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Old 07-06-2013, 03:36 PM
Location: Santa Monica, CA
4 posts, read 4,436 times
Reputation: 24


I'll have a good deal to say about Woodycrest in the future, but for now, I'm just interested in exchanging emails with anyone who might remember me. My name is John Wallach and I was at Woodycrest with my Sister, Victoria, from 1957 until I was kicked out in 1963 (well, actually threatened with being sent to a reform school if my mother couldn't take me home, which she did. My sister joined me a few months later).

I was a notorious character to most of the boys in Peck (the youngest boys group) even before I even arrived at Woodycrest, thanks to the carefully edited tales told by a boy who had been with me at a temporary children's shelter in Jamaica, Queens, someone I had thought of as a friend. So the memories of Woodycrest I have to share will be the memories of an outcast, someone who had to go it alone, from Peck to Roberts Hall, and find his own way from the very start.

It's an interesting coincidence that in the same year I arrived at Woodycrest the movie Peyton Place was showing in local theaters. The boys in Peck were often treated to Saturday afternoon movies at the Earl, a movie theater a stone's throw away from the Yankee Stadium. After seeing the movie, I decided to read the book. The book's protagonist was an aspiring author. I was ten years old and already had similar aspirations. The book turned out to be one of a handful of books that had a major impact on my life. It solidified my already growing suspicion that many adults could be vicious hypocrites without very much effort. By the time I finished the book I had become a one man resistance organization to adult b.s.

There is no doubt Woodycrest had a major role in shaping my character. It opened my eyes and toughened me up to some degree, but it also undermined my self-confidence and heightened my sense of alienation at every turn, leaving me prey to the onset of mental illness in my late teens. Some wounds acquired there have never completely healed. Still, after years of denial, I've finally been able to see past my anger and resentment in order to be able to admit that Woodycrest provided this poor kid from the South Bronx with--and this is not an exaggeration--privileges and experiences unknown to any of New York City's disadvantaged children then or since. No human institution is without faults, and Woodycrest, depending on who you happened to be, had some pretty memorable defects, . I just happened to fall into an inconvenient demographic category. More about the good and the bad later.

Old 07-09-2013, 06:44 PM
Location: Santa Monica, CA
4 posts, read 4,436 times
Reputation: 24
Actually, anyone who is willing to exchange Woodycrest experiences with me is welcomed to do so, but I warn you, my experienced there are not the subject of a casual dinner conversation. So if frank, adult openness is not your cup of tea, I'd give my reminiscences a wide berth. Otherwise, I'd love to hear from you. It has taken me decades to see Woodycrest in the light in which I see it today, as one of the most remarkable institutions ever to exist in the city of New York.
Old 02-22-2014, 09:15 AM
Location: Santa Monica, CA
4 posts, read 4,436 times
Reputation: 24
My post has been read 347 times, but there hasn't been a single reply. I guess there aren't many out there with a stomach for the uglier truths about this institution. I can see now why victims of pedophile abuse are reluctant to come forward with their stories and are forced to bear the brunt of their victimization in solitude.
Old 02-22-2014, 10:54 AM
Location: Santa Monica, CA
4 posts, read 4,436 times
Reputation: 24
Default Aiding and abetting sexual preditors through silence and ignorance

More than 300 people have read my posts, and have had nothing to say in reply. I can only hope no child of theirs, or of a relative or friend has to face the dilemma of whether or not to inform any one of them of his or her victimization by a predatory adult.
Old 02-22-2014, 01:06 PM
Location: wrong planet
5,128 posts, read 10,259,903 times
Reputation: 4191
The original poster started this thread in 2008 and has not been back in years. This particular forum is here to help members find families and loved ones, but it is not the right forum for discussing sexual/physical abuse etc. The appropriate forum for those discussions is the "Psychology" forum here... http://www.city-data.com/forum/psychology/.
If anyone wants to contact any of the posters here, please send them a direct message. Thank you!
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