The Summer of 1974 started out absolutely amazing. I was applying for a High School in New Orleans known as Jesuit High School. I had to take an entrance exam to see exactly where I would place. I did extremely well except for 2 subjects, Latin and English. As a matter of fact, on the English part I remember scoring not a numeral grade, but a few letters, “ESL”. Basically, the Father, whom managed to administer the Latin and English part of my entrance exam, asked me what was the native Language I spoke. You see, ESL stands for ENGLISH as a SECONDARY LANGUAGE – I was so embarrassed and humiliated. After being accepted into Jesuit, I also had an opportunity to try our for the band and football team. This will be continued in another segment!!
During the summer of 1974, I played 1st Base at the local playground, Girard Vikings. For some reason, I came back a little bit heavier and stronger then the year before. I was a bit more cocky with a chip on my shoulder. I promised the first person to call me FAT PAT this summer was going to get an ass whooping like no other. Well, it didn’t take long for some little smart ass to utter those words – Hey FAT PAT!! Well, I unleashed a barrage of Punches to his head, mouth and nose. The fight didn’t last long. I hit him about 3 or 4 times and he hit the ground crying like a baby screaming; please don’t hit me anymore. So I stopped and of course the Coaches and Parents came running over as the kids screamed Fight Fight. The main reason; I learned to Fight and Box while a freshman at MMI the year before in school. It was a class in Self Defense. Having had to fight for survival with much older Cadets, you get pretty good at taking a Punch along with giving one. Yes, I got suspended from Girard Playground for 2 weeks for fighting and yes, my mother beat my ass silly because I hurt another kid. She called it the BOARD of EDUCATION. You see, Mom was a school teacher and an educator and back when I grew up, I got the look and the promise. Nothing ever had to be said. The kid I hurt happened to be another teacher’s son my mom taught school with across the street at James Madison Elementary – go figure!! My mom was a serious disciplinarian. Once, she promised me a butt whipping for talking back. I went to bed and nothing happened that night. At 2 AM in the morning, she remembered she owed me a whipping and had no problem waking me up out of a dead sleep to let me know and I quote; ” Didn’t I promise you an ass whipping”. The next thing you know, my Ass was hurting. I learned quickly; and I think that was the last time I ever had my mom tag my ass. She had a heavy hand and I had a large ass – so she never missed – LOL!!!
As summer continued, so did my weigh gain. By the time I was ready for my Sophomore Year (10th Grade) at Jesuit, I was tipping the scales at 225 lbs. I was getting taller but I was also getting wider. During the summer, my mom’s roommate started to teach me to drive. I got my learners permit. We would go to Clearview Mall and practice at night and on the weekends. It was great. I was always a quick study. We spent a lot of time during the summer doing fun stuff, but most of it revolved around something to do with eating. My closet eating was getting worse. I got busted several times for having food and drink in the bedroom, but this never stopped me. I continued to gain weight but Mom just kept purchasing me larger clothes. It was a vicious cycle. If I got caught with food, I always found another hiding place. It was almost a game. Yea, I got reprimanded a lot of times, but would always butter mom up. I had a smooth way about me – kind of still have it to this day!! – LOL
Will To Live – Gluttony – Part 6 – to be continued!!