Brandon 

Born on: Island of Guam 

Date of Interview: October 8, 2020 

Age when interviewed: 24 

Interviewed by: Isaiah

Since the start of his childhood Brandon had a tough life. He would have to move from house to house and of course he just went along with it because he had no choice. It started when he moved out here to California from Guam. He jumped around from Sun City, Moreno Valley, and Perris. Eventually he moved to Texas for a part of teenage years and then back to California. 

Throughout these years he also struggled with unfortunate family mishaps alongside the constant moving. He did not have to many people to talk to, but just enough to keep him going—as well his love for guitars. 

The start of it all 

I was born on the Island of Guam out in the middle of the Pacific, kind of like north of Australia and Papua New Guinea. My mom used to live on the Island of Palau and she only went to Guam to visit family. My dad was actually in the navy, so he was stationed in Guam for a while, and so I guess that is how they met. My dad was from California. His family lived here in California. 

I was pretty much raised here in California for the most part. I came to California when I was like one and our family lived in Sun City for a little bit around the corner from my uncle’s house. My dad died when I was around two and a half years old. So, it was just me, with my mom, my brothers Marcus and Kolbe, and my sister Keshia. Then we ended up moving here in Moreno Valley. Technically we lived in Perris, but I went to school in Moreno Valley. My mom remarried in the year 2000 but then my stepdad died in 2006. That is when the transitioning of moving from house to house happened. Moved throughout all this area of Moreno Valley and Perris and Sun City. Then to Texas. 

For Texas, I kind of went to school for what you consider the main schooling for most kids which is their high school years. I moved out there in 2009, so that was 11 years ago. I was probably 12 because I just started school. I guess it was in my dad’s will that if anything happened to me or my brother Marcus that we would go live with his sister, which she ended up living in Texas. My brother and I moved in with my aunt because my mom was not able to take care of us anymore. My brother Marcus did not want to go, he was way more adamant about staying here in California. I did not think of it as I do not want to go, I did not want to say no. 

 

The struggles of being new 

I was the only one that went to school at first. It was kind of difficult making this transition. I started my 8th grade year in California for like two weeks and then I started back up in Texas. I was obviously seen as the new kid but even more than that I was the new kid that came from another state. They could all tell, and they would comment on the way I dress, the way I talked because “I had an accent.” There was an open seat all the way in the back corner, so I sat there because I do not know anybody, and I do not want to be that close to anybody. Then before class even started this girl gets up from her seat walks over to me and just sticks her hand right in my face and says, “Hi my name is Marisol. Do you want to be my friend?” For me one I was already kind of a shy kid growing up, and when it came to girls, I am shy but now sweat is dripping down and I am panicking. I say, “Oh hi, I am Brandon” and that was literally my first friend in Texas. 

Like most kids at new places there is bullying so 8th  grade sucked, but what was worse was going into high school. For me I tried being more outgoing, so I joined soccer and ROTC. Ours was marine ROTC so it was just inevitable for them to not be bullies. Everybody was in this small town, so everyone knew each other. So now not only am I a new kid but I am also a freshman. It was like, “Oh we do not know this kid so let’s pick on him.” So, my first two years of high school I was just like, “This sucks. Why me?” Throughout my sophomore year I was starting to gain more respect from people. 

My junior year people knew me as a very kind, generous person, but also a person that if you went at me differently or you tried to do something that messed with me it did not go very well. I had to force myself to be not to be a bully but be a bully if you get what I mean. By my senior year everything was smooth sailing. 

 

What I knew was right

After I graduated, I went to go live in Georgia with my mom. It was cool, but I did not really want to stay there and live there. So, I told my mom I was going on a road trip and I never went back. I was going to Texas to go visit friends, so I went there hung out with some friends. Then we drove from there to California and then back to Texas and then just ended up staying there. Before I graduated though there is also my friend John of whom I actually lived with for like half of my senior year. 

I actually left my aunt’s house on a Sunday. Here I am now walking with me guitar, suitcase, soccer duffle bag and backpack with everything packed walking down the side of the highway. I see my aunt and them pass by and then a sheriff rolls up in front of me and asked where I was going. I told him “my friend’s house,” and then he offered me a ride. He had me sit in the back on the way there and was talking to me saying that he had gotten a call that I was running away. I replied to him saying “Well, according to the law at 17 I am an adult, so I can do what I choose. I can say whether I want to live here or not. I can move out if I want.” The officer just said okay and then asked me where my friend lived and so I told him. 

I did not have a phone so I could not tell him I am coming over. We are knocking on the door and my friend’s brother comes and answers the door and the sheriff asked him if he knew me and then explained the situation. My friend’s mom came out and was talking to us and was willing to accept me into the house. Which was super cool because obviously it just sprung up on them randomly. That was definitely a crazy transition. 

What helped me stay together

My brother Marcus left towards the end of my 8th grade year; he was dealing with his own problems. So, I was pretty much alone; obviously, I had relatives which were my aunt, from my dad’s side, and my uncle. I could not use technology my aunt did not trust me. She also monitored me if I was on the phone with anybody that was my family. She would have it on speaker phone even if it were like my brother Keith or my sister, speaker phone. So, if I tried to say something like “I do not want to be here” she would hang it up. She did not want me saying anything bad about her. 

I would play guitar to help me keep my mind off things and keep me cheered up for the most part. I got into it because my brother Marcus played. I worked for my uncle at his auto shop to make money and I bought my first guitar back in 2010, blue guitar. The store I bought it from had someone who taught guitar lessons. So, I put my own money into because it was something I wanted to do, and my aunt was not going to pay for it. Then they switched the guy teaching the guitar lessons with a new guy and he was really into it. My second guitar was gifted to me by my brother Marcus. 

My guitars, like I have mentioned before, have their own personalities. The blue one, Pride, is very suicidal because she like jumps. There will be times where I set her somewhere and she will just fall. The brown guitar given to me by my brother I named joy. Her personality is more of the jealous type because she is always hitting people, girls more than guys. Now I did not give them names until I had both of them. I came up with the idea to call them Pride and Joy because something you really cherish is your Pride and Joy so that is where that came from. 

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