Location: Intown Collaborative Ministries on Ponce
Male, Age: over 50
“Productivity, Analytical, Curious,
(DRC, Dependable, Reliable, Consistant)”
Daniel Enger (Interviewer) Good Morning today is October 29, 2021, and we’re here on Ponce in Atlanta. My name is Daniel Enger and I have the pleasure of being here today with 80211. Thank you very much for taking the time to talk I’m looking forward to hearing your story and hearing from you. And my first question is a really big one for you 80211 namely. Could you please tell the story of your life from the time you were a small child up to the present day.
80211: Good morning. Okay the people that reared me as mother and father we are not biologically connected they reared me as guardian. I first came in contact with them in Jersey City, 564 Ocean Avenue we moved to another block called Egee avenue. Anyway, the father figure in my rearing his name is Tom he’s from a very large family and so is his wife she’s from a very large family. Tom was from a family of 25 so he has 24 siblings, 5 which were adopted his wife Bertha is from a family of 18, all of those are biologically blood siblings. Tom’s father my so-called grandfather his name was Tom also and they referred to him as Poppa Tom or Old Man Tom. He was Irish, when I say Irish, he was red hair, blue eyed Caucasian. He married twice both wives died in childbirth. My father figure was from the second group of children he’s one of the youngest. On my mother’s side the household head was her father whose name was Benjamin who did not like being called Benny (chuckle) call him Benjamin or Ben one or the other. From my understanding what he would do, there was a farm and this was in the Carolinas after doing the farm chores for the day he would sit on the porch in a rocking chair with a rifle. Okay this is my understanding coming from my mother figure (laughing). She and Tom married in Baltimore, Maryland, she first came up from down South she worked as a domestic, later became a seamstress and then a presser for these fashion houses like Joyce Leslie, Jonathan Logan, and so on. Tom was the first African American in Jersey to have the Excavating and Construction Company, he did very well with it, his wife (laughing) Bertha said the worst thing he ever did was to put the apostrophe s at the last name, I’ll say it was Brown and he went from Brown Excavating Construction to Brown’s when he brought his brother on board, she said that was the worst thing he could have did (laughing). She didn’t like his brother Leroy whatsoever, when she would see him on sight sometime, she would just spit, I would just look at her I didn’t have nothing to do with that, but anyway long story short. Tom was very lenient, Bertha was very strict, very churchly, very strict she was mother of the church. When I say strict, I mean she would tear me up and her son Tommy, it was Tom, Tom and Thomas, she would tear me up with an extension cord Tommy too, if she said do something a certain way, she meant do it just that way. I was a latchkey kid I never got in trouble, never got locked up in my life, when I tell people that they say “what” they find it hard to believe I was never locked; Oh well, one week end I had a bar scuffle a guy hit me in the back with a bar stool and we got into a scuffle, and police took everybody down to jail and when the judge came in everybody just dismissed everything and that was it. I never really got in trouble, I helped Tom work for a while I worked with him. My first job was a paperboy, then I worked with Tom in his company and then we found something out the older guys do not like taking instructions from a young person “who the heck is he, telling me how to dig a hole” Tom used to say there’s two ways to dig a hole in life, you can use a pick and a shovel or you can dig holes that will get you in trouble and you can’t get out of them. He was very, very pretty smart guy not to have a high school education, Bertha his wife she graduated high school. I had some college I went through several colleges my background is very technical. Coming up I won’t say I was a loner but I didn’t play with the kids too much on the block because they was always gettin in trouble and Bertha would always say I’ll get you out of jail for anything except lying or stealin, you never be lyin or stealin. So, I said then you don’t want me playing with the kids up the street that’s all they do, no you can play with them but when they start acting stupid you bring your butt home. So, they got me a dog named Lucky I had three Luckys I would just go in the backyard and play. And then a family moved in upstairs above us on Egee and they had a daughter named Judy and me and Judy were like inseparable, our birthdays were like two days apart so they would have our birthday parties together take a bunch of pictures and all that stuff. I grew up going to public schools I went to the service I went to Vietnam, Tommy went to Vietnam, honorable discharge no problem, Tommy same thing he was with the 100th First Airborne, I was with 71st Headquarters. After the service it was like whatever he did I did right behind him, he got married right out of high school so did I. He got divorced right when he got back from Vietnam, I didn’t get divorced I’m not gone say what happened but something happened with my wife. I met someone she was a very beautiful person like my wife we hit it off very well. My