When I was 12 years old, I experienced two events that changed the course of my life: (1) I got my own paper route; and (2) my mom drove me to the bank and opened up a checking account in my name. The reason she opened the account was because she didn’t want the job of writing a check every week to the local newspaper (Peoria Journal Star). When we got home, she taught me how to write checks, and when the first bank statement arrived in the mail, she taught me how to reconcile the account.
When I graduated from a public high school 36 years ago (1975), no one in high school talked openly about homosexuality. There were some rumors about one of our teachers, but that was it. If there were any students who were homosexual, nobody knew about it because it was never discussed.
I graduated from high school in 1975 (36 years ago). The school I attended was located in a rural area of Peoria County. Most of the students in the school were from families in which at least one of the parents worked in a blue collar job, such as manufacturing or the building trades. I came from one of those families. While I was growing up, my dad was a carpenter. Although he eventually ended up owning his own construction company, he always remained a member of the Carpenters’ Union.