Dear Mr. Straley,

I saw the story a few months ago in the paper regarding the White House Boys.  At
the time I read it, I thought how terrible that must have been.  I immediately
thought of my own father and how he went to a boys school, but thought surely it
couldn't be the same one...until today.  My grandmother passed away this week,
and after her viewing tonight I was talking with my father and he shared some
stories of his past.  One of these stories was from a time around 1954-1956 when
he was a boy of about 11 or 12 and he and his younger brother spent time at the
Marianna Boys Home and that he was indeed a White House Boy.  My father,
Freddy M. Bishop, and his brother Larry L. Bishop were apparently beaten several
times, but he told me of one specific event that I would like to share with you.  

After dinner time my dad had to go to a house to get medicine, one night a group
of boys apparently demanded more food and he believes they were given more
food that night, but he wasn't sure because he was not there.  The next day the
group was taken to "the White House" (which he referred to as the ice cream
house because after you went your skin would be every color that is in ice
cream).  My dad was thought to be part of the group because he was gone at the
same time to get his medicine.  He told me of the man that did the beating, (he can
recall his name, but I don't remember what he said) and how he pleaded with him
that he had only gone to get his medicine.  The man said he was lying and then he
was made to lay on the bed, bite a pillow, with arms stretched around the
mattress.  He was then given 34 licks with the strap and the man asked him about
what he had did wrong and my dad tried to explain again he didn't know, he had
only gone to get his medicine; the man then gave him over 20 more licks, and
because he couldn't take the pain any more he told the man he did it, even though
he really didn't know what "it" was at the time.  When my dad woke up the next
morning his skin was stuck to the sheets.  My dad says if you look close at his
back you can still see scars.

Although my dad did not speak of the things that had happened to me before this
day, I believe it is good for him to know that what happened to him and his brother
has not been forgotten, so I appreciate all that are responsible for this web site and
for bringing this story to light.  I can tell he recalls what happened to him like it was
yesterday even though it has been long ago.  Unlike the experience I saw from
some other children of White House Boy Survivors, my dad was very much the
opposite.  We were sparingly punished if at all, in fact if my mother tried to punish
us my dad would fuss about it.  I believe my dad wanted us to never have anything
close to the horrors he faced in his life.  Although we grew up with out a whole lot
of money, we never really new as kids.  We always had to have more than enough
food cooked at every meal and we were allowed to get by with too much, which
often ends up with a negative outcome as well.  I am grateful for my dad and
deeply saddened by the experiences he had to face as a boy.  Thanks again for
bringing your past to present to help so many; I am sure it has brought back
painful memories for you as well.  I am also sorry for you, my dad and uncle, and
for all that suffered that our state ignored what was taking place at the Marianna
Boys School.  


Shannon Bishop Erwin