Sunday, December 28, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

1 bad decision can ruin a teen’s life

wade kelvin column sig copy

By
From page A11 | March 13, 2014 |

Sometime during the late 1980s in another city late at night, I was cruising in the passenger seat of my friend “Herbie’s” car. Another friend, “Dennis,” was in the back.

Herbie asked Dennis to pass him a brick from the back seat. I don’t know why he had a brick in the back of his car but Dennis passed the brick to me and I gave it to Herbie. Without missing a beat, Herbie hurled the brick out of his window and it smashed the front glass of a closed business. We sped away.

I think about that incident with the brick when I see groups of young people arrested for crimes like the youngsters that robbed Travis Dairy and killed the owner, or the four people recently arrested in the death of Naomy Rojas.

A parent’s biggest nightmare is something bad happening to their child. A close second is finding out that your child has done something horrible. It’s tragic when your teen goes along with a group and throws his or her life away.

That incident with the brick illustrates how easy it is to get into trouble with a group of people.

We’d been drinking earlier and were driving looking for something to do. When the driver asked for the brick, I didn’t know what he planned to do with it. But that wouldn’t stop me from being culpable if we’d been caught. That’s the danger when you’re out with a group doing dirt. You may not know that someone in your group is about to vandalize property, rob someone or even shoot someone. It can happen in the blink of an eye.

In those instances, you’re not innocent. I wasn’t innocent.

What if that wasn’t a brick the driver asked Dennis for? What if he asked us to hand him a gun? Would I hand it to him, not knowing what he was going to do with it? In seconds your life can forever change. It’s almost an insurmountable goal to think we can get teens to make those decisions at the last minute. Sitting in the car drunk is too late. We’ve got to keep them from getting in that car. Better still; keep them from hanging out with the wrong crowd.

These are conversations that should be ongoing with our kids and grandkids. Sometimes even good kids can do stupid things in groups. We feel less personally responsible in a group of friends.

If Herbie had been driving alone, I don’t think he would’ve hurled that brick. He wasn’t a bad guy. (In fact, today he’s in law enforcement in a Northern California city!) On the flip side of that, I probably would’ve thrown that brick in the presence of friends just to fit in. We shouldn’t have been drinking but I don’t blame the alcohol. Teens can do reckless things while totally sober.

I was reluctant to write this column because no one wants to hang a spotlight on his or her shameful, stupid moments. But I decided to do it because I was a gifted student from a good religious middle class family and still was fully capable of making stupid decisions to fit in.

It’s hard to impress upon an “invincible” teen that thinks he or she knows everything to be wary of bad influences or just the problem of groupthink. But that’s our job as parents and grandparents.

I don’t want to ever get a phone call that my grandkids were arrested along with several friends for doing something awful. I’m going to be a broken record on this subject. Peace.

Kelvin Wade is the author of “Morsels” Vols. I and II and lives in Fairfield. Email him at kelvinjwade@aol.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • CD BrooksMarch 13, 2014 - 7:35 am

    Kelvin, if we're all being honest we can say we had similar or worse situations too. We had a great family and parents that stayed on us. But we were four boys and when we got loose, it was scary. We talk about our "exploits" all the time sharing them with family and friends. We've never hidden them from our kids they grew up knowing we weren't perfect. We're all invested in our families and the thing our kids hated worse was not getting in trouble, but knowing everyone else in the family would hear about it! We're lucky they are all successful well-adjusted adults now with kids of their own. We are proud to say they are raising their kids as they were raised!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Clark HendersonMarch 13, 2014 - 3:10 pm

    Excellent example and advice. I hope a lot of people heed this advice and prepare their children and grandchildren for difficult situations that will inevitably arise. Great job Kelvin.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

New circulation director for Daily Republic has California roots

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Suisun’s transformation launched 25 years ago

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Picking the year’s biggest story: A playoff

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

AARP tax program seeks volunteers

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Holiday shopping continues after Christmas

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Kwanzaa educates, celebrates African-American heritage

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Winter feeding of backyard birds

By Launa Herrmann | From Page: C4

 
Rush Ranch plans birds of prey workshop

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Weather for Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

 
Projects to watch in 2015

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7

Market predictions for 2015

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

 
County graduates complete basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Dec. 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Shoppers brawl inside Northern California mall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
Arizona police officer, suspect killed in shootout

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Death penalty states unmoved by botched execution

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

San Diego sees costs balloon for outdoor public toilets

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
School error takes money from staff bank accounts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Protester in St. Louis area charged with arson

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Spokesman: George H.W. Bush remains in hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

2 small planes collide in Maryland; no injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Lava creeps 15 yards closer to Hawaii marketplace

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

NYC officer mourned at funeral as tensions linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Drought, plastic bags prompt new California laws

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Final goodbye: Roll call of some who died in 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Woman uses quilt to help those in military

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Del. WWII vet honored with medals 70 years later

