I met my friend Joey in the 3rd grade.  I remember our teacher, Mr. Howl, would always pick on him.  “Joey, could you read the next couple paragraphs?” he said during our class reading sessions.  “Sh…Sh…Sure M…M…ma…Missster Howl” Joey slowly mouthed.  He always got a tad nervous reading.  “Th…th…there once wa…wa….was a m…ma….ma…. man named Ta…ta….Terrance.  He lived on a ha…ha….hill.”

“Joey, you have to practice otherwise you will never get any better.  Do you want to read?  Everyone else in the room can!” Mr. Howl exclaimed.  Joey cowered and slowly sunk in his chair.  “Lisa, can you finish those paragraphs for Joey?”

Later that day I talked to Joey and asked him why he couldn’t read.  “I can read!  It’s just when I try to speak in front of people…I kind of…stumble over my words.  I already read the book at home.  I practice talking out loud but I can’t do it in class.  I don’t know why.  Sometimes if I talk real slow it comes out right.  Like I’m talking to you right now.  My mom says I think to fast for my sounds.”  I nodded.

“Joey.  We’re going to practice.  I’m gonna tell mom I’m headed to your house.  If you can talk normally now, I think we can get this strait in class!”

“Thanks Clifford.” Spoke Joey, “It would be great to get Mr. Howl off my butt!”

We got Joey to read those words pretty good that year.  About 11 years later this photo was taken.  Joey and me were in the middle of painting his wall a deep red.  This was right before we painted our band logo in the middle.  The Soggy Band-aids.  The sound was a mix of soulful blues with a slight metal edge.  Joey sang the lyrics and played rhythm guitar.  I played drums and his brother, Bobby Joe, played the banjo.

Story by Selena

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