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.
JS: I was just asking if you lived around here.
Star: Yeah, I live on Hazzard Street in an abandoned house. Um. Sometimes… hold on a second, cause that’s loud [train passes]. Sometimes I go and sleep on the street, um, on Boston Street, and I just put, you know. I got a little mattress back there, put that. Cause the cops don’t bother you, there’s a couple of us back there and uh, just sleep on that next to the building. It’s pretty nice out now, y’know, so…
JS: And how long have you been out?
Star: Like two weeks.
JS: And have you been out here before?
Star: Yeah I was out here, um, a couple years ago, but then I went to jail, got out, went back to jail. Y’know. So, I only been out a jail for like three weeks. So I was out for a week, came right down here
Star: When you get arrested for prostitution, y’know you go for..to..for bail, you gotta go see the judge, and usually they set a bail for you. Prostitution you just get ROR. And they just let you go.
JS: What’s ROR?
Star: Uh, release on your own recognizance.
Star: Like you don’t gotta pay no- no money. Y’know? So…
Star: Um… well I had my son 2005. They- I got Percocets in the hospital. Took them for a little while. Um. Starting buying Oxycontins after that and then by 2006 I was shootin’ dope and… ended up here. And now I shoot dope, coke, y’know, anything that goes in a needle, basically… so… I just- I love the high… I love the high.
Star: I’m high right now [laughs]. I’m not gonna lie, y’know? So…
JS: So you’re okay- so it’s like uh, I mean, are you content with your life right now? You’re content with the way things are?
Star: I mean, I don’t… I don’t like it, but at the same time I love getting high, y’know? So it’s kinda like you can’t have your cake and eat it too and that’s what I want. But I love getting high more- more than anything so, I mean I’m willing… to… I guess suffer the consequences of living outside, starvin, y’know. Not taking a shower, not brushing my teeth, fucking people for money… y’know? I mean that’s because of the game, y’know?
JS: Can you describe to me why- why you love getting high so much? What it is about it?
Star: The feeling. I don’t gotta deal with nothing. Nothing bothers me. I’m the nicest person in the world. I don’t think about anything. Y’know?
Star: It’s um… I don’t know, I guess uh, sense of security- I don’t- I don’t feel alone. I feel… I don’t, um, I don’t know. It’s just it’s, it’s a feeling that I’ve never had before with anything else, especially with shootin heroin. I just feel like, like I don’t cry about shit, I’m not so sensitive. I’m- I still think about shit, yeah. But at the same time, I don’t- I don’t know. It’s so hard to describe.
JS: Well what- could you try to describe what it’s like when you’re not high?
Star: Um… yeah, it’s- I guess it’s just uh… the whole thing is responsibilities and shit. I gotta big problem with that so… um. I mean, I been doing this since 2006 and honestly sometimes I feel like this is the only thing I really know, y’know? Like I’m comfortable. For the most part. For the most part. Y’know? Um… I mean when I’m not high y’know you gotta pay for rent, worry bout a job, worry bout this and that, y’know? And uh… I just don’t feel like dealing with it all. I mean I know this is the pussy way of doing things- running, but… y’know, it’s the easy way out.
JS: Wow, I would say the opposite. I would say it’s the harder way out.
Star: You think?
Star: I guess it’s like a f- and out here, it’s like a fast life. Everything is so unpredictable. You never know what’s gonna happen the next minute y’know? And uh, honestly I’m attracted to that. I really am. Y’know?
Star: Uh, even when I was in jail, after months and months of being clean, I- I would sit there and think like damn. I just wanna come back down here just to see what’s going on, you know what I mean? Because there’s always something going on down here. So, I mean, not even with intentions of getting high. I just wanted to see what was going on. Then I would come down, see people I knew, like see who was all out here. New people and shit. And y’know, I would- I would get high. And then it’s like, this is… honestly, I call… I call Kensington the Bermuda Triangle. Because it’s like once you come here, you get stuck, y’know? And- and you can’t go back. Like I came down here… um, a couple weeks ago… I came down here a couple weeks ago with the intentions… a couple wee- a couple uh… a couple weeks ago… I came here a couple weeks ago with fifty dollars with intentions of- of buying the drugs and going back home. I bought the drugs. Got stuck. The next day I just started trickin to get money. So I was gonna go home, but then I wanted a bag. So I got- I, it’s, y’know. And then I just gave up on the fact of fucking even trying to go home. Y’know? So…
Star: Like me, me and my- my friend right over there, we were just shootin up in the alley and somebody just started shootin. Shootin. We just dropped on the ground. Just shot up a speed ball. Dropped on the ground and just crawled and got out, because, you can’t really run as soon as you shoot coke and dope, y’know? So, I mean, as soon as we could get out of there we did, but it’s always something going on. It’s, I don’t- I don’t know.
JS: You mean to tell me you- you were shootin in an alleyway and you heard gunshots go off?
Star: Yeah! Somebody was back there shootin, I don’t know were they shootin, at us, or who they shootin at. But we just dropped and got out real quick.
JS: But that and the fact that there were those gunshots, like, it didn’t scare you at all? Are you like, are you kinda, you kinda just associate that with the lifestyle you’re attracted to?
Star: Yeah, I mean. Yeah it did scare me a little bit, but at the end of the day that’s the shit that goes on down here, y’know? So… I guess, I- I don’t know it’s part of the game and it’s a little bit of a rush, y’know, that that happened. It’s a little bit of sick thinking, but [laughs], y’know. It’s how I think.
JS: Do you have family that you see at all?
Star: Nah. Um every once in a while I’ll call my Grandmom or my uncle. Um. he lives in Bucks County. My Grandmom lives in North Carolina. But other than that, like I have a son. He lives with his dad. I- I’m not allowed around him. So that’s part of the reason I try to cover shit up too. Y’know, so I don’t think about him. Honestly half the time I even forget I have a son. Y’know, it makes it easier.