It's going to be another of those weekends. After a full day's work in the office, I managed to get me and my dad on the road, headed toward southwest Louisiana by seven p.m. We got word yesterday morning that one of his three sisters has died of pneumonia and that the funeral is scheduled for tomorrow morning in a little town there called Church Point. My father has bad knees and cannot sit in the same position for an extended period of time so we decided to make a little over half the drive tonight to help him manage the pain. The drive back after the funeral tomorrow will be over five hours long...plus stretch breaks for him, so it will be a long day.
So I'm sitting in a Red Roof Inn in some little Louisiana town I missed the name of, typing on my iPad and planning to settle down for a couple of hours of serious reading before I have to turn the lights out. I'm about half way through We Were Not Orphans, an intriguing look at life in The Waco State Home, a facility run by the state of Texas for several decades. The home housed several hundred poor children at a time and it literally saved many of them from starvation. But the home had it's problems with sadistic teachers and "matrons" and it is heartbreaking to read the words of some of those who were raised there.
The question I'm left with is how to judge the right and wrong of a facility like this one. A lot of good was done for hundreds of children, and many of them consider living in the Waco State Home to have been the best thing that ever happened to them. A few, however, were victimized by sexual predators and sadists who worked at the home. Is it a simple matter of numbers or is all the good outweighed by the evil that seems to have occured so regularly there?