background is that I went to Chase Aviation I still do, I went to three aviation schools, my majors were I had a double major aeronautical science with concentration of computer technology. I do Cisco networking with Cisco devices, majority of my life I worked Wallstreet as an independent contractor and businessperson. My clients were security exchange, commodity exchange, Philadelphia Exchange, Mercantile Exchange, Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch, AIG, on and on and on, top Fortune 50’s I did very, very well on Wallstreet. I just happened the second time I got married it wasn’t a good fit I got married because the young lady was pregnant, I wasn’t in love when she got pregnant, I got married, I was raised up if something like that happen you better go ahead get married you know. Bertha used to say Tommy if a child come up to me and their saying they’re my grandchild and don’t have the same last name as me she said the general public will not respect his/her mother and I will stop respecting you. And that’s how I was reared up, and she reinforced that with the extension cord (laughing). So, coming up I did all the right things and everything. I had a very nice large house up in Connecticut and then when her and I broke up my second wife we went our separate ways things got a little flaky. I never had no physical stuff with any woman whatsoever I really don’t like to argue, if we disagree, I’ll go outside and take a walk and go speak to a tree or something until everything cools down. I let her manage all the finances, I used to rent an apartment in East New Jersey while I worked on Wallstreet and on the weekends I would go home, but when payday came around, she got all the money (chuckle) and just gave me what I needed to pay my rent, eat, and get my clothes cleaned and get back and forth to work. We have a large family we have a quite a few boys and one girl, she had a daughter when I met her. My second wife I married her because she got pregnant not out of love it was straight from the bedroom. We had a large family and the reason we had a large family is because she’s highly allergic to latex and her method of childbirth was called the rhythm method and she pretty much was off the beat the whole time (laughter) she would go with the cycle of the ovaries and would get pregnant every time. We had a lot of boys and one girl the girl was the baby; love my children and they love me. I tease one of them his short name is Feme he say “I love you daddy” I say you better (laughter) he laughs, I call him Olapop. The reason I call him that is for some reason that Tom, Bertha and I are not biologically related and Feme is his mannerisms are just like Tom, the way he stands, wears his hat everything, the way he talks, certain words. I say Feme are you Tom in disguise cause Bertha and Tom both passed. Tom, he had an aneurysm a stroke of the brain his main artery of the brain ruptured in 20 some odd places the doctor said if he had lived, he would have been a vegetable. And Bertha died from stomach cancer she worked in textile she was a seamstress and a presser. And when you go into these fashion houses with clothing and what not you look at the light or the air and what not and you see a lot of fiber in the air and it caused cancer in her stomach. She used to take me there when I was small and give me a big bag of chicken wings I’d sit up under the pressing board and eat chicken wings until I was ready to go home (Chuckle). So, this was before I was in school as a child, they say I was gifted I can go with that my children are gifted I was able to speak, write, and comprehend Latin at a very young age before I was in kindergarten, how I don’t know it’s just something I knew how to do. People that I used to help with it used to be some kids used to be a little bit older than Tommy who was taking Latin in high school and I would help them with their homework. They would say “how does he know this” Tommy would beat me up push my face in the couch he would say he would be playin but those nookie punches in my arm didn’t feel like it, he’d give me nookies in the head, he’d make a knuckle and rub it in somebody’s head. He’d say “how you know this, how you know this” I don’t know I just know; I just know. And I knew classical, ancient, and modern Latin, and he got ticked off at me. Anyway, I went through that and then there were some other things that happened that put Bertha I would say more on edge than anything I would say, nervous. I was doing something I’m not going to say what it was I was doing something in the house and it scared her a lot to the point she called her sister up in Harlem Willamae, I come in the house and he’s doing XYZ I’m not gonna say what it was, it really scared her it scared her to the point she said if I ever catch you doing that again I’ll kill you I’ll break your neck and blah blah this and blah blah that (laughter) I didn’t do it for a while but when I turned 13 I did it again and it was outside, so, long story short that was that. There’s certain qualities and attributes about myself that’s not the same as with everybody. I had one thing with me we used to go on every Sunday Tom would take us driving on the highway and we’d stop at the Dairy Queen and the whole nine yards and go pass the airport, go to different towns but I always could tell when he was coming up on the Cemetery I don’t know why I could tell don’t know