There's one more highlight that could be added to my list of special highlights my senior year. I would get to work one on one with the Mobility Instructor. I got to know Vinton, quite well. Streets ran East & west; while avenues ran north & south. I always knew seventh street; as that was the Rock Island railroad tracks. I would often walk to the United Methodist Church from campus. It was a fairly good walk. I would count my streets as I went; & would know when to turn to do the avenues.
An important criteria to the mobility lessons, was spending time in Cedar Rapids. In contrast to Vinton, Cedar Rapids was the bigger city. We had to learn how to use the public transportation. That was essential; as in August, 1969, I would begin my training at the Iowa Commission for the Blind; an adult training center in Des Moines. As part of learning how to use public transportation in Cedar Rapids, my instructor would give me specific instructions of where I should meet him. He would drive the car to the designated place & wait for me. It was up to me to use the bus, get off at the specific stop, & walk the rest of the way. I think that I did a good job in meeting that requirement. I was happy about that; because this was important, as I was preparing for the next chapter in my life. This was a chapter, that would not be easy; as there would be bumps & glitches along the way. This took in a period from August of 1969, until January, 1974. It was, a dark period in my life; & there might be those who would think it was a wasted period in my life. It was a case, of where I was trying to find myself. I had received much in way of advice, as to what I should do for my future.
There were those, who thought I should try music as a career. They felt that I was good at it & would do well. If there was one drawback for attending a school for the blind, it was that a protective sort of atmosphere existed; & because of that, we weren't exposed to opportunities that people with sight would be. & so, I had to find out for myself, what I thought I was capable of doing. The difficult journey, begins.
Submitted by Gary Gjerstad