Do you remember going to school with kids that always wore the same clothing every day? Did you ever wonder why they didn’t change those clothes?
Back when I was in school, it never occurred to me that maybe they didn’t own any other clothing. Maybe those worn out shoes that they were wearing, the ones with holes in the soles, were the only pair that they owned.
Reading the newly released autobiography Ora’s Boy by James Novak had quite an impact on me and caused many emotions to stir. He was one of those kids that didn’t have much—no extra clothing, no money to his name, no happy family life.
The author grew up in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, the same area where I grew up in and where I still live. He is older than I am, somewhere between my age and my parents ages, and maybe my mother even knew him. His name was different when he was a child.
I highly recommend this book, especially if you are at all familiar with the Lakes Region. He references many landmarks and several people’s names.
It is a very emotional story, it will stir up many of your own feelings, but it will also prove that there can still be hope despite the odds. To find out more about the author and where you can purchase his book, visit his website at www.jamesjnovak.com.
When I was in the real estate business, there was a realtor about the same age as the author that told me about his own life growing up in the area. It was a tough life for him also. He was poor and came from a broken family. He shared with me a picture of himself when was about six years old—a disheveled and sad looking boy. It broke my heart just imagining the conditions of his life then.
It also spurred me to write the following poem:
A Child’s Survival
Oftentimes, I travel to far-off distant lands
Inside myself, to a world where I can be
Free of loneliness and poverty
Where there’s no lack of attention, no reason for tears
No promises are broken, no childhood fears
Within this heaven-realm, there are no hungry nights
No drunken father, no family fights
God becomes real, love is more than a word
And I am assured all my prayers have been heard
I have to say that I prefer this view
Of a place where wishes can actually come true
Inside of me, in not-so-far-off distant lands