Edited Audio Transcript
Bobby: Okay, so we can just start now.
Bobby: I was born and raised here in 1965. First generation uh, coming from Ireland, my parents came from Ireland. When I grew up around here in the 60’s it was, it was all Irish. Uh, all the elderly ladies used to talk to you in Galick and all, it was uh, very uh, tight nit community where you could, you know always get something to eat, always get help, you know, the neighbors looked out for each other, there was no uh, robbery, burgulary, none of that stuff you know. We, we got in trouble as kids and all but that was just about it.
You know I grew up as uh, you know a normal kid, no uh family or physical, or medical uh abuse, uh, mental abuse uh. My mom raised four of us, uh, I have two sisters, one brother. Two sisters that have been doing very, very good. Uh, one brother, he’s in prison again, my brother Danny uh. I have four children, I had my first child when I was fourteen and graduated highschool. I went to uh a trade school. I went to the penitentary when I was a young age, uh I spent close to twenty years straight in the penitentary. I got a degree in psychology in the penitnetairy, plus I got a degree in uh street knowledge in there. I came home, decided that I didn’t really want that life because uh many a nights in prison that when I thought I was a man I cried in my cell you know. You know, knowing and thinking that this was not the life I wanted and that the ripple efffect that it caused destroyed my family and my children.
But I came home and uh, when I seen my children they were all like of age, adults, I didn’t even really like know them. They were my kids and all and I can say it but I didn’t know them. You know and it hurt me real bad, you know. And uh still to this day as being out of jail 6 and a half years uh, prison has truly uh, uh did a number on my mind mentally you know I’m still I’m mentally you know messed up from that you know. But uh, growing up through here I had uh do what I had a do to survive you know which was uh, get involved, become a product of the environment. I got into selling drugs and all that fast life. I wound up getting shot. You know, broken back, I was blinded by, beaten up by the Philadelphia Police Department uh, I was shot by the Philadelphia Police Department, uh. I, but a lot of good things came out of it and a lot of bad things came out of it. Uh, I’m, uh, I guess I can say I’m one of the, the very few that uh, you can say made it and you know and well I didn’t fully make it, I’m still here you know but uh I made it, I, I learned right from wrong, wrong from right, always kept a regular job, I always kept a legal job growing up even doing what I did. I kept everything undercover, you know and dressed nice and uh went to school, you know tried to listen to my parents, just to cover up the things that I, I did on the side.
Edited Audio Transcript
You know my daughter’s uh, boyfriend, he’s uh in the law enforcement you know he’s a warrant unit cop, he’s a cop. My brother-in-law is uh, he owns his own construction business, he worked for Gem Refridgeration for like 19 years till they laid him off. But they, they make it you know. My sister is uh, she’s one of the top nurses at University Pennsylvania Cancer Center, she’s uh, the boss of like 152 nurses. My other sister is uh you know, she works there too, my daughter, who my sister raised she has followed in my sisters footsteps…
JS: So what do you think happened to you and Danny then?
JS: You know, I mean you’re talking about your family, how they’re, how they were able to maintain these jobs and stay off the streets… You know… Whats?
Bobby: Liking to get high. Wanting to get high.
JS: Why? What was it? Where did that start? Where did getting high start?
Bobby: Uhhh, through uh, tradgedies that happened throughout the, throughout my life and uh, trying to suppress the pain because I didn’t uh, wanna show people that, that I was, that I hurt, you know like everybody else, so I would suppress it you know. I didn’t want people to know that I could hurt because growing up back then, showing that you can hurt, or a weakness was uh, was uh, it was a reason to pounce and pray you know and you suppressed all that. And growing up around here you either became uh, uh a burgurlar, uh a pool shooter, uh an alcholic or a gambler you know and I became a professional pool shooter uh, I gambled, I uh played cards you know to make my own money and uh, my mom raised four of us on her own you know, so it was hard, you know, I had to do what I had to try to do to help her. And uh my grandmom and them was strict, strict Irish coming off the boat and you know and the generation right before them came with the famine you know so it was, it was like uh, it was rough man. We, we, we uh, we had to do what we had to do you know and uh even though if you didn’t like what you had on the table to eat you ate it just to be proud and always said that, wow it was good thank you it was a vey good dinner you know.
