16) Why Failing in Seven Schools Didn’t Destroy Me

In the last post you read about the race riot on Plymouth Avenue in North Minneapolis in 1965. In this post you will read why, in spite of doing poorly in approximately seven schools, I somehow maintained a belief in myself.

In 1966, due to some confusion about school district boundaries, Mom and Jim enrolled me in the wrong high school; one that was out of our school district. So, I was a student at Osseo Senior High for sophomore and junior years, then Cooper (now Robbinsdale/Cooper) for my senior year. Great work Mom and Dad!

Two High Schools: Still One Unremarkable Student

This was an unfortunate mistake because I had difficulty making new friends at school and graduated by the thinnest of margins. Unaware, that was good enough for me. Besides, I was a decent looking kid at 5’11″, somewhat muscular build, with dark-brown hair and blue-eyes. I had a lot of energy, a sharp-wit and could activate the charm almost instantly. I had a good bit of confidence which, looking back, I often used to cover insecurities about my performance in school.

Childhood to Age 18 – A Brief Review

Taking stock, by my 18th birthday (in 1968), I had lived in roughly 15 housing situations, failed classes in no less than 7 different schools, had a Dad who died when I was 4, two more step-fathers, but was still ready to kick some ass. Was I resilient or just naive?

You may have wondered how someone who failed in seven schools – by rough count, as I can recall – didn’t end up in jail.

Here is the answer. Through it all, by luck of good fortune and support of family, I still believed in myself. I also had the ability to get others to believe and trust in me.

The war in Viet Nam was looming.

Were you a superstar or punk in high school?

Next: Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass and Mom’s Top 3 Accidents

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