1. CHARITY HOSPITAL part I

It sounded as if someone were saying “Keep on Truckin” and kept saying it over and over. “Keep on Truckin”. MORE
2. LOST (1957)

The call of adventure began early for me. At three and a half I found a nickel lying around the house and set off to spend it at a nearby market. MORE
3. CHARITY HOSPITAL part II

“Mr. Wilkstrom?” Said a voice as the sheet drape was pulled aside. “I have an order for an X-ray?” He was tall and lanky, a white guy in a blue lab coat. MORE
4. THE ROAD TO NEW ORLEANS (1975)

I was comforted to at least be in America to receive my medical care. Originally, I had hopes of leaving the country. MORE
5. ORIGINS AND INFLUENCES

I was fascinated by books of real life exploration that my dad had in his art studio. “Kon Tiki” by Thor Heyerdahl, Jack London’s Alaskan stories, poems by Robert Service MORE
6. RUSH ORDER (1943)

 An article surfaced in a Stars and Stripes magazine. “Rush Order”, penned by Colonel Alfred Frederich Kalberer: MORE
7. CHARITY HOSPITAL part III

Terri returned with a fresh bag of saline and started unhooking the nearly empty one. While she was attending to switching the bags an eager, middle-aged social worker came up behind her. MORE
8. NEW NEIGHBORHOOD (1959)

“Children, we’re moving” Mom stated, while standing in the doorway of our living room. We barely looked up from the black and white television set, MORE
9. SAINT MARGARET’S SCHOOL part I

Although baptized at Saint Alphonsus Church in nearby Ballard our family celebrated mass at Saint Margaret’s Catholic Parish in the Interbay neighborhood, MORE
10. CHARITY HOSPITAL part IV

Dr. Fontenot returned to my bedside with an assistant that I hoped was his prized pupil. “All Right. Let’s see what we can do about this,” MORE

11. ARRIVAL IN NEW ORLEANS (1975)

I’d heard about Charity Hospital shortly after arriving in New Orleans. It was one of the largest and oldest hospitals in the country, MORE

12. SEATTLE WORLD’S FAIR (1962)

Sister Donald stood in the doorway of St. Margaret’s School with a brass bell in her hand, MORE

13. PUGET SOUND GROUP OF NORTHWEST PAINTERS

Although the Seattle Fine Arts Society was founded in 1908, the local art scene by the mid 20s was a polyglot of professional illustrators and graphic designers, school art instructors, MORE

14. CHARITY HOSPITAL part V

Morris came over to my bedside. “Mister Wikstrom, I’bin tol’ you got someone here t’see ya”. I nodded my head a bit and mouthed the letters, “OK”. My old high school buddy MORE

15. NEIGHBORHOOD (Early 1960s)

By the time we were all moved into the new house, I had explored the neighborhood pretty well. Directly below our house and across the street were four small duplexes MORE

16. HOUSEKEEPING IN NEW ORLEANS (1975)

Our high school friend Boggs knew we were coming to New Orleans for Mardi Gras but had no idea that we planned on staying indefinitely. MORE

17. SAINT MARGARET’S SCHOOL part II (Mid 1960s)

I got up early for school. It was a long walk down Dravus Street, across the railroad tracks and up Queen Anne Hill to St. Margaret’s. MORE

18. CHARITY HOSPITAL part VI

Morris began unhooking the cot that I had been laying face down on. Terri, the evening nurse, had been directing the procedure and was now repositioning the pillows MORE

19.  BOY SCOUTS

William and I had been raised with a certain sense of purpose. He too had followed my dad’s example and had a passion for art MORE

20. ST. MARGARET’S part III

Sally and Maria were two classmates that sat right behind me in class and always seemed to be getting into trouble. MORE

21.  JFK ASSASINATION

Anyone who was there knows where he or she was when they heard the news of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. MORE

22. CHARITY HOSPITAL part VII

William had been up for awhile. He had told me what a hassle it was to get an official hospital pass since they feared people would come in and steal drugs MORE

23. JOB HUNTING IN NEW ORLEANS

I felt fairly confident that I could land a job as a sign painter if I worked at it hard enough and began preparing a portfolio of my samples to show to potential employers. MORE

24. ST. MARGARET’S SCHOOL part IV

Traditionally, the girls in school sang in the choir while the boys were expected to serve as altar boys and try out for soccer or basketball MORE

25. KETCHIKAN, ALASKA 1964

The rest of the springtime couldn’t go by fast enough. I took to my old habit of scrounging dumpsters for soda pop bottles to redeem, set up a lemonade stand on warm weekends MORE

26. INDUSTRIAL ELECTRIC CO.

I came back to our Uptown apartment after a long day of mowing city parking strips in Metarie Parish, where the upper crust of New Orleans society had their homes MORE

27. RAMPART & ESPLANADE

I started haunting the French Quarter looking for suitable apartments. It wasn’t an easy task. Although the street grid is straightforward and rectangular, there are hidden alleys MORE

28. CHARITY HOSPITAL part VIII

They had managed to move me out of the Intensive Care Unit into a general ward next door and I had even begun to eat semi-solid food that was spoon-fed by Morris or William. MORE

29. CATHERINE BLAINE JUNIOR HIGH 1967, part I

It was decided that I would enter public school in the eighth grade. I suspected my parents had heard some of the rumors of abuse but just as likely they were hoping I’d achieve better grades MORE

30. ROBBED AT KNIFEPOINT

I’d promised Marita, the girl I’d left behind in Seattle, that I’d call and write. Her letters to me had been filled with longing, promises MORE

31. CHARITY HOSPITAL part IX

My fever was getting worse. I was shivering and my feet would jerk in spasm. “There could be be an infection at the surgery site or on his tailbone” MORE

32. CATHERINE BLAINE JUNIOR HIGH part II

Unwittingly, I had created some mystery about myself. To the teachers, staff and students who just heard my name I was Victor, my first name. MORE

33. CANADIAN CRUISE 1967

My anticipation built over the next couple months until school let out and summer got going. We’d go to the marina where Roy would show me the particulars about outfitting the boat MORE

34. THE FATEFUL DAY

After being robbed in the French Quarter, I’d panhandled enough for the streetcar fare and trembled with relief all the way back to our place Uptown. MORE

35. CHARITY HOSPITAL part X

“I’m Sarah”, said the Head Nurse. She was tall, not much older than me it seemed but she carried herself with all the authority one would expect MORE

36. CATHERINE BLAINE JUNIOR HIGH part III 1968

I had the same homeroom class the following year. Joe was hip to where the latest Be-ins and political rallies were being held. MORE

37. SEATTLE POP FESTIVAL 1969

I had missed out on the first Sky River Rock Festival on Betty Nelson’s Farm in the town of Sultan near Seattle and the equally memorable “Piano Drop” MORE

38. CHARITY HOSPITAL part XI

Mom took the thermometer out of my mouth and held it up to the light. “You’re still over a hundred degrees”, she said with dismay. MORE

39. QUEEN ANNE HIGH SCHOOL part I

My older brother William’s reputation had preceded me. I arrived at my counselor’s office for my appointment to lay out my course of studies. MORE

40. MAGNOLIA BEACH part I

Fredrick was the first of my friends to move out of his parent’s house and onto his own. Some petty squabble over the length of his hair or his choice of clothing MORE

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