Edited Audio Transcript:
JS: How long have you been married?
Pat: Eleven years
JS: Can you tell me a little bit about how you guys met? And just a recent history.
Pat: We met by a mutual friend. And uh, that was, that was like uh, there was a lot of drug use there, like with friends and stuff but uh, like it was weird because its was like me and her had the same group of friends but never knew each other for like a couple years and then we met and uh, but…
Rachel: I wasn’t into drugs at all. I hated it.
Rachel: I couldn’t stand it. I liked the drinking and stuff and uh… he was dipping and dabbing. After I got really close with him, I got serious with him, I was a little bit curious. And I started then also and uh, I don’t know, we fell in love, we got married, our drug use had slowed down, we had um, children. And then um, I got sick and got put on pain killers. It all rolled out from there again. You know and our addiction started back up and, with the heroin till at one point where we couldn’t even take care of ourselves, losing houses, I was dancing at the time, trying to uh… get us from job to job, I was dancing trying to keep a roof over our heads, and then we couldn’t even do that. We had these children to take care of too, it got to the point where you know, we called uh, Children and Youth on ourselves and gave our kids over. You know, like still to this day like we don’t know where they are and it kills me as a mother but I felt I was doing the best thing I could do for them at that time, give them a better life. But um… We’re just, it was the most selfless thing I could do, people say it’s selfish, but I thought I was doing the best I could. But, you, you know, like I was telling him, you get so involved in here that like with the drugs it’s such a, it’s like a dark cloud over your head and you don’t know how to get out or how to climb out sometimes. It’s like you try and get half way and you get pulled back down. You know.
Pat: Nothing else mattered.
Rachel: Nothing. Our kids didn’t even matter… You know um, sure you think about it and then you really start thinking about it, but not to think about it, then you get high, cause you don’t want to think about that stuff, you don’t want to think about the things, you don’t want to deal with them. You know, why I think the way I think, I don’t know. I don’t even have an answer for that. You know, we moved down here to Kensington and it’s like we’re stuck. We don’t know where to turn to… We know how to eat cause there’s free meals everyday but like where do we start out from to keep moving up? You know, we know what to do, but to do it, do we do it? No. Why? I don’t know. I have no clue why.
Pat: Well, I thought about, you know I think sometimes to myself, like just cause we’re addicts and we’re on the street and stuff doesn’t mean that we don’t know what’s going on like in the world and like with the way the economy’s going and everything else and like your regular everyday people that work day-to-day and have jobs and all that kinda stuff, how many of them you see out here that have lost their jobs, now their homeless, they’re on the streets and drugs got them, but it’s like… I listen to a lot of these people that are sober now or people that have never experienced drug use and their lives are hell. And lot of times I think to myself like, do I want to get clean so I can just live in a sober reality world of living hell? Like, because of like of my past and everything it’s not like I’m gonna go right to the top of the ladder. So, sometimes it’s like, wow, like why do I want to do, why go through all that crap sober? That, that’s going on you know. There’s no jobs, there’s you know, it’s like I don’t, I don’t, I don’t want to do it sober. It’s just reality, I don’t, I’d rather to just… deal with it this way, you know…
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.