It was by coincidence that stumbled on an article on the CNN website regarding the White
House Boys. I am from the area and have family that still live nearby. For the longest time
I never knew why my father was so angry and now I think I have a better understanding.
A misguided young man, heart broken by his parent’s divorce, my father classified as a
runaway was sent to the “boys home” by his parents – my own grandparents. He would
never speak of his time there but I seriously believe it has gravely affected who he is and
who I am today.
The legacy of abuse did not stop in 1967. It continues today as I have to remember the
multiple beatings my brothers and I had to endure from my own father. He strives to be
a good man but has never been whole since the day he was left at the boy’s home in
Marianna. His temper and rage still continues and I only now see why it did. It doesn't’
make it right what he did to us and my mother but I have an understanding to his own
mental and physical torture that he endured as well.
I haven’t had a relationship with my father for the past seven years and I am not sure that
I can have one with him. It is a constant struggle for me now as a parent to not “lose” my
control. I cannot even discipline “spank” my children without the fear of going too far.
I am a very loving mother but I am not a whole person because of my father’s fate at the
boy’s home many, many, years ago. I am sure reading the book will give me a better
understanding of the torture inflicted on him while he was a ward of the state. I want to
thank you for coming forward and telling your story and others. It helps to heal the wounds
now that I have a better understanding as to the “why”......
Thank you Mr. Straley. I appreciate you and other survivors for coming
forward with your story. Without knowing any of this, I would be
forever broken. Now I can begin to mend my wounds as well.
Again, thank you~Lori
I have had emails and calls from several sons and daughters of men that were at the Florida
School for Boys and they seem to have one thing in common. They all knew something was
not right with their fathers, that there was a point in their past they would not talk about and
all seemed to be consumed with an unexplainable anger. Some knew of the school but could
never get their fathers to talk about it. The ones that read the newspaper stories or visited
our website, now understand and have found it in their hearts to forgive their fathers (two
deceased) , for some there is just understanding. Whenever a child is subjected to brutality
as these men were, it is their sons and daughters that end up suffering from something
that happened before they were born......a sad legacy of rage that can burn its way through