. Iím so relieved!!! Thank you for letting me share my story.

Willie (W.L.) Roberts ttmsanc@yahoo.com