Late August 1985, my father’s dreams of a second son came true in St. Louis, Missouri. My mother and my father made me a junior to carry on the name of my father. My full name is Christopher O.C. Taylor Jr. The O.C. comes from my grandmothers name Osceola; they use to call her “O.C.” or “Osce” for short. I was raised on the north side of St. Louis in the downtown area. The area I grew up in was not the greatest place to live. I still remember the urine in the hallways and elevator, the roaches, the smells from the sewer, the fights outside, seeing gang-related activities, seeing drug deals, seeing and hearing gun fights, etc. While growing up, my dad wasn’t home that much, but he always supported us in everything my brother and I did. Even though my mother was alone, it was almost like we weren’t alone because my dad always gave us money and checked up on us. Though my mother couldn’t financially provide a better environment to grow up in, she still didn’t want my brother and I to succumb to the pressures of peers and the streets; so my mom always made sure we were in school and in after-school programs while she was at work. Even in the summer, she would enter us in a summer program somewhere so we were always doing something other than being home. She made sure that church was a big part of our lives because, with God’s love, we would always survive, no matter the predicament. The same church I grew up in is the same church where I attend Sunday services —Agape Christian Center. From what I have been told, my mom used to take my brother and I to church every Sunday while he was a toddler and I was a new born. As we aged, we found that Sunday wouldn’t be our only day in church; we found that Tuesdays were dedicated to bible study and Thursdays were dominated by my mother’s choir rehearsals. My mother always wanted my brother and me to stay out of trouble; fate would have it...
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