Richard Growing Up
In the second grade, I won the Why My Teacher is My Valentine contest held at our school. A third grade girl also was a winner. For the contest, pupils had to write why their teacher was their valentine. Our prize was a lunch at a McDonald’s restaurant with our teacher. The story was covered by a local newspaper and also a local radio station.
I was a happy child and usually never misbehaved except for teasing my younger brother Mike too much. Do not tease your brother, or you'll regret it someday. I also very much regret the few other times I was mean to other children. Sorry.
Kevin and me. Kevin has autism and draws the illustrations for many of our books. Thank you Kevin! My sister, Suzanne has also done illustrations for our books. Thank you Suzanne!
Grandma and Grandpa were important and very influential people in my life. Grandpa was a great role model for me to look up to. I remember him best.
Don’t try to catch a snake like I did: it might be poisonous. Thank goodness it wasn’t a rattlesnake or else maybe it would have bitten my nose with its razor sharp fangs. A number of the frogs and toads I caught were so terrified that they peed on me, or my mom for that matter when I’d proudly show her what I had caught. Maybe I deserved to be peed on for taking them from their homes like a terrifying giant kid-monster.
At puberty, when I really liked girls is when I believe my mental illness began. However, I was lucky for what I had in life, like a great family, a happy home life, and good role models. I was a quiet, sensitive, and shy young man. Oh, and by the way: please don’t put small creatures on your shoulder like a horny toad unless the creature is something giant like an elephant because it might fall off and be hurt.
All throughout junior high, high school, and early in college, my undiagnosed mental illness adversely affected me. My feelings were hurt very, very badly as a teenager because of bad grades early in high school and the girls teasing me. Girls teasing hurt my feelings so much! Ugh! Being so sensitive I assume is a reason why and also being prodromal paranoid schizophrenic. Today I am convinced that my feelings had been hurt to an extent that no one else's feelings could be hurt as much in existence. It was a shame. After I realized I was sensitive when I was almost twenty-one years old, my feelings didn't get hurt not nearly as easily and as badly as before.
These photographs were taken for use in a project my father had done for Special Olympics here in Tucson. We took several shots and I had to be patient and listen to exactly how my Dad needed me to pose. We were very happy to help Special Olympics! I was too shy as a teenager to ask a girl to come with us to help me pose, though.
I’d be glad to hear from you. But please remember: you might not hear back from me right away. I’m probably just busy fighting off a fierce giant fire-breathing parrot or something really scary like that.
Thanks, best wishes, and follow your dreams,