May 23, 2004
After reading the article about Fred Boyce, who overcame an abusive childhood at the Fernald State School in Massachusetts and inspired a small Oregon town ("Fred Boyce Finds a Home," by Michael D'Antonio, April 25), I found myself wondering why I had wasted valuable time reading about McGruder. Sharon Williamson Costa Mesa
August 23, 2004 |
Fred Boyce was only 7 years old when the heavy iron gate shut behind him at Fernald State School. Already, he had lived in seven foster homes. At Fernald, Boyce was pressed into labor to keep the facility running. He received barely any education. He was warehoused with 35 other boys in a decrepit brick dormitory. A single attendant harshly punished anyone who stepped out of line.
August 29, 2004
Re "Seeking Freedom From Label at Last," Aug. 23: I am impressed by Fred Boyce's perspectives regarding his experience as an institutionalized youth and the stigma and limitations he has lived with since. How many of us today would be so measured in our views if, as children, we were denied an education and forced to work and live in an atmosphere of complete control, topped off by "rewards" of radioactive oatmeal for good behavior? Perhaps the most important lesson from his experience is to realize that there are practices in place today that may be viewed with just as much horror 50 years from now. The human quest for dignity is immutable and something I believe we don't always consider sufficiently in our efforts to do "the right thing" relative to fellow human beings who may be different from us or have different experiences.
January 31, 1999 |
One of Nevada's premier wildlife painters is hoping good comes out of the slaughter of 34 wild horses in Nevada. Fred Boyce, 77, of Reno is donating 1,500 numbered prints of his oil painting "Mustangs" to help ensure that other free-roaming horses in the state lead better lives. "The public outrage after the killings has shown there's a tremendous interest in these animals," Boyce said Saturday. "They're an icon of the West and people love them.
May 20, 2004 |
Six men wrongly classified as "morons" and held for years at a state school for the retarded asked Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney on Wednesday to remove such terms from their records -- and for an apology. They also are seeking unspecified compensation for the labor they were forced to perform at the Fernald State School in Waltham, where they were confined from the 1940s to the early 1960s.