Interview with CMB

From the interview with CMB of Seattle, conducted by phone by Clare Ledden on March 25, 2014, from the Fort Worden History Center. CMB was a resident of the Fort Worden Juvenile Diagnostic and Treatment Center for six months when he was approximately 12 years old. When asked if he had any particular memories, he responded:

“I remember a little– I hesitate to call it a game– but that is what it was characterized at the time, that some of the inmates used to play when the cottage parent was out of the room. Smoking was allowed. What they would do, they had this kind of lounge chair in rows in the day section of the room in front of the television set and they had arms on the chairs and the inmates would put their arms on the arms of the chairs and put them together and drop a lighted cigarette in between their arms and the first one that pulled away was the chicken. There were a couple of people there who had scars, three or four scars up and down their arms from doing that. Now, that was one memorable thing.

Another memorable thing– at one point I had some sort of respiratory infection and my mother had somehow arranged for me to have a bottled cough syrup that I could get nightly before going to bed so I could sleep. It was some kind of prescription stuff, it may well have had codeine in it, I don’t know. At one point one of the fellows who had ingratiated himself with one of the cottage parents– now let me back up and give you a little back story here– this bottle of cough syrup was kept in a locked cabinet in the day room along with a lot of other stuff, any medicines I think the phone was kept in there, I don’t know, a bunch of stuff, but it was a locked cabinet. The cottage parent had the key to it. This fellow had ingratiated himself with the cottage parent to the point where the cottage parent was allowing him to have the key and would tell him to go fetch something out of the cabinet. This fellow opened the cabinet while he was on some other errand and drained that bottle of cough syrup to get high,then I didn’t have any, and that bothered me extensively. I do remember that incident.

I am pretty sure there was probably some sexual predation that went on there and as I recall I was approached once while I was taking a shower and they were pretty public showers and everything, but I was approached and I yelled and made a fuss and the person left and that was that. I was not approached again.”

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