Ebb and Flow
My family and friends are always surprised by what I can remember from my childhood. As I near 37, the banks of my memory ebb and flow with moments and stories the people in them have long since forgotten.
Few believe me, or maybe it's that they just can't relate, but I can recall having my diaper changed as a baby. The feel of cold linoleum underfoot as I toddled about my parents’ kitchen a few years later in 1988 is as vivid now as it was then.
Those memories are like pleasant perennials. They’re as welcome to me as Syringas are to an Idaho spring. But there are painful events I wish I could remember to forget.
The Boy With the Bluish-Gray Eyes
A few days ago, I was sitting at the red light on Cole and Barrister when an Ada County Sheriff’s cruiser made a right turn toward the station. In a moment, the sight of the patrol car rekindled the memory of a neighborhood boy I hadn’t thought about in over 20 years.
A lanky 13-year-old with grayish-blue eyes, Barry was one of the coolest, cutest boys at the neighborhood ballpark. He didn’t play baseball and I didn't understand why, but everyone knew Barry.
Like a god among boys with cracking voices that reeked of Axe body spray, no one infringed upon Barry’s freedom. Those of us called home for dinner when the streetlights flickered on were fascinated with him.
That changed for me the night Barry was escorted off the basketball court during one of my games. An embarrassment to the Orioles and the art of baseball as I was, the coaches didn’t care when my attention shifted from right field to Barry being seated in the back of a squad car.
Though I didn't know it then, it was the last time I would see him.
Gossips and Curious Kids
In the weeks following his arrest, the neighborhood gossips cured my confusion as I overhead stories of his sad upbringing and troubled ways. From the way neighborhood parents talked about him, they were surprised he hadn't been sent to a juvenile detention facility sooner.
Within a month, the feelings I had for the 13-year-old boy with blueish-gray eyes had shapeshifted from childhood crush to compassion and concern. I finally understood why Barry didn't play baseball, why the streetlights didn't call him home for dinner.
After I finished my stroll down memory lane, I called up a few friends to see if they knew what had happened to Barry. None of them did.
Inspired by the pursuit of closure, I decided I wanted to know more about today's juvenile detention centers. To my surprise, I was pleased to learn that Idaho's Juvenile Justice System goes to great lengths to affect positive change for its children in detention centers.
Scroll to learn about the wonderful services and programs Ada County provides children and minors within juvenile detention.
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- ⚠️ When ridding your residence of industrial products, solvents, paints, disinfectants, and fertilizers, there's more to know than most realize!
- ☠️ Hazardous products are signaled by the following words/phrases: caution - danger - poison - warning - corrosive - flammable - explosive - oxidizer - irritant - environmental hazard.
- 🌳 The City of Boise Public Works commission oversees the disposal of chemicals that threaten human health and the environment.
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