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Lane's Story

     As a child, the first place I lived was LakeWood Dr. in Madison. My first elementary school was Eastview elementary. There is a large tree in front of the school today, that I remember planting as a kindergartner. I attended Eastview for 2 years.
Once second grade rolled around, my mother and I moved to a part of Mansfield, known to many as "Little Kentucky". While we lived on Fairfax, and Benedict I attended Springmill Elementary. I have great memories of growing up in a neighborhood where I could walk to school everyday, play with my friends until the street lights came on, and mom didn't have to worry too much about me because everybody looked out for each other in the neighborhood. There was always somebody out on a front porch, and neighbors walking back and forth to each others houses to talk about their day. We played "moonball", rode our bikes until our legs were sore, and sometimes got some quarters to buy candy at Ruth's mini mart, or play the Mortal Kombat arcade game at Dairy Mart.
We eventually moved to Mendota, the road that runs between Lexington Ave. and Glessner. I made alot of friends here as well. I remember walking to school at John Simpson middle school everyday, and eventually Cline Ave for 9th grade.
Over the years we moved alot. I was raised in a single parent household and watched my mother work 3 jobs at times to raise me on her own. She delivered the Cleveland Plain Dealer throughout Richland County for 20+ years, worked at Dairy Mart, worked at the campus, worked for the city schools, etc. We did at times move from home to home.
     I have been to places called "The Store" in downtown Mansfield to get free school clothes, I can remember my mother asking my father for help because we had nowhere to sleep, and her being left to figure it out. I also have memories of a summer with no electric.
I wasn't born into success, however, I have become successful because my mother showed me the importance of hard work. While my mother worked, my sister would step up and help take care of me which taught me the importance of family and leaning on each other. I don't regret being homeless, or summers with no electric. Those times helped to shape my character, and I have memories of going to the drive in movie with my mom, or heating water on the stove to take a bath, or wringing out laundry with mom beside the light of an oil lamp.
I graduated from Mansfield Senior High in 2000. I worked different jobs in Mansfield and Ontario, and tried a little bit of everything when it came to types of jobs. I eventually went to the Police Academy and was one of the few cadets that graduated. I then became a Police Officer for a period of time before going back to school to further my education. I attended North Central State College as well as Kaplan University for my associates in Applied Science / Criminal Justice.
Throughout the years I also filled my time with attending Mansfield First Assembly of God. I volunteered for things like the children's ministry in the Park, we traveled to West Virginia to deliver Christmas gifts and food, and have went as far as Grenada to help build a school and deliver God's word to people in the Grenada prison.
My work though the church also led me into music. I was asked to join a band known as 40DT or "Forty Days Tempted". We got signed to a record deal, and got to tour parts of the country to share our music.
Eventually, I found time to get married and have children. My first son was born when I was 25. Being a father was something I found out quickly that motivated me. Two years later, I was blessed with identical twin boys! Being a father gave me a greater responsibility and maturity in life.
Over the years, my wife at the time and I had decided that we just weren't as compatible as we once were. Even through that life change, we were able to agree to raise our boys together and share custody. I eventually met my current wife, whom loves my boys as much I love her daughter. She has been a blessing in our lives!  Her and my previous wife are now best friends. When I was 34 my wife and I added one more to our family and we had a little girl! We now have 3 boys and 2 girls. We raise all of our children together, my wife, myself, my previous wife, and her fiance. Yes we have meals together, we spend holiday's together, and we are there for any of the children at any time they need us.
I am now a railroader. It is a job that I am proud to have. It can be hard work, and time away from family but to provide for my family...I'm up for the hard work. I get tired, I get sore, I get wet, I get sweaty, and I get cold. I am a hard working American, and I am proud to be one!
I have also become the Legislative Representative for SMART-TD local 586. I fight for safe working conditions for my union brothers and sisters by working with our State Legislative Director, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, the Federal Railroad Administration, and many more. I also urge leaders to pass legislation the protect America's working class and to oppose things like "Right to Work".
I have accomplished alot in my life but feel that there is alot more for me to do. I am going to continue to work hard for my family, my neighbors, and God.