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


5 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).


      • Pete Hann H-236. 12/71 to 5/74. I started in Currahee with group leaders Mayer and Johnson. Built parts of the tents, carved new trail “over the hill”, built New Lodge, Ampitheatre, E&O (I stashed a star drill in the block wall while constructing it), helped Tsungani carry those damned telephone poles to their site. Damn those bitches were heavy. Ended up in Wahanka before being “Terminated”. Worked in the tool room had school with .Never saw or heard of any abuse. Got to visit Carabelle a couple time and listen to those guys stories of hookers in Mexico..damn, I wanted to go to Carabelle…anywho, I remember GL’s Mr. Southern, Wiggly, Brueggaman, Mayer, Johnson, Wiggington, Brazil, Sawyer, Mr.B, Mr. Neville, a female teacher named Bowen (young thing always teasing the guys, we called her “showen Bowen”)…2 river trips down Suwannee and 1 down the White River in Arkansas…fun time. The place straightened my ass out and life has been great ! My brother Phil was there also, 72-74 Tsungani H-280. I haven’t been in touch with anyone there in many years. Too bad it turned to shit later on. Me and other guys went to Poetters house for dinner with his daughter Dana..Never suspected a thing from anyone…

  2. Hey Marcia I’m Laura moore hope all is good I was in a group with meh vocational group. Use to have Christmas with her sister she then lived where I did don’t want to give her privacy up you know now a days you can leave me a message or call one of those sleepless nights I use to work in the kitchen 100m

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