Tuesday, 21 October 2014


Isn't it just the way it goes? The folks who love flying don't get as many opportunities as those who dread boarding a plane. If I had good vision, I'd love to have my own aircraft.

This isn't a new desire of mine. As a child, I dreamt of piloting my own plane. In fact, there was a period in the autumn of 1968 when I kept dreaming night after night about soaring high above the land.

The plane I piloted was like the one in the above photo, though it had a yellow body. In each dream, I felt great affection for my aircraft. I also felt a sense of freedom which I lacked in my waking hours at Jericho Hill School.

I've heard that dreams of flight are a subconscious manifestation of a wish to be free. In view of the dreams I've had, I can well understand that theory. Jericho was oppressive to me. For the first seven years of my life, I was a free person. Mom let me and my sister play wherever we felt like. As long as we came home for lunch or dinner, she was happy. Even when I went to public school, I still felt free.

Then came that dreadful shock in 1964 when I found myself five-hundred miles from home and no possibility to return until Christmas. I also lived with a dozen blind boys in a sterile dorm ruled by a supervisor. We were marched down to a rickety dining hall three times a day like prisoners and the food there was terrible. I couldn't even play wherever I felt like since the supervisor made us stay in a group.

For that reason, and a few others, I treasure my independence. Only on God do I want to rely. Never again do I want to be in a highly structured environment like Jericho. The ability to eat what I want and go wherever I can is a precious treasure. So is eating whatever I feel like and going to bed when I want to. Even wearing whatever clothes catch my fancy in the closet is a thrill.

To better understand how suddenly being plunged into the alien world of an institution at a young age is like, purchase Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School. Not only do I describe life there in a matter-of-fact way but I relate the mischief we got into. It was harmless foolery but the authorities didn't think so. Sometimes, we even got away with things when temporary supervisors were there.