Mike Checuga and his son Victor defied everyone's expectations. After all, what would a carefree 25-year-old white bachelor know about raising a black kid rescued from an abusive orphanage? Yet the two grew very close.
Victor excelled in the fancy school where Mike managed to find him a berth. He acted out, as many kids would. But Mike laid down the law, sometimes sitting in class next to Victor if that's what it took to keep him in line. But when Victor reached high school, parenting him became much more challenging.
Falling Into A Role
Victor was one of the only black kids in his school, and the white students assumed he could get drugs for them. It was blatant stereotyping. Victor had no history with drugs. But he enjoyed being popular. So he fell into the role. That led to a dark period for the Checuga family.
Victor repeatedly got in trouble with the law. At one point, Mike sort of gave up on Victor. He told Victor, if he was going to keep selling drugs, he should change his name and never have anything to do with him again. And that's where their relationship could have ended. Instead, it paved the way for a remarkable reconciliation, one that left both father and son changed forever.
Other Stories on KUOW Presents, Tuesday, April 16:
- Gun Stories: Store Owners Find Themselves On The Front Line Of Gun Debate
- Letter To Teacher From A Wounded Soldier's Daughter
- Survival Tip For Dealing With A Spouse's PTSD Flashbacks
- BBC Documentary: Undercover in North Korea
- More BBC Coverage of M 7.8 Earthquake In Iran - Biggest in 40 Years
- Wash. Gov Inslee Says Local Version Of Dream Act Deserves Vote
- A Family Unmade and Made Again
- Writer's Almanac
- Gun Store Owners
- The Common Good
- The End Of Big