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Randy Attwood

(c) 2011 By Randy Attwood

Smashwords edition


Dear Suzanne,

One thing I’ve learned in my profession is that the telling of a thing should wait for its proper time. The time has come, daughter, for me to tell you how you got your name.




Children who grew up on military bases are called Army brats. Asylum brats were those few of us who grew up on the grounds of state insane asylums where our parents, who worked there, had housing provided by the state. We weren't shoved from base to base, state to state, country to country, so we couldn't claim we didn't put down roots. Instead, we were buffeted between the bizarre personalities among whom we lived, if we chose to know the lives of those mostly benign inmates -- excuse me, patients -- from whose lunacy our parents earned their livings.

My sister, Sally, ignored them. Not me. I got into trouble early in my life by making the acquaintance of so many of those twisted souls. My mother almost had had a heart attack when I wandered away at the age of four and showed up back at her door holding the hand of a huge man who wasn’t insane, just retarded. He had had the good sense to bring me home before I had gone too far away. For his good deed he was screamed at by my mother, who called the campus police, who hauled him away, tears streaming down his big, uncomprehending face.

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