Learning Lines

Investigating New Territory Through The World of Writing

11:59: Boy’s Home continued . . .

It still counts if my 15 minutes starts on the day right.  I’m lying in bed going over thoughts of my day.  So, I ask myself, what did I write about today?  Oh shoot, I didn’t get my 15 minutes in.  So, I tried to blow it off for a few minutes.  But, I just couldn’t do it.

Yesterday’s post was about the New York City Boy’s Home.  I was lucky enough to get a post from Amy Richie about it.  Then I was extra lucky to receive a phone call from her as well.  Talking over the story with her, I decided where to go next.  She thought it would be interesting to tell more about Brother Tom.  So here it goes . . .  I will start with the last paragraph to get back into it.

We saw him right away.  Brother Tom was wearing his green St. John’s tee shirt talking to a family.  We rolled over to say hello and catch up on all that had changed in 15 years.  Most of the home had lost funding in the Madoff scandal.  There were only two apartments left.  Brother Tom walked us through the home.  Mark mentioned how good everything looked, how there was no graffiti Bother Tom had to paint over.  As we walked through the top floor where the volunteers lived, Brother Tom spent a lot of time telling us how proud he was that he hadn’t spent a cent to furnish the entire apartment.  Now that there wasn’t a lot of funding for the home, Brother Tom had been picking up donated furniture from all over the city and selling in at a small business for low income families.  It was an interesting mix of green leather couches and old end tables with lamps from the sixties.  However, having spent time in museums all week, I couldn’t help glancing at the walls, corners and shelves with pieces of art.  It amazed me that Brother Tom had spent so much time including recreations of famous works of art.  There were a lot of beautiful religious icons throughout the apartment.  Yet, I also noticed Picasso and Roudin.  It was interesting to me that such a simple man, had taken so much time to make sure there was important art everywhere you looked.  Since the heat was so overwhelming, we took some time to sit and chat with him in his office.  Oh yeah, and it was air conditioned.  Mark wanted to know about boys who were there when he was, teachers, old staff.  A few times during our talk, the phone rang.  Once he spoke in amharic.  During another call, he started quoting something in German.  Finally, we were interrupted by a knock at the door.  We saw our first student.  Brother Tom must have known he was coming because he looked at us and asked if they could have  a minute alone.  The boy could not have been older than 14.  He kept his eyes down as he walked into the office as Brother Tom held the door.  I could tell the kid was in trouble for something.  Mark and I stood in the hall.  I didn’t hear any yelling from behind the door.  The kid came back out about a short time later with his head hanging low and brushed past us as he headed out the door back into the hall.  To be continued tomorrow . . .

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This entry was posted on August 7, 2010 by in Book Review.
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