"I first learned that I was crippled when I was eight. We played a game in the yard where we would race and do somersaults. When even the youngest kids beat me, I knew I had a problem. Then when it was time to go to school, I was the only one who couldn’t go, because it was a very far walk."
"Do you remember the saddest moment of your life?"
"When I turned twenty, I had this moment where I realized that I hadn’t been able to get any education. And suddenly I knew that I’d probably never have a family."
In 1959, Galesburg banned Earley from graduating and denied him a diploma after he and other African-Americans had a picnic in a park that was unofficially off-limits to blacks.
"My happiest moments were when my mom was still alive."
"What’s your fondest memory of your mother?"
"One time when I was six years old, we went to pick up my father at the airport. On the way, my mother explained to me the concept of boarding a plane and taking a trip. And then while we waited for my father, we sat in a nearby restaurant, and we planned out all the imaginary trips that I wanted to go on."