I wanted to mention three of the heroes in my life.
The first is my Dad. I wouldn’t be here without him. Ironic to be writing this on Mother’s Day; as it takes two to tango, but not what you’re thinking. I was diagnosed as a young man as autistic. In the 1950’s, the usual method of dealing with the autistic was institutions. Dad would hear none of it. He helped to bring me out of my shell. My wife Elaine, who you will meet later in this essay, said today I might have been diagnosed with what’s called Aspergers. Dad saved me. The number one hero. You wouldn’t have met me otherwise.
I keep saying some days, he might have wondered why he saved me, and we are getting to that.
My childhood buddy Saul Schlapik saved me three times.
The first was something seemingly innocuous. He accompanied me to the bank; an errand I was sent on by my Mom. The man in front of us was a black man taking out about two thousand dollars. I need to mention his race because at the time, I was angry that a black man could get money I could not have.
I whispered to Saul, “I am armed, let’s follow him and rob him.” Notice what I just said. I wasn’t raised that way, neither stealing nor the racial part. Thank goodness Saul told me I was nuts. I was acting like a predator. How different was I from the lion on the Serengeti Plain in Africa taking down a zebra? If I have to explain to you, why my very thought was immoral, you might as well stop reading now, for I cannot help you.
The second time he saved me was an invitation to a youth group. It turned out, it was the Unification Church, which I’d never heard of, but he had. Nuff said.
The third was his getting me a job where he worked in Boston, which led to meeting the third person in this story, my life friend spouse and heroine, Elaine.
I took a chance as Elaine did and met her through a radio show. There is fate for you. On trust she stayed with me when my apartment was broken into and took me in. Now look at us LOL! We’ve been together for thirty years. As a writer, I owe my writing career to her, as she was a writer before I was. She has a strong sense of positive spirit, honesty and uprightness. If she tells me I am acting foolish, I am acting foolish, no questions asked.
These are the heroes for now, but there may be more.
- Is My Baby Autistic? (babyzone.com)
- CHARLES RAMSEY: An unlikely, but much appreciated, upgrade to the American Black Male image (getupandwalk.wordpress.com)
- Asperger’s Syndrome (babyzone.com)
- COMMENTARY: Charles Ramsey: American Hero or Racial Healer? (oldschool1053.com)
- Hero Charles Ramsay Knew Something Was Wrong When a ‘White Girl Ran Into a Black Man’s Arms’ (VIDEO) (thestir.cafemom.com)
- Reactions to Cleveland hero Charles Ramsey show America’s race problems | Nanjala Nyabola (guardian.co.uk)
- A mother’s love triumphs over autism (tdn.com)