Edited Audio Transcript
Yeah I started using uh, heavey drugs when I was twelve. Like my real father died when I was ten. I uh, I started getting in, smoking weed, you know and all in school and started getting in trouble then but by the time I was twelve I was uh doing Heroin and all. And uh, selling drugs to support my habit and you know and stuff like that… But uh…
JS: So when I saw you back in, it was 2010 in the summer up on the tracks with Danny and your other buddy, I mean you guys didn’t seem like you were really having a hard time addiction back then, you were talking about the D-Street Boyz, you were talking about…
Bobby: Well, we, we didn’t, we didn’t because we uh, we, we talk about that to try to you know bring back some good times because there is no good times out here no more, we try to talk about when, back when, because we spent so much time in prison that we think of like back when we had so much fun, that was our youth, we lost our youths in the penitentiary so, you know and when you’re away that long you tend to loose time you like get caught in a time warp, because nothing changes, you know, everything’s the same exact thing every single day. You wake up you go to breakfast, you go to breakfast you go to work you come back from work you go to lunch you come back from lunch you count, you take a long nap, you go back to work, you come back from work, you go get medication, you go to dinner, you go uh out to the yard, when it’s night time you come in, you go to medication you go back in, you go to sleep and by a quarter to nine you’re in your cell ready to go to work for the next day you know. Same shit everyday, nothing changes., so you, you tend to get caught in a time warp. And uh… It’s the same, same shit every day.
JS: When did you um first go to jail and when did you get out?
Bobby: I went to jail in 1989 and came home in 2007.
JS: Why were you in jail? What was the crime?
Bobby: Uh, I sold a lot of drugs and was involved with a lot of like, stuff that had to do with shooting guns and all. Most of it was uh selling drugs and collecting money that was owed to me and it caused me getting into a lot of trouble.
JS: So when people didn’t pay you money that they owed you you had to get violent with them?
Bobby: You do what you had to do to get your money, you know, just like everybody else, you do what you got to do to survive. That’s why it’s called being a product of your environment. If you ever really look it up in the dictionary it’s, it’s, and even if you look at uh, addiction up in the dictionary it, it means to be enslaved. You’re enslaved to something you know. And then again some people do it because that’s what they like and that was Me, I, I liked it that. You know and, and part of it was that like, I was uh… When I was growing up I was so hurt and, and uh on the inside and I suppressed so much of it because I seen it in my mom and them and you know being hurt and growing up and struggling that I didn’t care about it, how other people felt, I wanted people to feel the way that I felt, but it just didn’t turn out that way. You know you can’t make a person feel the pain that’s going through your heart, you know everybody has different feelings.
Danny, Tor & Bobby (pictured left to right) pose on the tracks.
Edited Audio Transcript
Danny: Straight Irish Boys, we’re from D Street.
Tor: They’re only a few left.
Danny: We, we, we was the hardest white boys that ever walked through Kensington. Period.
Bobby: And we was born and raised here.
Danny: From days when Kensington was Kensington, when the blacks couldn’t come through here until the fucking beginning of the 2000’s the white boys from D street ran this whole fucking area.
Bobby: Back in the 60’s and all when I was growing up there was nothing but pool halls, bars and boxing rings on every block.
Danny: And the white boys from D Street, D and Cambria ran this whole area. We were the hardest things that ran this thing. We were the white boys that were hard.
Bobby: You put that, you put that on TV, and, and then, ask, ask, and ask for uh, you put that on, do something about that and then ask for feedback from it and see what you get…
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Bobby: This is for those who are gone, we miss you, we love you’s and we hope to see you soon. Back when we were there, Irish Boys dead all the way.
Danny: Yo, you see this here. You see how I got it right here, Irish Boys, um. It say’s D Street. That’s who we are. We’re D Street Irish Mob.
Tor: Original, ORL.
Danny: That’s who we are, all the way.
Bobby: See, you should, you should call the documentary Hard Times.
Danny: This, this is for real, we were some real hard killers up here homie.
Danny: Lot of our homies are doing life.
Bobby: It was hard growing up here.
Danny: Lot of our homies are doing life and shit up here man.
Bobby: Lot of our homies died.
Danny: Died, lot of homies got shot. Lot of homies got shot… We was already on 20/20, 48 hours. You name it we was on it holmes. We was, we was on some real hard… I just did 15 years. My brother did 17. (inaudible) just left did 15. All for being the Irish crew.