Mr. Charley Davis.....age 83; grew up on the eastside of the City of Los Angeles, California; and attended Thomas Jef- ferson High School, a rough institution that nonetheless produced choreographer Alvin
Ailey, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Ralph Bunche, Actress Dorothy Dandridge and Jazz Saxophonist Dexter Gordon.
The Storms of Life:
Mr. Davis recounts a dramatic life changing decision he made which altermately changed the course of his
" One day while still enrolled in High School, I ditched lunch and went across the street to a cafe to purchase
a Pepsi, " Davis said. ' When I got there, I ran into a school policeman. He asked me if I wanted something to drink. I said, ' What?' He said, ' Vodka.' So he hands me this clear bottle with a clear liquid inside with no label. He said it was 190 proof alcohol. So I drank it. Immediately I got a headache and my eyes started burn-
ing. For years, I'd see stars like in ' Star Trax', when the Enterprise hit warp speed.
Soon after this event, Davis left school and began the phase of his life marked be alcoholism and sporadic employment. For a few years, he drove a Los Angeles City garbage truck. All the while, Davis drank every-
thing from whiskey to wine. And his eyesight continued to diminish.
"My eyes hemorrhaged the moment I drank that 190 proof alchohol," he said. " I found that out years later".
My drinking was making my eyes worse. By 1959, I was legally blind".
By the early 1960's, Davis found himself drunk, divorced and unemployed. " From 1962 to 1966, I was a
street corner bum, a wino," said Davis.
End of part # 1.....Story to be continued on autobiography-part- 2