Find Bill Lynch’s display at The Highmark Caring Place, 620 Stanwix Street.
“I was seven when I went into the orphanage and put in charge of younger kids. I didn’t tell them that I loved them. I think they knew they had somebody who cared.”
I’m originally from Pittsburgh. I was seven when I went into the orphanage. I have a mother and father and they brought me there. I guess, probably because they were embarrassed because of my right eye. It’s crossed. There’s no muscle back here. I also have very low voice. I’ve been told I’m two octaves lower than bass.
The priest at the orphanage, Father Hannon, would not let me leave the grounds with my father. I don’t know what it was all about. My father was not allowed to come take me away on holidays or anything like that. Father Hannon would not allow it and he sort of protected me. He put me in charge of younger kids, kindergarteners and that.
I wasn’t scary, but I was quick to raise the dukes. Go to hurt any of my kids I was in charge of, you go through me first. You weren’t going to hurt anybody that I had authority over. I was a protector. They were my kids. I was in charge of them. I taught them how to lace and tie their shoes, get dressed, make their beds and that. They were my kids. You didn’t mess with them.
I didn’t even let the nuns mess with them. If you wanted to punish them, you see me first. I had quite a few arguments with some of them. “No, no. They’re my kids. I’ll take care of them. You tell me what they did wrong or what they’re accused of doing wrong and I’ll talk to them. They’re mine.” I was always in charge of them.
I didn’t tell that I loved them. I didn’t use words like that. I think they knew in their own little minds and hearts that they had somebody who cared about them. That’s what they were looking for. They didn’t know the word love. Care and love are four letters each, but C comes before L. That’s the way it was.