It was 1969. My parents lived in the Bronx and they were very poor. My mum was a sex worker and that’s how she met my dad! I don’t think any of them intended to marry at first, but things happened.
The first thing that went wrong was a broken condom. 9 months later I was born. Mum wanted an abortion because she wasn’t able to figure out how to make money enough for two.
That’s where my dad said NO! He took responsibility and protected me even before I was born. He was a moonshiner and he made money enough for all three of us. After a few months they got married and a few months later I was born.
My dad actually wanted a son and he got one!
We lived in Wakefield and during the years I became part of the neighborhood. Very much like the cars and the buildings. The entire Bronx was criminal. Not many taxes were paid from the Bronx these days.
I soon learned how to steal, shoplift and do burglaries and became quite good at it. At 9 I was able to supply our family economy with considerable amounts of money.
My dad died that year. It was a terrible loss. He helped me so much and was always there for me and my mum. Although he was a criminal, he was my mentor and the pillar of my life. I adored him.
He still ran his ‘still in the forest at that time. He had two people out there helping him and they continued the business so we still had an income from that.
For me, it was a detour. I began ‘visiting’ the jail frequently. Upgraded to car theft. Made money and went in and out of jail.
But in ’87 it was serious. I was 18 and no kid anymore and my rap sheet was as long as Gunter Ave.
I dunno for sure, but I think my dad and the judge were acquainted somehow. I was in Brooklyn Detention Center for a month while the Bronx Police Department made my case. They worked on an indictment that probably would put me behind bars for ten years.
The case ran for a few days and finally Judge Ernest C. Rhodes – I will never forget his name, presented me with his verdict. 10 years behind bars or the army.
I wasn’t slow to grasp the fact that the army was like a regular job which meant a paycheck every month. I chose the army!
I probably wouldn’t survive the jail anyway as it was more violent than the streets.
So I joined the army and spent two fantastic years working for my country. It is not a job for just anyone, but I felt like I was coming home. It was the perfect life for me. I loved the physical aspect of being a soldier.
After that, I joined the Special Forces and was stationed in Kenya for a year. Got shot more than once but survived. When I came home I wanted even more so I tried the Navy Seals and I made it through boot camp. I wasn’t stationed anywhere but became an instructor as a CQCI as this position suddenly became available. So I trained recruits in close-quarter combat and how to survive with nothing but your hands.
I got my closest friends in the Seals and we are still working together.
After that Garcia and I started our own business. We ran some nightclubs and it wasn’t exactly 100% legal but we were a lot smarter now than when I was 15. We did some gunrunning in Afghanistan and we met some coke farmers from who we bought sugar and we made a fortune.
Today I live on the coast near LA and have a big house and a nice yacht in the bay.
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