November, 1982 Everett to Waltham, Massachusetts
After a couple of months working as a minimum wage teacher aide at Educational Mastery Systems, I was given sort of a promotion; I was asked to become part of the transportation run rotation. That meant I could make extra money by riding our transportation van on certain days to the Walter Fernald State School & helping several of our students ride to school. We had several individuals who no special needs transportation company would accept. They lived at the Fernald State School and had been kicked off other transportation runs for assaulting drivers, monitors, & causing vehicle accidents.
Educational Mastery Systems was committed… to getting them to our program…so at 6:30 a.m. our van would leave Everett to drive to Fernald & our crew Paula Correriere (daughter of an Everett firefighter), April Hunter (Karen’s roommate), Brian Munger, and I would pick up our group and drive them to school. I rotated with Brian being positioned directly behind this tall kid Steevie who assaulted people on an almost daily basis. Somehow we got the kids safely there & back every day. Usually after we were done we would celebrate another casualty free day or mourn the latest injury in some of Everett & Malden’s sleeziest bars…unless April had someplace more dangerous for us to hang out.