the name of the town, you gone be passing the cemetery on your right he would look around in the car, Bertha would look around in the car at me less than ten seconds here goes the cemetery, he would look at Bertha hunch his shoulders Bertha would hunch her shoulders back at him and Tommy would hit me over the head with his cap. Well coming up I was a good kid I did something with my bike Tom was very impressed with it, I took some adhesive tape, Tommy gave me his old three speed racer and I took adhesive tape and I wrapped it around the; it was black the racer was black I wrapped the white adhesive tape around the parts of the bike and then I painted it gold, and then I took the tape off and it looked like it came from the Factory like that. And Tom was impressed cause he took it down to the hardware store the hardware store was named Jaylen it was a combination of Jay and Lenny those were the only sons names Jaylen they took about 20 to 30 bikes and did the same I think they upped the price cause more kids started riding these tiger stripped bikes. So, I wasn’t big on the girlfriend, boyfriend thing, the first girl that kissed me was Jackie and I was always attracted to older women. My first wife was older than me by a little bit older girls should say and pretty much everyone that I ever dealt with was older than me. Like I said, I never got in trouble a guy said “how could that be your such and such years old never been to jail” I said look when people start acting stupid, I leave I’m gone be at the house if you want me give me a holla, I’m gone I’m not doing no stupid stuff like that. I really love aviation and really like working with computers, I follow aviation constantly I went through three major aviation schools, one of the schools is the top aviation school in the world I’m not gone mention their name their known for that. They have campuses in Florida I went to the one in Daytona, Biscayne, Prescott, Arizona, Flagstaff, Arizona, Belgium is their international campus and then they have some in Asia and Japan I think Singapore and another place but their like top number one, numero uno. My major I had a double major which was aeronautical science with concentration of computer technology, my initial pipe dream was too buy a DC8 or 9 and then the 10 from Arizona. It’s a graveyard up there where they put a lot of old and out of service aircraft have it redone and fly medical and pipeline equipment back and forth from the lower 48 states up to Alaska, this is when the Alaska Pipeline first started. So, you can get a guess on my age was back in the oh my goodness back in the 70’s. What happened with that was I got into the computer side of things I had a break to work on Wallstreet. A guy out of Pennsylvania; I had a special skill and the skill is still special not too many people do what I do. I specialize in performance tuning and capacity frame of networks, computers, of operating systems, programs, applications and I’m very good at creating algorithms. The guy who taught me a systems programmer his name is Miguel he has a You Tube channel he’s very good. He’s Russian he speaks over 12 languages. He let me have a go at this software called CICS’s by IBM stands for Customer Information Control Systems data base, data communication software, I specialize in that. I specialize in what they call Bi-Sam, I specialize in reading dumps which make a lot of money, and system design and system configuration. The systems programmer Mike he wrote algorithms that are used in certain industries when he was nine years old, him, his mother, brother, and sister escaped from Russia when he was about 13. He showed me binary having and binary hashing and I just took that to a whole other level. I was the first person he went all out to take somebody under your wings Imma showem everything well I was that guy with him, I called him my answer man. Now I moved in couple a states since I was divorced and left Connecticut I lived in Utah, Salt Lake City, I lived in Oregon did a lot of stuff there and I lived in California. I’m here in Georgia coming here from Oregon, I moved to Oregon, I moved to California, then back to Oregon, and now to Georgia. What brought me to Georgia was that I was exposed to some chemical where I was living at in Oregon, and it put a very large cyst on my right kidney it caused me to collapse in my apartment. It was something the landscaper was using and it was coming into my bedroom window and it soaked the area where I slept at. Highly toxic caused me to collapse I got out of the bedroom I closed the bedroom door crawled to the living room and I laid on the floor there for three days cause I couldn’t get up. I said if I have to go to the bathroom this is just right where it’s going to be, so that’s what happened with that. When I was able to get up and move around, I called a Uber to take me directly to the hospital the doctor prescribed morphine and some other stuff and also, he gave me a morphine IV. He asked me was I around an environment that used chemicals and I told him the situation in my apartment he told me do one of two things He said “talk to the landscaping people tell them to stop using it or move.” The conversation I was having with the leasing office; it’s a nice complex but they do not respond back to their clientele and this is just not from me it’s from everybody that lived there, nice place but they don’t respond. So, I said