Hank's my name, and tryin' to survive my life's my game.
I'm fourteen; live in Temple, Texas, with my family. Family consists of my ma, my pa (whenever he's home, that is), my two younger sisters Sarah (12) and Velma (10), and younger brother Ernie (8). I also have a dog, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, which I named Merle.
Family is pretty good, however my pa can be a problem. He'll be home for a few days, then he'll go out drinkin', then disappear, making us worry to death. Whenever he appears, he is ragin-Cajun drunk: stumblin' all over, cursin' God and all creation, just downright mean.
It scares me whenever pa gets like this. He used to be sweet, kind, and loving; however since he hurt his back and can't work again, he spends all his disability pay on booze. I get worried that the police are going to catch him and he's going to end up in jail.
I can't tell you how many times pa has hit me, ma, or the younger kids during one of his rages. Any little thing can set him off: supper not on the table, clothes strewn on the floor, dog lookin' at him the wrong way, even if we look at him when he doesn't want us eyeballin' him.
I've had to go to school, covered in bruises; then I have to explain to teachers that I fell down the stairs; don't want them knowin' of pa usin' me (or my family) as punchin' bags.
I don't want my pa to go to jail; however if he gets to the point of hittin' us anymore, I just might do something I may regret later on--like maybe killin' him, so he don't bring no future harm to me or my family anymore.
Bad enough the police are called to our place nearly every time pa comes home drunk; what's gonna happen if we kids are separated, taken away? What's gonna happen to us then, and worst of all, what's gonna happen to our ma??
I dread to think about it!
I will write in here again, pa comin' up the drive. I can see him lurching up the walkway; as usual he's drunk. So before the shit hits the fan, I'm outta here.
Just keep me in your prayers; God, I hate it when pa is like this!!
~Hank Williams Granger, aged 14. :(