by Jeffrey Stockbridge
Donna: My name is Donna. My day, it was pretty good. I was only, I was out most of the afternoon. It was busy.
JS: You were telling me you take the train to and from here?
Donna: Yea, take the train from Bridge and Pratt, get off here at Tioga. This is pretty much my area. I just you know, work this little area I don’t go any further. I don’t go past Venango.
JS: Why’s that?
Donna: I just feel more comfortable in this vicinity.
JS: You, you got friends out here?
Donna: Friends? No friends, associates, people I know, people I know.
JS: How long you been doing this sort of thing?
Donna: Since my early 20’s. Yeah, long time. Many moons.
JS: And how was it that you got in, into it in the first place?
Donna: Well, I got into it when my kids were young. It was basically, you know out of necessity to take care of my kids, you know. I have four they’re grown now. But you know, it started out, you know just to take care of them but then it went into other things, you know. They’re grown, they’re doing well for themselves. They are all in the 20’s. They have children. Um, one of them graduated college and she’s married. You know, they’re doing well. I have, I have four grandchildren now too. Yup, three girls and a boy.
JS: So if your kids are all grown up and the main reason you were out here was to help them, why is it that you’re still out here?
Donna: Well, life. You know, sometimes it might be to pay a bill, sometimes it might be addiction, you know, but mostly it’s just, you know if I need money I come out, you know. It’d have to be very important cause I don’t come out that often, not anymore anyway.
You see the thing is, I, you know, I set a goal or whatever you know, whatever bill needs to be paid or how much money I might need for that particular day for whatever reason, that’s my goal, whatever goal I set that day, so it’s not a set amount. I stop when I want to stop. Like if I get a certain amount of money, I say that’s fine and then I go home. I don’t have a shift. I don’t work a shift, in other words.
JS: How long do you think you’re gonna keep, keep coming out here? How old are you now?
Donna: I’m 45.
JS: Do you think you’ll be out here when you’re 65?
Donna: Hell no. I hope not. I hope not. I wasn’t you know, for three years I didn’t have to be out here cause I was in a relationship you know, for three years with somebody and he took very good care of me but he passed on, so now I’m back out here. He passed on last June as a matter of fact. So I’m like back on the scene after 3 years.
JS: How’s the scene?
Donna: The same. Nothing’s changed. Nothing’s changed in three years. Nothing’s changed.
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