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Snow, ice sweep Europe, stranding drivers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
N. Korea uses racial slur against Obama over hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Families take future war dogs into homes as foster pups

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Pilot recalls last flight to Cyprus airport

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Wanted extremist leader surrenders in Somalia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

Redrawn districts made for some tight races

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

 
Putin’s epic annual news conference, condensed

By Ishaan Tharoor | From Page: A8

Leaders fan flames of racial hatred

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 12 Comments

 
Sound Off: Dec. 28, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Bethel Community Church buys Temple Baptist site

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Why do we celebrate Christmas, part two

By Perry W. Polk | From Page: C3

Comforting immigrants is nun’s mission

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Pope’s role in Cuba deal fractures Cuban-American flock

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Coping with mental illness or loss during holiday season

By The Associated Press | From Page: C4

 
Horoscopes: Dec. 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

My son’s cat is being neglected and I don’t know what to do

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
.

Entertainment

Blagojevich brother: I was fed ‘pawn’ to get then-governor

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
Company loses bid for rights to Marvel superheroes

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

Jonah Lehrer working on book about digital life

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

No. 1 Kentucky holds off No. 4 Louisville 58-50

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Vanden’s Koss named 2014 DR Male Athlete of the Year

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Broncos see a much better Raiders team this time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cardinals have hopes of division crown, 12 wins

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Warriors shake off skid, beat Timberwolves 110-97

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Devils replace DeBoer with 3-headed coaching staff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Authorities question Cubs’ Castro after shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Browns suspend receiver Josh Gordon, Manziel late

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Sports deaths: elegant Tony Gwynn, Jean Beliveau

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
 
Cousins leads Kings past Knicks 135-129 in OT

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Anze Kopitar leads LA Kings past Sharks, 3-1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sam: Coming out was right thing to do

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Vikings stadium builders work on career highlight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Virginia Tech beats Cincy 33-17 in Military Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

S Carolina tops Miami 24-21 in Independence Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Arizona State beats Duke 36-31 in Sun Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Penn State tops Boston College 31-30 in OT in Pinstripe Bowl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Kessler leads No. 24 USC to 45-42 win over Huskers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Jameis, Marcus and Mickey: Rose Bowl week starts at Disney

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Bowling report for Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

First Step seeks players, help for 2015 season

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Devil Dawgs retiring after run of success

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
This date in sports history for Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

 
Top business stories of 2014: US grows, world slows

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

BP appeals rejection of removing spill claims head

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Ruling opens door for cruise malpractice lawsuits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

6 US cities: Good jobs but hard-to-afford homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
Why areas with good jobs have hard-to-afford homes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

US company to open tuna cannery in American Samoa

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

 
.

Obituaries

Concordia Albang Lichauco

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Frances Cruz Pangelinan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Oriole Ernestine Cohen

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
John Benjamin Calvin Adams

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Rae Jean Malveaux

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Judy Zamora Rogers

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
.

Secrets of Success 2014

120 Years: Fentons still a treat after all this time

By Susan Winlow | From Page: SOS2 | Gallery

80 Years: Gillespie’s adapts to meet customer needs, thrives

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS5 | Gallery

60 Years: Ryan’s Automotive hits milestone of service

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS6 | Gallery

55 Years: Mary’s Pizza Shack keeps dishing the pies

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: SOS7 | Gallery

50 Years: Cal Yee Farms marks half-century – and counting

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS7 | Gallery

40 Years: Floors To Go weathers recession, bounces back strong

By Ian Thompson | From Page: SOS8 | Gallery

40 Years: Vaca Valley Auto Parts a Fairfield mainstay

By Barry Eberling | From Page: SOS9 | Gallery

35 Years: Vogelpohl prides herself as problem solver

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS10 | Gallery

35 Years: Medic Ambulance rolling strong

By Barry Eberling | From Page: SOS10 | Gallery

35 Years: Scandia Family Fun Center roots run deep

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS10 | Gallery

30 Years: North Bay Pediatrics serves children, parents

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS11 | Gallery

35 Years: More than 1,700 home sales – and counting – for Watson

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: SOS11 | Gallery

30 Years: Sportabout all about tennis – and shoes of all sorts

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: SOS11 | Gallery

25 Years: It’s always showtime for Fairfield’s Finger

By Tony Wade | From Page: SOS12 | Gallery

25 Years: Feins helps build memories through Air Land & Sea Travel

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: SOS13 | Gallery

25 Years: The Hair Place celebrates quarter-century of cuts

By Susan Hiland | From Page: SOS13 | Gallery

20 Years: Quality breeds success for Universal Painting

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: SOS14 | Gallery

10 Years: By the People helps with basic, complex legal issues

By Susan Hiland | From Page: SOS15 | Gallery

10 Years: Cornerstone Quilt Shoppe adds new wrinkle at decade mark

By Barry Eberling | From Page: SOS15 | Gallery