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I Didn't Belong: Chapter Seven - New Aunty And Uncle

...I honestly do not remember being
taught anything at that school at all with the
exception of how to commit a burglary, and soon
enough I was out to burgle a warehouse, my first
crime that led to a court appearance. Inevitably we
got caught because of the idiot I was with, a bloke
called Arthur who wanted to make a phone call to
his mates from the warehouse to show off...

Ronnie Cook, now in a children's home after being abandoned by his violent Gypsy father, begins a life of crime.

Ronnie's wonderfully well-told life story, I Didn't Belong, describes a harrowing journey from darkness into light. The book is available from www.amazon.co.uk Type it's title in the Amazon search box.

Soon after I had complained, along with some of
the other children to the social worker, all the
children were then questioned in depth, and shortly
afterwards Mr & Mrs McCabe left. With hindsight it
was probably pre-determined anyway but we were
all glad. The task of running the home, which it
could now be called, was given to Mr and Mrs Smith,
who we referred to as Aunty Smith or Nora and
Uncle Smith or John, along with new staff all of
which we called Aunty.

Mr and Mrs Smith got us all
together introduced themselves and gave a lecture,
on what the new rules of the house were. We could
go out to play in the garden if we wanted to. We
could even go for walks or organized swimming
trips and days in town. The older you were the
more responsibilities you had, which also led to
more privileges. My job was to look after the
rabbits in the air raid shelter, which was good as I
could escape there when I needed to be on my
own. That was my little hidey hole.

Mr & Mrs Smith had a good regime. They were
strict but at the same time fair. They organized
Sunday school for us at St John the Evangelist
Church on Balby Road, and I even ended up joining
the choir, which I really enjoyed. As I didnít fit in
with the other children, I suppose it was my escape
from the home and a chance to accepted as a human, an
equal amongst the others.

I remember the Vicar
was a very caring man. Unfortunately they decided
to build a dual carriage on Balby Road so we had to
change church. So we went to Alder Grove
Methodist Church. It wasnít the same, as we were
classed as subordinates and had to do what God
had told somebody else. Myself and a few of the
other children from the home disliked our new
Sunday school so much we used to club together
for a packet of cigarettes and skive off and go to
Hexthorpe flats and smoke our cigarettes.

I did, however, make friends with one or two of the local
children. One I remember in particular was a girl
called Zoe. She was like a breath of fresh air. What
a lovely girl. She had a presence about her; I have
since come to learn it was God walking alongside
her.

However, as I got a little older I strayed into
what could only be described as a normal part of
growing up, although always being the outsider
because of my background along with being in a
children's home. I never really felt that I had a
sense of belonging. There was never any love or
emotional support from anyone, with the exception
of course of my mum when I was a few years
younger. But that was only bits and bats because
of the life we lived, and what emotions or feelings
we gained my dad soon knocked it out of us.

It is no wonder I grew up without sense of
emotion or ability to give love or was always
suspicious of anyone giving love. As in my mind I
would always be that dirty Gypo rat eater, that
steals children. I always seemed to destroy any
love or respect given, yet I always felt comfortable
in the presence of women, as adult men always
seemed to be a source of danger to me.

As I grew older, even the lads I knew as a child became a
threat. They still played stupid childish pranks and
the likes, I always thought how pathetic. My sense
of humour had gone for a walk a long time ago so I
would fight if they so much as looked at me the
wrong way. With my attitude the girls were always
wary of me and the boys just kept out of my way.
No wonder I couldnít fit in or feel like I belonged. In
retrospect the majority of people in their ignorance
were quite awful, especially to my brothers and
myself.

Whilst at Stanley House I did manage to
get an education of sorts as I went to Woodfield
Junior School for a while but I donít remember it.
I was uninspired, as I was classed as an idiot
because I couldnít read or write properly. I just
didnít fit in, along with being subject to prejudice
from the other children brought on by their parents -
dislike for people like myself, as they were also
ignorant of other people's cultures, colour and
background.

I then went to Oswin Avenue High School for the first year.
What a dump! It was a
social dumping ground - Iím sure of it. If you were a
bit behind, a misfit or socially unacceptable, this
was the school you went to. It was awful. All the
bigger children picked on other children and me in
my year so in return I would end up fighting with
them. Who did they think they were? I was made of
better stuff than those the Muppets. Eventually, I
ended up being an outcast but I feel this was
brought on by my not being accepted, rather than
being rejected.

I honestly do not remember being
taught anything at that school at all with the
exception of how to commit a burglary, and soon
enough I was out to burgle a warehouse, my first
crime that led to a court appearance. Inevitably we
got caught because of the idiot I was with, a bloke
called Arthur who wanted to make a phone call to
his mates from the warehouse to show off. But, as
you could imagine, the phone was connected to the
store it was a supply centre for, and he asked the
person on the other end if they could connect him
to his mateís home phone. He even gave them his
name when they asked him! What an idiot.

After a while in the Police station I was taken back to the
Home where I received a right royal roasting. I felt
as if I had let Mr and Mrs Smith down, which I had.
Later that day their son Robert, a policeman, read
me the riot act about crime. But it fell on partly
deaf ears, as I had virtually got away with it.
Although I had been caught, I wasnít punished, and
all of a sudden I became somebody. The last I
heard Robert was a sergeant with the road traffic
division. Their other son, Alec, went into banking,
and I really do hope all the Smith family have done
well for themselves.

However, needless to say, this was what turned
out to be a start of a long slippery slope. Maybe
they should have given me some kind of short
sharp shock, at least some sort of punishment. I
donít know, after all they are still trying to figure
things of this nature out today. Sometimes it works,
sometimes not, but I feel it boils down to the lack
of continued support.

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