Short Story – First Girl at ATC

The day I came four more girls came. The lodge, dorm, clinic and admin building were there. I was there all alone for a few hours! Scared to death. The second day we started working on campsite(abidaban), nothing but a big red hill. My good friend Meg (who I’m still looking for) did something wrong(can’t remember what) and Martha Kitchens, the admin. at the time, made her dig a 12 inch hole with a spoon and the whole group of 7 had to watch. It was terrible. I knew it truly going to be hell!!!! I have so many stories, good and bad! I learned a lot and missed out on so much. It feels good to talk about sometimes, it was a great part of my life, I grew a lot.

Marcia Ray


3 thoughts on “Short Story – First Girl at ATC

  1. I was there. 71-73. D-225, arriving @ 15 yo and leaving at 18….
    It WAS hell… But it taught me to stand on my own two feet and be responsible for myself. I was never sexually abused and never saw or heard of it happening while I was there – other than the group in Carabelle that would get to go to Mexico and visit prostitutes. I Started in wawoka and ended in wahanka… Wawoka – humph… We’re the one’s that cleared the ground for your lodge, admins, etc… I left in 73, telling Doc he could kiss my ass, I was over 18 and I was either leaving or I was pressing charges for being held against my will. He countered with, “How about you transfer to wahanka and do NOTHING but work on your GED – then as soon as you get it, you leave with our blessings?” I took the deal. I remember working with Mr Neville (teacher). He didn’t like the way I did algebra. But my way got me through the GED at Atlanta Area Tech.
    Yea, I knew RIchard and David Tillis. Spent Christmas of 71 with their family as I couldn’t go home – no crest. While I’m hearing (here) that David’s gone bad, at one time they were good people. Sara (their mother) seemed a wonderful person – or as wonderful as you could be and still send your kids to Anneewakee. Not one kid… but TWO!
    I remember:
    Phil Woodhull w-117 – in prison for 3rd offense child molestation.
    Bruce Smith s-123 (I think) suicide.
    Alvin Watkins (don’t remember his laundry number) suicide I heard.
    Jim Duncan, died of prostate cancer – a exaggerating (lying) redneck to the end.
    Steve Grover – prison for life – murder 1.
    Ken McCord… I’d like to find him – dunno why.
    Sam Sawyer – group leader – suicide. Great help to me.
    Doc Poetter – hopefully in hell for all eternity.
    James Womack – Came across as ‘nice’ – but a piece of shit.
    Mr “B” – strange bird. Dunno whats happened to him.
    Ken Wiggington – Group leader – really a good guy – last I heard he was in Tenn.
    I guess I’m one of the few that turned out to be “normal” – whatever that is. I can be reached through my web site if anybody cares to try.

    • It didn’t post my website…
      Well, now ya know. I hope ATC helped you and you got through it as well as I.
      Was it ‘fun’? No. In fact to think back about it is quite depressing. I worked my ass off there. But oddly enough, it was better than my ‘home life’ was. I wasn’t being beat. I wasn’t being humiliated. I wasn’t being abused. I just worked my ass off. And THAT my friends was MUCH better than my life back at “home”.

      I sure don’t understand the part about a 12 inch hole though….

      We built the E&O, took out the “quiet room”, built the ‘new’ lodge and Tawanka’s ‘group house’ chimney (among MANY other things).


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