My time at Maybury was 47 years ago. Some of my memories may not be very accurate. But I would like to share what fragments I have.
I was admitted to Maybury at the age of 5 in the autumn of 1957 and released spring of 1958. I was there about 6 months.
Take a look at the first 2 pictures on the Photo Gallery page. That building was my home for those 6 months. I know this because I remember the building to be “U” shaped with 3 stories.
When I first got there I was put in an area I believe was on the first floor. The area had a name but I cannot remember what. It was sectioned off into smaller areas of 2 or 3 beds each. But the cool place to be was the ward.
The ward, my ward anyway, was on the top floor of the west wing of that building. There were maybe as many as 20 beds.
None of the beds had pillows.
I stayed in pajamas the whole time I was there. I believe I came in with one pair of pajamas. Every few days our pajamas were taken from us to be washed and we got somebody else’s pair. I spent most of that time in some other kid’s pajamas. Sometimes when we would go outside we would get to wear “real” clothes but had to put them on over our pajamas.
Maybury was integrated. White kids and black kids. Black nurses and white nurses. I remember most of the nurses to be black. I do not recall any racial problems.
Zorro was popular at the time. We would make capes out of our bed sheets and talk to each other with bad Spanish accents.
Periodic bathing was required. Being 5 years old, I did not want to take baths. I argued with the nurses over this, they always won. I remember 2 tubs in the room where we took our baths. One was on the floor; one was on an elevated platform. The tub on the platform was considered to be cooler.
I cannot say I was abused or mistreated at Maybury. But this was the 50’s and when a kid got out of line they would probably get spanked. One night after lights out I gave in to the urge to stand up in my bed and sing the “Popeye The Sailor Man” song at the top of my lungs. My rendition was cut short by a flashlight shined in my face followed by a spanking.
I did not want to be there. Sometimes when we would go outside I remember a chain link fence. On the other side of that fence were houses. I remember thinking the kids in those houses got to wear real clothes and eat real food at tables with their families. The kids in those houses could relive themselves in toilets rather then in bedpans. How I wanted to be on the other side of that fence.