Everybody has a story.
Some of the most interesting tell us about ourselves.
I meet Buddy at the Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles. At first his gentle, round face glows with good humor. Then he slips into the rhythm of his story, which begins when his grandfather moved from Japan to Hawaii more than a hundred years ago. It ends with the three years Buddy spent at the concentration camp in Heart Mountain, California, when he was a Boy Scout in junior high.
CONTINUE READING Buddy
Marcus walks up to me, his hand out, ready to shake mine. Tall and slim, a crisp light blue shirt, dark pants and small diamond earrings, brown eyes direct and friendly.
At ten years old, Marcus was in a foster care group home with six other boys. At thirteen, he was a member of a violent street gang, the Pasadena Denver Lane Bloods.
“I joined for survival,” Marcus says. “The boys in the home were already gang members. Until I became like them, I was victimized. I went from prey to wolf.”
CONTINUE READING Marcus
Alina spent eight years of her childhood in a war zone. She and her family lived in Tehran, Iran, when Iraq invaded in 1980. The two countries had border disputes, especially about navigation rights along the Shatt al-Arab waterway, which gave both countries access to the Arabian Sea.
In just fifty-two days of the eight-year war, Tehran was hit by 118 missiles.
“It was terrible,” Alina says. “I was ten or eleven years old at that time. There was a siren when the enemy was attacking and we went to an underground place at our school. I always felt we were going to get killed."
CONTINUE READING Alina