John Johnson (Part 1)

Institutionalized from the age of 5 to age 60, now living independently and working at an area restaurant.

(Run time 2:13)

In Faribault. In a institutions.

When did you go into Faribault, how old were you?

Five years old.

Do you remember what that was like?

No I just hated it, just a hell. We were hit with sticks, dunked in cold water, stretched, guys could not talk with girls, girls couldn't talk with guys, you couldn't have contact with each other.

Daylight was in your own building or maintenance if you worked around they get paid. But, there was lousy pay, two cents a day. Two cents a day. We did the work, employees sat around and look at what they were getting.

Then I went to Owatonna it was quite a bit different change. We were a little bit better.

How old were you when you went to Owatonna?

Thirteen years old.

So after eight years at Faribault then you went to Owatonna. How was Owatonna, how was it different?

Guys could talk with each other. Some of us were classed as idiots. Are you aware of what testing that they did on you? They didn't tell us, they kept the times and kept testing. But they never tell us how we came out then. Only tell me a little bit on it, outside of that no.

There isn't any instruction provided to you or any classes?

I didn't have too much schooling whatsoever. But I learned that when I got out. I had learned quit a bit on my own. I think there's a lot of them who need more help but they're not getting it. Everybody should get along and understand each other better.