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{Straight From the Heart}   *More Than A Teacher*  11/29/00

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Straight From the Heart

Today we have another wonderful story by Roger Dean Kiser, Sr. 

To fully understand his story listed below, you have to know that Roger was an orphan, who was physically, mentally and sexually abused by the Children's Home Society, The Florida School for Boys at Marianna and the State of Florida. On his website, Roger writes:

"I tell my stories not out of self-pity or because I want anyone to feel sorry for me. I have written these stories, the best I can from a child's point of view so that the world will know what a child secretly feels when he or she is abused and is afraid to speak.

I have moved on with my life and now have a wife, four children and eight grandchildren. I have learned much from the pain that I have suffered. I have also lived on both sides of the fence and hope that the world can learn something from what I have written.

It has not been easy for me to expose the secret inner thoughts (mind) of an orphan, an abused child, a juvenile delinquent, a criminal, an ex-con and now a self-rehabilitated grandfather who has "seen the light" and now lives in "the real world".

However, because of changing times, school shootings and whatever else is happening to our children today. The secret inner thoughts of these people; the one's such as myself who are considered to be dysfunctional individuals must be written about, looked at, studied and evaluated. NOW!

Sadness and loneliness are all that I ever knew. They are the only two things that the world ever gave me as a little boy and it is now all that I truly own in my heart. Sadly I say, those two feelings are all that I have to offer back to the world (through my stories) in hopes of making it a better place for the innocent children of tomorrow.

I will never forget seeing the last page of my life story come out of the printer. I have never felt so proud. I will never forget slipping that last page into its plastic cover. A protective cover that I have for each and every page that I have written. Then I felt it coming over me and the tears started to roll down my cheeks.

I, at that very moment realized that all the sadness, loneliness, misery and pain that I had suffered as a child; That all the heartache and pain from all those years of being beaten and abused; Everything that had been inside of my head for all those years I was now holding in my hands. That I was actually able to feel the unbelievable weight of thirteen pounds of heartache, and that I was now able to look at it, for the very first time with my very own eyes.

It was absolutely the saddest thing that I have even known as a human being."


Nobody.  I mean, nobody can affect me more with their writing than Roger can.  His book has finally been published and will be available in every major book store in the country this Friday December, 1.  I urge every single one of you on this list to get a copy.  It is a book that needs to be read by everyone. 

If I may share something I sent to Roger a month or so ago:

I am continually in awe of Roger's incredible stories. Each one touches some part of my heart and soul.  But I am even more in awe of Roger as a person.  There is no one in this world who has more "reason" to use his past as an excuse for present problems than Roger. However, instead of becoming full of hatred, bitterness, and spite, Roger has become someone full of love, hope, and encouragement.  Yes, I am sure it was a long hard road, with many trials since his youth, but he has come
through the refiner's fire as tempered steel and not ashes.  Roger, may you
continue to fight the good fight, and use your past as a way to make a difference in the lives of millions!  If only all of us were so strong of character and convictions!

Thank you Roger and your lovely wife Judy for sharing your wonderful stories with all of us here at Straight From the Heart!


P.S.  Keep Roger in your thoughts and prayers as he has a TV interview with Candice Bergan on December 5th about his new book on the Oxygen Channel.  He stated he was "a little nervous on this one. Never done live television before. But as I survived ten years in that orphanage how bad could ten minutes on television be?"  Pray that the message he has written about gets across to those who need to hear it and that tremendous reform will take place in the orphanages in this country. 

If the book sells well in the first forty-five days, they will go ahead and make the book into a movie!  I am praying that it happens!


More Than A Teacher

By Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.

"Hello" I said as I picked up the telephone the day before Thanksgiving. There was no answer and all that I could hear was someone quietly sobbing in the background. "Hello" I said again. "Roger, it's Mrs. Harrell" said a faint shaky voice. "How are you." I asked her. "Not too good" she replied.

Mrs. Harrell had been my first grade teacher, more than 45 years ago. She is the woman who probably saved my life when she had me taken away from my step grandparents, who beat me unmercifully for months, and months and then tried to have me placed in a mentally retarded center for children. She was the only person who had guts enough to stand up against the system to save an innocent little five year old boy.

"Roger I read your book and I was up all night. I'm so sorry that I caused all this to happen to you," she whispered, as she continued to weep. "Mrs. Harrell. You did what you had to do and you did the right thing. You saved my life and that is what is most important." I told her. "I really didn't know that orphanages could be like concentration camps when I had you sent there," she sobbed.

It hurt me to know that something that I had written would end up hurting the very person who had saved me as a child. A wonderful woman who had stood all alone against the system just to save "a big eared little kid that no body else wanted."

"Roger, I hope that you are happy now," she said. I sat there very silent unable to tell her that I, though grown am still that same little boy from the orphanage when I wake up each and every morning.

"For the sake of children the world really needs to read what you have written and I hope they make a movie out of it one day, but I guess I won't be around to see it," she said, with a quaint laugh. "Well, Mrs. Harrell you know what they say, "The book is always better then the movie," I told her. She was quiet for several seconds and then she said, "Roger I will have someone contact you when I am gone." "That will be a very sad say for me Mrs. Harrell," I told her. "Roger, don't be sad for me. I'll be upstairs looking down and I am sure that you will be just fine," she said.

"Mrs. Harrell, could you do me one favor?" I asked her. "What might that be Roger?" she said. I stuck my index finger in my mouth, like a five year old child would do and I said "When you get up to heaven could you tell them about my book?"

You know, I never knew that a 92 year old woman could laugh so loud and so hard.

Thank you Mrs. Harrell.

Roger Dean Kiser, Sr.

Send Roger an email and let him know what you thought of his story!

"ORPHAN" in book stores on December 1

or order from at:


If you want to read more of his stories before deciding if you want to purchase his book check out Roger's Website:

Roger's Site!

I just wanted to thank all of you for the wonderful feedback and encouragement that you provide to all those who share their stories with us.  It is a great feeling for a writer to know that one has touched somebody through their writing.  May I encourage all of you to continue to write to the authors and let them know how you were affected by a particular story....
Michael Powers


(Laura Lagana, author of Monday's story Your Best Shot

Dear Michael,

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.
Your beautiful website and newsletter makes
a big difference in our world.

Keep it up. So many wonderful positive
messages and vibes are coming in. I need
them right now as I'm in the midst of writing
a major book proposal.

Thank you again.

Health, Happiness, Success,
Laura Lagana, RN, Co-author "Chicken Soup for the Volunteer's Soul"
PO Box 7816, Wilmington, Delaware 19803-7816
Fax: (801) 457-7610; E-mail:   
Web Site:

(Candy Abbott, author of yesterday's story Ivy's Cookies)

Hi Michael,

WOW!!!  I've never had so much fun checking my e-mail as I'm having this
morning.  By in-box is flooded with affirming comments about "Ivy's
Cookies."  Thanks so much for springboarding it into circulation!

Thanks again for being such a blessing to so many.  May God reward you


\_\  /  
/_/  \    "For I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but
\_\/\ \   Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body I live for the Son
   \_\/   of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."  Galatians 2:20 

Video Imagery (Michael's Video Production Business.)

"I thought of you first after my family sat down to watch the video we gave them. They loved it, to say the least!  Within thirty seconds my mom was crying and my dad did too.  They said it was the best Christmas gift we could have given them!!  You did such a beautiful job!  They were so surprised and so touched---they really, really, really loved it.  Thanks for helping to make it so special to us all.  My mom mentioned how the songs were perfect for the video too!  Thanks again!"
Kelli  (    College Station, TX

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