okay let me find a kidney specialist I found one here in Atlanta, Georgia, she works over at Emory Hospital. So, I said okay let me go down to Emory I came down here for a little bit I looked around I said I like Georgia. So, I went back to Oregon I said Imma move and in between the time I said Imma move and the time I did move somebody broke into my house. I’m a developer I develop stuff, I’ll say this, I’m not gone say too much on it if you use the world wide web or the internet I guarantee you use an appliance that I developed. Someone who can confer with that is a company called Tech Coast Angels they are a venture capital firm from California. They picked me up once my banker Wells Fargo Banker explained to them what I did he asked what I’d do and I explained to him. Long story short they offered me something very nice I turned it down another company picked it up let’s say it’s a hat something they made a lot of money off it. Cisco had wanted to get it and I gave it to a friend of my sons and he’s associated with Thk Hat company they made a lot of money Cisco eventually got it and that was that. Being down here in Atlanta I seen some things for some reason; now I get social security I tried to get a place through social security and for some reason I can’t get it I was on HUD Vash VA voucher cause I’m a veteran. The person who was my manager back in Oregon we had text back and forth, or e-mailed back and forth, or phone calls back and forth. I told her about the situation with my health and then on top of my apartment since someone broke in, the leasing company won’t get back to me, I said I know I got to fill out some kind of report with them I filled out a police report and everything I told her Imma go ahead and move she said okay. The first time I was thinking about moving to Arkansas, and that changed my mind after I seen Georgia, I said I’m going to come to Georgia. So, after being here in Georgia for a while about a week and a half I got an email from my manager first we text back and forth and she said do you want me to tell my supervisor that I vacated the property? I said sure, I’m glad I saved the text, she said Okay I’ll do that. Well, a week and a half I’m here in Atlanta she said her supervisor Diane revoked my Hud Vash voucher because I didn’t tell her I was vacating the property. I said now wait a minute I thought we agreed that you were going to tell her I vacated the property I have the text I saved it. Then she started stuttering she got selective memory so I sent the text to her that she sent to me, she said oh yeah. So, I said how I get revoked for something you didn’t do for me it’s complicated that’s the word I got back from her, that’s how I ended up being homeless here. Imma say this too, when I was in the hospital here for five days because of the kidney when I was getting out the hospital, I was in Grady then because Emory referred me to Grady, the social worker said is there anything I can do for you? I’m looking for housing I don’t want to go from the hospital to the street she said sure. So, she brought me a pamphlet a stack of flyers back about 20 of them the majority of them were for getting into housing if you had a program sober living, narcotics I don’t have that type of problem I stopped drinking, smoking, and all that type of crazy stuff September 22, 1988. Somebody said how can you be so precise about that I said because I took care of the woman who was in my stead who was my mother while she had cancer, and that day is the day her cancer metastasized to her brain and they came and took her to the hospital I stopped doing everything, drinkin all that , that’s the day, and how I remember the day. So, I looked through the papers and I said I don’t need none of this right here and there was one that said boarding I still got the flyer. Oh, you get this, you get three hot meals a day, we have a pool table, ping pong table, I said oh this sounds good. I lived in a boarding house before I know everything is pretty much community except your bedroom it’s private it’s yours. When I got there, it wasn’t like that, the bedroom was a four-person bedroom the three hot meals were in the morning either get oatmeal, or cold cereal. Afternoon, lunch two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, at dinner time dinner was alright, rice, chicken stuff like that. The amount that the guy wanted was for five weeks he said Okay Imma charge you $950 I said okay I agreed to that. I get out the hospital they had a Lyft car take me to the address was Atlanta, the guy I was talking to on the property he said no write this address down Stockbridge that’s not even back in the country that’s in the sticks. So, the Lyft took me there and then one of the things I had to do was surrender my ATM card to his house manager. He said yeah give him your ATM and when you’re ready to pay I told him I can’t pay you for two days cause I get retirement not disability retirement, so give the house manager your ATM card and when you’re ready to pay you pay. I said Okay so when I was leaving out in two days, I said I need my ATM card, you’re not supposed to do stuff like that, especially you get people coming through DHS you don’t do stuff like that. There’s another guy that was there his last name was a his first name was Sam he was raisin a fit “you done took $500 out of my account too much” he said give me my ATM card he was raising sand he wasn’t