Monday, July 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

Rodriguez student collects, stuffs backpacks for others

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
30 years ago, Art Koch died keeping the city safe

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 8 Comments | Gallery

 
Weather for Monday, July 28, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Artistic ingenuity unhinged at Contraptor’s Road Rally

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Rockville Trail hike offered

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
National Alliance on Mental Illness meeting Monday

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Summertime Fill the Barrel Food Drive ends Thursday

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Live music at Solano Town Center mall

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

County fair opens Wednesday in Vallejo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Food preservation class at library

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Canines graduate from CHP training academy

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3

 
GV Cellars to host Food Bank fundraiser

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Suisun police log: July 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Fairfield police log: July 26, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Business workshop addresses marketing

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10

Fairfield gets new pizza shop

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Renowned cardiovascular surgeon comes to NorthBay

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10

.

US / World

Bills aim to bring family law into 21st century

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
UConn makes 3-D copies of antique instrument parts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Family law bills proposed in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
Man dies after lightning strikes 14 in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

California governor to meet with Mexican president

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Study: Blue whales at risk of hitting ships

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Gaza war rages despite Hamas, Israel truce pledges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Fighting intensifies near MH17 disaster site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

.

Opinion

 
Arrogance of power evident

By Earl Heal | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon: July 28, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
District needs peanut-free schools

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 5 Comments

.

Living

Today in History for July 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: July 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Randall: Why a ‘liar’ loves to hear from readers

By Sharon Randall | From Page: B5

 
My 33-year-old daughter blames me for all her problems

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

Horoscopes for July 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
.

Entertainment

Comic-Con: Kingsley voices animated villain in ‘Boxtrolls’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
‘Lucy’ tops ‘Hercules’ with $44M at box office

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

TVGrid July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con’s dark side: Harassment amid the fantasy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Comic-Con: ‘Hobbit’ cast tease trailer, bloopers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: 4 DC Comics brought to TV get event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Comic-Con: Radcliffe goes undercover as Spidey

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: ‘Ant-Man’ cast revealed: Lilly, Douglas, Rudd

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: ‘Blacklist’ fans get black fedoras

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

‘The Vampire Diaries’ takes bite out of Comic-Con

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: ‘Batman v Superman’ stare-down

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Comic-Con: Godzilla sequel announced

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Comic-Con: ‘Avengers’ unleash ‘Ultron’ footage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

TV team: Actor, detective role paired for 25 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
TVGrid July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

.

Sports

McGloin buried on Raiders depth chart again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Giants lose in Peavy’s debut, swept by Dodgers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Lawrence Okoye preparing for the NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
It’s ‘Jeff Gordon Day’ at Indy for record 5th time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Jaso has 3 RBIs as A’s beat Rangers 9-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Horsey wins Russian Open in playoff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tim Clark rallies to win Canadian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Spain sweeps to victory in International Crown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Langer wins Senior British Open by record 13 shots

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Mudcats take pair from Pro Player Baseball

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

The Big Hurt and Joe Torre headline HOF class

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali wins Tour de France

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

LeBron deep-sixes number; will be No. 23 with Cavs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Byron Scott says he will be LA Lakers’ new coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

This date in sports history for Monday, July 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Elizabeth Terry

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

 
Robert Dale Myers Sr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Frank and Ernest July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Beetle Bailey July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Peanuts July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Garfield July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sally Forth July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Zits July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Get Fuzzy July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Rose is Rose July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
B.C. July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Wizard of Id July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Blondie July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baby Blues July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Beetle Bailey July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Peanuts July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sudoku July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Crossword July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Bridge July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Word Sleuth July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote July 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7