A Tribute to Mr. Adamson
by David Yell
Sunday, May 18, 2008


How do you begin to write a tribute to a man that was larger than life?  I have pondered this since returning home after attending the funeral of Mr. Adamson.  I was placed at Bonny Oaks School in 1955 when the court decided to take custody of my brother Charles and I (thank God).

Mr. Adamson welcomed me with the customary roller skates and he talked with me about making something of myself and becoming a good citizen (remember the Good Citizenship Test?)  I was a slightly young for such a discussion; I just wanted to go skate.  Brother Charles was placed at Vine Street because he wasn’t old enough to be placed at Bonny Oaks.  I missed him so much and would cry myself to sleep at night.  Mr. Adamson would see that I got to visit Charles every two weeks until Charles finally joined me at BOS.

One time upon returning from a great week at beautiful Camp Ocoee Mr. Adamson called me to his office and wanted me to tell him all about camp.  I told him all about swimming, canoeing, camp fires and berry picking.  He listened intently but I could tell he was waiting on something I had left out.  He was waiting for me to admit that I had committed a crime while I was supposed to be out berry picking.  As I recall, there were three other children from BOS with me and we ask for permission to go pick berries.  While we were out, we stumbled upon this old house that looked, to four young boys, as if it had been abandoned.

We proceeded to break all the windows and poured flour all over the house.  One of the boys dropped the pass we had received from the camp that had all of our names listed.  Naturally the owner of the “summer cottage” found the pass and started legal action to receive compensation for the damages incurred.  I remember going downtown to the courthouse and confessing to the judge what we had done.  I’m sure the owner won his just compensation.  After returning back to BOS, Mr. Adamson explained that he could have me transferred to TPS at the snap of a finger.  He went on to give me that same talk he had given me several years before, he could see something worthwhile in me and could see me making something of myself.  I have thanked God many hundreds of times for his love, guidance and occasional discipline.

I left BOS in 1963 but never lost contact with the Adamsons.  My wife and I visited Mr. Adamson while we on our honeymoon and again after I returned from Vietnam .  I was always greeted as if I was part of his natural family.  When Laura and I had our first son David Jr, we received a nice pair of shoes for David from Mr. And Mrs. Adamson.  All three of my children were able to experience the love of the Adamsons during our many visits to BOS and to his beautiful home in Hixson.  I think he had more pictures of my children than we had ourselves

People like the Mr. And Mrs. Adamson only come along once in a lifetime and I am so thankful that God caused our paths to cross.  I thank God for placing me at Bonny Oaks and for Mr. Adamson’s perseverance in helping me become the person I am today.


Goodbye dear friend,

David Yell