Natural Beauty

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Author: Conella Lyons

My encounter with officer of the law began early in life as an African American citizen in Poughkeepsie, New York. The first encounter happened on second floor of Smith Street Projects in Poughkeepsie, New York. I was a young child going to elementary school on summer vacation from Warring School on Smith Street. My second floor neighbor saw me in the hallway near her apartment. This African American woman accused me of taking pennies out of her apartment. This false accusation led to my having to deny this Lady’s claim to the city of Poughkeepsie police officers. My teenage life led to an incident with the City of Poughkeepsie police department on Market Street. I was walking to visit my Aunt on a Friday Afternoon. This police officer saw me walking and pulled up by the curbside. I did not hesitate to immediately run down the street. This intersection was in the downtown business section of Poughkeepsie, New York. The local police headquarters being right across street of intersection. My decision to run suddenly seemed to be wrong choice. I decided best imaginable choice to turn around with hands up. This decision instantly became right thing to do because police officer already pulled out gun. I spent rest of evening waiting in jail cell until family arrived to pay bail money. I was charged with Obstruction of Government Administration after seeing judge in court.

My family life started on Pittman Farm Edgecomb County in Whitaker, North Carolina. I was a young child involved in the daily operations of sharecropping family lifestyle. My chores were to go to the well for drawing water. This water would be used for cooking, washing, and feeding hogs. The hogs lived in a pen down a path leading toward woods not far from our house. I would take slop to feed the hogs as a young child around 3 years old. This slop consisted of thrown out pieces of unwanted items family would place in a bucket. I had so much spare time being a young child because older relatives in school or at work. My favorite time happened when the Candyman drove onto Farm selling everyone a variety of sweets. My ability to appreciate values of getting spending money began on the farm. I would find empty soda bottles anywhere imaginable and take these bottles to country corner grocery store for a refund of money and candy.

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