This story begins itself and has four parts.
It all started in New Jersey with a kid named Bernie Dean, Jr. He was baptized Bernard Jamaal Dean, Jr., but his family, friends and classmates knew him as Bernie. When he was just four or five years old, he began racing not only on bikes, but on the track. He vowed everything he ever did would be the best, whether school or sport. By the age of seven he had begun playing organized fast-pitch baseball in the peewee league. In the third grade he was an A student. He loved school and competition. By the age of eight he had won his first championship, and he pitched a good percentage of games.
Some people would consider Linden, NJ the worse place to live, but Bernie loved Linden, and Linden loved Bernie. As he went on in school, he earned honors in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). He seemed bound for greatness as an officer in the US Navy.
To be continued.