cursing he was just . . . now he was supposed to be moving to a place called Monroe at the end of the month but for some reason I guess cause he was raising a whole bunch of sand about his money he say they took $500 and some odd dollars too much Sam ended up moving in three days I hope he’s okay. While I was there, I talked to him I said how did you get here he said I was in the hospital and DHS recommended them, I said is that right. So, this landlord got something going it’s a pipeline from DHS and these social workers feeding him people and he’s taking the ATM card until he gets his money you don’t do that. Time I got my ATM card, this another thing, where I went in Atlanta, I used the ATM in Atlanta at the store I thought the guy sold money orders but he didn’t so I got all the cash $960 dollars out the ATM. You have to be back at the house at a certain time or you’ll be locked out boarding houses don’t do that, you can’t have company not overnight company, boarding houses don’t do that they you know, they let you have company. So, something told me not to do this I said look I got to pay you cash cause the place didn’t have money orders so I counted out $960 to the house manager he goes by I’m not gone say his real name the name he goes by in the house he’s Apostle Lazarus (hard laughing) you see what I’m saying. Now this guy the guy that owns the house he has another property and he got to feed, social workers must be gettin some kind of kickback or whatever feedin people, you in a situation either you on the street or you got a place. The guy Sam, he told me he’s supposed to be going into a men’s shelter up in Monroe for about two months so he can save his money and get an apartment, I said I wish you luck, but they took him out a lot sooner than what he was supposed to, I said how you gettin up there “I’m drivin” so okay but somebody picked him up, so, I don’t know what’s happening with that, well I do. The financial institution that I bank with time I got the money out the ATM I said cancel that card, freeze it, send me a new one, and they do it immediately they FedEx it to you or UPS it overnight to you. And I guess somebody must of tried to do something with the card cause the house manager had a very, very sour look on his face after I froze it and everything, he had a very sour look on his face. I was trying to take some medication that needed hot water to take with it, it was in the morning he said well Imma do that last after you finish making your cold cereal or hot oatmeal but he didn’t let me get hot water until after dinner. I told the owner of the house, and then I was talking to the owner of the house and he said he was an officer for over thirty years and he was retired. I thought he meant a police officer he’s a retired correction officer, so I said oh this is where that mindset comes from. Cause if you have ever known correction officers their wanna be police officers that’s what you dealin with you know. If I had of known that I would have went someplace else. Anyway, the address in Atlanta but then he gave; he told me a different address down I’m not even gone speak on it and that’s where the Lyft driver took me. And I was so sick I mean you know like they had pulled two IV’s out of me, and I had taken a bunch of pills, I had defecated a little bit in my pants, and I told the guy look I couldn’t hold my stomach cause it took like I don’t know like 35 minutes to get from Grady out to Stockbridge I don’t know the Metropolitan area of Atlanta I don’t know which way is which. So, I just want to go in and change my clothes wash up a little bit, use the bathroom he said don’t worry about it. Now I’m all drugged up he got me signing papers and stuff initializing stuff I said I’m medicated to the max he said it’s ok it’s just a little bit. It was like if the sizes of the paper were legal form papers and there’s about 10 of them to sign back and front signature either initials or full signatures. So, I just went ahead cause I just wanted to get out of those clothes and into the bathroom wash up. I did something a while back for a year I voluntarily became homeless just to see what the deal was just to do my own research. I’m not gone speak on what I found but you will find so much, it’s a system it’s a network I mean you got it’s a network and Imma leave it at that. It’s a network where you got different groups. If you go from one shelter to another, don’t you know that when you got out of this shelter when you went to the other shelter they know. I don’t know what database or where their transfer of information but they know. I seen some things happen that’s definitely not kosher whatsoever in another state in California, I ain’t even gone speak on that I mean at a federal level I wouldn’t even touch it. But the situation exist I think this stuff I know exist; homeless people are being used for a number of reasons first and foremost is financial If somebody is homeless how can they get money? It’s not the homeless person getting money it’s financial institutions getting money from the Federal Government to put in place organs or agencies to be supportive of homeless people. But they don’t do it they hold onto the money it’s nothin but passive income coming from the Federal Government to the agency. It’s a lot more than that but I’m not even gone touch it cause you dealing with a whole bunch of other stuff, but that’s pretty much it.
