Teacher: Theft, Trespassing, Possession of Controlled Substances, Driving While Intoxicated

I was a nice boy and then sometimes I wasn’t. We stole little things

candy, trinkets, stuff you could hide in your pocket

and big things

auto parts from a nearby junkyard (we called it the “midnight auto supply”); the steering wheel of a parked car at a filling station (we used it in building a Frankenstein go-cart); a stop sign (which we unbolted and installed in our college dorm room).

We’d throw snowballs at cars, sling-shot rocks, and BBs at moving freight trains. We’d drive after drinking, and inhale when smoking pot. We’d sneak into garages and barns just to have a look, and climb out onto the roofs of office buildings.

We did it for the moment, for the thrill. But I never thought I’m a bad guy. If you come to think of yourself as criminal, you’ve passed a threshold.  You get onto a trajectory that’s a bad path.

Thankfully, I wasn’t caught and I didn’t consider myself bad– nor did others.

Experimenting with delinquency is normal – and so is giving it up. How many kids get a police record, or a longer record, for the same or even fewer criminal acts my friends and I did?

I have that story. Everybody has that story. If you find someone who claims they’ve never committed a crime, either they’re lying, they have a poor memory, or they’re very abnormal.