Ken Schwartz's Stories - "Life at Lark Ellen" - Page 4
Two weeks before I was to complete 6th grade, I came down with pneumonia. Lark Ellen had an isolation room and I spent several days there. Finally, a doctor was called and he and Mrs. Cassidy concluded that I needed to be hospitalized. Mother was called and an ambulance was called. I was driven in an ambulance to Los Angeles County General Hospital. To please me, the ambulance driver switched on the siren the last two blocks before we entered the hospital. I didn't know it at the moment, but that siren sounded a grand retreat from my Lark Ellen home. I never returned.
No, Lark Ellen was not a tragedy in my life. Quite the contrary. Lark Ellen was an opening of possibilities that I could never have experienced in a normal home life, and I became the richer for those experiences. There was a Lark Ellen song we boys sang when we gathered for occasional evening programs. Sadly, I have forgotten most of the words but I do remember the concluding stanza: ". . . . For when I leave Lark Ellen Home, the Home will live in my heart."
It has. It does.