Daniel: Sir of all the things you’ve accomplished or overcome in your life so far what are you most proud of?
80211: My children, I taught with the exception of my daughter that is here my 44-year-old daughter, my children I’ve taught them not to be a consumer but to be in business for yourself. I used to do little skits at the house, my second wife used to enjoy it so much she used to call her mother and tell her. I’d take the two youngest children and they would be shoppers and I’d take the rest of the children some would go in the family room some be on the right side, some be on the left side, they have little things like bananas, oranges, and eggs and I say you guys got to sell to your brother and sister and you got to do things to get their attention. I would cue them on how to do this the youngest one is up as one of the salespeople, we give you free delivery, we’ll give you two bunches of bananas, we’ll give you five pounds of potatoes he equal it out real quick right, so, I said you got it. I have a set of twins too their thing was we’ll give you free delivery for the month and we’ll give you a $30 dollar grocery plan for free, I said ohhh that’s hittin below the belt. I said now you see we doin food everybody got to eat, I said but when we take you to the mall, me and your mother take you to the mall the first thing that grabs your eyes are the lights and run over to see what it is I said if lighting is 50 percent brighter than its environment it’s gonna get your attention. He said all the sneakers stores, yep and that’s why you be buyin three or four pairs of sneakers. My children are my greatest accomplishment. The other thing big is I was always taught how to pull myself up from my bootstraps and even if you don’t have boots this is how you do it and I laid the same thing out to the kids. Okay I was sittin in the park a couple weeks ago an Asian lady comes up and she looks me square in the eyes this situation is only going to be temporary, I said I know this she said what you need? I said I could go for something to eat, so she brought back some apples some canned edibles like spaghetti and tuna fish, and she had some Asian Ramen I don’t mean the Ramen that you get normally this is from you can tell it’s like from the Asian store the writing and everything was Chinese. But I look around and I see other people that’s homeless and what I do see and I talk to them, and I’m not talking about the people that may have some type of disability or some type of head problem somethin like that, I mean people who are straight up and down homeless their in a situation. And the majority of them I say well how did you get here they either joke around with each other, or my old lady this my old lady that, your girlfriend or wife whatever you know. It basically falls back to family core values start to disintegrate and if it causes a breakup of a significant others hopefully it’s the guy that walks and not the woman with the kids, but you see quite a few women out here with the children cause they get tired of domestic violence and stuff like that. But it brings out the main thing money for the love of money people do all kinds of crazy stuff. You’ll beat someone you claim you love you do all kind of stuff and the core values that you were reared up as far as you don’t hit people male or female and definitely not a female break down and when that happens somebody got to leave. Take it voluntarily to leave or by the police, or by the State to say if you don’t separate yourself from this individual, we’re gone take your children of course a woman’s gonna leave, of course. Like I said my situation is a little different, it’s like you see women out here and you first fall in love and you find your mate, guys don’t want the woman to work. Well, this is what I did I gave my wife the whole check and let her give me the money to live on so she couldn’t complain about the money. I even went so far as to with my wife I changed religions, I was reared up as a Christian and she was Muslim and I said well instead of taking the kids to the Mosque on Friday and to the church on Sunday I’ll just convert over. I tried it for about 25 years anytime they give the teaching on Friday if I didn’t like what he was saying I got up my son and I said let’s go first place I take em the church I grew up in (laughter), and that’s the way it was. But the main thing is when you look out here see like people who are levelheaded, they just homeless it’s usually it’s the disintegration of core values, home core values, if it’s core values that their mother and father brought them up in or the core values they tried to establish with their own immediate family.
