Archive for November 10th, 2011

My take on ‘Jo Pa’…for what it’s worth…Kp

This is a particularly difficult topic for me – personally – to address. As a survivor, confronting the issue is maddening and terrifying on many levels and – yet – strengthening on others.

Life is simple for me now. Finding a way in this seemingly wicked world we inhabit to allow my children the ‘Mayberry’ feel to growing up before the cold cruel world comes calling.

I debated on having a take on the situation; as I am  in a job search – using the Kp Chronicle as a running resume, it’s not something a prospective employer would like to read on his daily blog roundup. But, I can’t sit silent. No way.

I recall a lengthy conversation I had with a childhood friend – may God Rest His Soul  – who detailed his abuse as a child in our hometown. I wrote that conversation down on scraps of paper because he was talking so fast I couldn’t keep coherent notes.

Recording iphones were not a part of one’s daily existence back when I originally worked this story. I’m not going to stay on that topic for long, just for purposes of disclosing I’ve seen this whole scenario play out before; followed it from the charges through the courtroom.

Generally, no literally speaking, Attorney Generals and Prosecutors don’t come forward with public documentation unless it’s iron clad stuff. Tell me the last case you recall that played out differently. I’ll save you a little trouble, the Duke Lacrosse team scandal. Now, find me another.

My late mother – a nearly three-decades long veteran journalist – recalled in her retirement it was the ‘most difficult story’ she ever had to cover dealing with the details and events concerning that trial. I think back to my conversation with my friend. And then, go to another conversation I had with a mutual friend to confirm the story.

I recall those details vividly today. The four words spoken by my friend still reverberate in my mind. They’re so graphic, I wouldn’t dare write it; my kids read this blog too.

Which is why it’s important to talk about this issue. Not to ignore; not to hit the delete button but hit the search button to gather info necessary to ensure your kids; and you neighbor’s kids; and their friends are aware of the dangers in our society it seems.

Our events happened more than two decades ago; but, you could place the same set of events/circumstances right in the lap of ‘Joe Pa’ with the cyclical sickness Sandusky dealt with until finally caught. It’s that similarly harrowing.

Full disclosure; I was a Joe Paterno fan. A Penn St. fan. I liked the simplicity of the uniforms; the integrity of the program. Linebacker U was a real deal to fans even outside of Happy Valley. The Nittany Lions were cool for all the right reasons.

And, now this.

How does one reconcile the dichotomy of this set of circumstances; If you can’t tell, I’m having a hard time doing so…just as I had back when I lost a job for refusing to keep my mouth shut in the investigation. Lost some friends; made some people mad and ashamed…; but, it was the right thing to do…

Years later, the man who fired me called and apologized for doing so; I accepted the apology and told him I understood. He was a good man, with a good family that worked hard to get where they were in life.

He added, I wished I would have believed you…Just as I’m sure those kids hoped those in State College, Pennsylvania who could – should – have listened to them – and acted…Kp

Leave a comment