B & E

B & E does not mean beginning of the end, though it could be. In the legal world it means breaking and entering. And that is what applies to me sad to say. I had a drug business in school. Robby supported me with marijuana and I would sell it for him. I had a specially made jacket where different “brands” of marijuana would go in different pockets. They were also of varying sizes. I needed some scales to grow my business and someone suggested we break into the local high school and get some scales. I don’t know who really concocted the idea between Gary, Dwayne and me.

It may not have been so much as a business decision as it was a thing to do. We had been stealing things since I was 12 years old. I was 15 when we decided to break into the school. During this season of my life we broke into two church buildings and stole many things from local stores. The first store that I remember was a “mom and pop” called J. L. Austins. It was a local hardware/food store on Main Street in Wingate, NC. We would go in the back door, which was a screen door that was not locked during the day. We would crawl in on our hands and knees. We would crawl to the drink box and take what we wanted and then crawl back out and enjoy the snacks.

The last time we broke into Austins was the day we were initiating Joe Woodson in B & E. Joe was a bit green to say the least. We had crawled in, ducking from the front counter at the other end of the store. Joe who was following us came in standing up. He let the door slam behind him. It made a loud noise, we were startled at the blunder and someone from the front realized what was going on and hollered at us. That was the end of that.

Another time I stole some cherry blend cigars from a local one-man gas station on Highway 74. Joe and I would go into the woods and smoke them. We did this the entire summer. That fall we went out for the midget league football team. They had us running around the baseball field as part of our drills. Needless to say that was the end of our cigarette smoking days.

We continued our life of crime up to the high school break-in. I think we would have gotten away with the haul, but the law was suspicious of some things they thought our older brothers had done. They were on their trail. That trail led to our grandmothers out-building where they found our stash of goods. I do not know if they ever found what they were looking for, but what they weren’t looking for they found and it was a major turning point in my life.

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