Lexington 8th Grade Class of 1968
Excerpts from Chapter 4 of Annapolis Creed
....The truth was taken from the baby boomer siblings in the family. Only the rumors confiscated from our own individual investigations remain. It was troublesome to understand why my favorite aunt was no longer with my uncle Robert anymore. I loved my Aunt Michelle.
My uncles all went into the service after high school and joined the Navy except for my Uncle Robert. He wanted to be different, and so did my youngest son John. Pictures of relatives in military uniforms were prominently placed throughout my grandmother’s house. I remember the summer picnics and the trips to Six Flags Amusement parks. These were the fun times with all of my cousins. I remember the jokes and comments about my Aunt Mary Claire’s five husbands. She was a cutie pie and gorgeous. I remember the boisterous observations and sounds of my father playing “Bid Whist” (a card game) with my uncles. My cousins and I couldn’t wait till we were big enough to play at the big people table. There was always good food (barbecue ribs) and special trips to the local barbecue hole in the wall shops. I loved the smells, and sounds of family get together functions. My grandmother was like the grandma in the movie “Soul Food.” Someone always seems to play this role in every healthy appearing family.
These families appear to be just fine from the outside, but they are rarely like this. In reality, they are filled with the same crimes and secrets as those of other families. You can have a lovely home, but it is representative of the amount of debt that one has. Huge family outings and Christmas parties only balance the reflection of grief and personal sacrifice by someone.
Psychology would point to one’s childhood as the primary reason for rebellion, inappropriate and irresponsible behavior as an adult. Children are quick to blame their parents. It is easy not to accept responsibility for one’s own actions in life. We all have memories of our first date, kiss, crush, dance, and the first Johnny nasty jokes about sex and other things. There are memories about our adult mentors (cousins, etc.) that were sometimes funny and yet at other times, they appeared to be so embarrassing that we choose to hide them from our friends. Embarrassment is the virtue that everyone tried to hide during the middle school years. Secrets were formed and kept tucked away forever from everyone outside of our family. It was OK, for us to talk about them but never could these truths be known to others.
My parents could not give me a hand in the fourth grade when the new math (1964) changed to “base other than base 10” they could not handle nor did they complain. Why did it change? Will education reform always be necessary to meet the needs of the future workplace? Change is not easy, but change is good for our American Future! I never heard my parents complain. They only complained when I did not do my homework or receive a grade below a B. Then one day during a lesson on mathematics, I had a vision and dream in elementary school to become better in math than anyone in my school.
Soon I found myself giving a presentation to parents at an Open House in the fourth grade on the subject of “Base 2-Base 29,” that new math concept when my parents could no longer help me with mathematics. They knew arithmetic, but this new math was pushing in a new direction using base 2 or binary computations. Why was this so important? I will understood why upon entering college and taking mandatory computer programming courses in 1972.
There were no calculators, and the only computers were big mainframes that could fill an entire room. My obsession with mathematics and the new math began to open pathways for myself as a young Negro back in 1968. It was my love of math that allowed me to surpass racism and segregation. I had no knowledge before writing this book about the fate of Mr. Conyers (the first Black man to be admitted to Annapolis), and how my knowledge of Algebra and Geometry would remove obstacles that would otherwise prevent me from graduating from the Naval Academy in 1976. My knowledge of math allowed me to attend the distinguished private secondary Christian Brothers College (CBC) Military Institute in Clayton Missouri in 1968. Graduation from Lexington in 1968 would be the last time attending school out of a military uniform.
Dr. Jordan B smith jr.
I attended the U. S. Naval Academy from 1972-1976 earning a B.S. in Mathematics. Served 20 years both active and reserve in the US Marines. Veteran of the Desert Shield/Storm. I earned a MAED and Ed D. specializing in curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix in 2015. I graduated from CBC High School in Clayton, MO in 1972.