January 16, 2008 Edition

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Grandparents' Corner

Maddox Blake Perkins, four months, is the son of Blake and Jodie Perkins of Smithville.

Grandparents are Joe Lewis of Eaton, Cindy Lewis of Walnut Ridge and Royetta Perkins and Jim Perkins, both of Smithville.

He is the great-grandson of Gerald and Nina Richey of Lynn, Verne and Bonnie Perkins of Smithville, Ralph Lewis of Walnut Ridge and Sue Reidel of Fort Smith.

Every child
needs a
safe place

Dear God,

I am eight years old. My Dad is in jail for using and selling drugs. My Momma is sick a lot and stays in bed most of the day. When momma feels real bad, she yells and hits me. She feels better at night and goes out with her friends. I get scared when she leaves us alone. Sometimes she brings her friends home, and they drink beer all night.

One night while momma was asleep, one of her friends played "grown-up" games with me. I didn't like the games because he hurt me. Momma said the hurt would go away.

My sister is six years old and coughs a lot. My brother is almost two years old and cries most of the time. Momma says it's because he's a brat. I try to keep him dry, but sometimes we don't have diapers.

My sister and I don't go to school much. The school nurse has sent us home because sister is sick and we both had head lice. I like school, but I have to take care of my momma and sister and brother. We don't have much to eat and sometimes we don't have heat or lights because we move so much.

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