Daniel: Sir, you gained a lot of hard-fought wisdom in your life so far, if you were invited to share your wisdom with school kids in your community giving them guidance to live healthy, safe, stable, and happy lives what would you tell them, what life wisdom would you share with school kids in Atlanta?
80211: I would have to say this, now I grew up as a latchkey kid I had a shoestring with the house key tied to it around my neck. But your parents say “you don’t talk to strangers” don’t do that, you see the person every day on the park bench don’t, keep in mind stranger danger but the thing is don’t judge the person. Just cause you see someone not as productive as your parents are don’t say oh this person is a bum or this, that and the other. Cause you be surprised quite a few homeless people that I met they had lucrative careers and businesses. I met one guy he had 31 franchise locations he’s a ex-marine, disabled lost one leg in the war, I forgot the business he was in something to do with automobiles though, I said where were you at your top he said he was at sales amount of $20 million a year, I said how much of that was your profit and he gave me a percentage the main question I want to ask you is this what caused you to fail? And he couldn’t answer it. I would let the children know just cause you see somebody might smell a little uriney or defecation that’s bad, and the reason people smell like urine my reason would be they don’t allow you to sit someplace for so long they say your loitering so places that you can sit people urinate on it and you’re not goin standup forever you sit down and you smell like pee.
Daniel: Sir, in what ways would you say life is going well these days? Please talk a little bit about how life is good for you at the present time.
80211: In this moment I’m a productive type of individual people talk about productive personalities Class A person I’m a triple Class A person my impetuous is always to be doing something positive. And for me that’s developing something when I say develop, I’m talking patent, copyright stuff. I’ll tell someone in a minute I told my children I said you get a job and you learn and start your own business. Modern day resume I don’t care if you a lawyer, engineer, doctor, pilot, a resume is nothing but modern-day slave papers. Freeman papers are copyright, patent, trademark, logo, IPO’s, GPO’s those are Freeman papers. Five years, seven years contract those are Freeman papers, you get that and you build your own universe you let in it who you want in it. If you don’t want certain things then you don’t have to have it you build your own space. I was always taught there is no job that is designed to make you rich if your ambition is to be rich learn from a job and start your own take the company over if you can (chuckle) that you work for. Seriously, the main place that many homeless people be and it’s not a hangout a lot of them there are studyin is the library. Some people go there to get warm you might doze off “you can’t sleep in here” it’s okay you’re getting warm. Just cause somebody’s a little smelly or a little raggedy don’t write em off. A lot of homeless people look out for children if somebody’s very systematic and they come through the park their father, their, mother and their pet dog and they might see the child comin through the park the dog by themselves and somebody try to go to them homeless people usually step in hey kid go get your mom or your dad. Usually this is my experience I’m not speaking for everybody else I’m talking about for mine.
Daniel: I can hear so much enthusiasm in your voice tell me please in what ways is life going well for you these days?
80211: I don’t have to worry about no extension cord (laughter) If I try something and it don’t turn out the way I want Tommy used to always tell me the only thing that beats a failure is a try, if you don’t try your gonna fail every time. So, that’s what I leave em with the English might not be proper, the enunciation might not be correct, but you get my point.
Daniel: Tell me more, I hear what you said about the extension cord in what other ways is life going well for you today?
80211: I see a lot of opportunities even with the Covid-19 I see a lot of opportunity a lot of people; I know someone a young lady she has two degrees in bioengineering she’s from another country and we talked about that for a bit she says a lot of people don’t realize bioengineering is just another manufacturing something. Your exactly right she said the thing my mother and father would hit the roof and cry because I don’t want to be a bioengineer. She was the valedictorian of her graduating class she said I want to do rap music, and I don’t care for guys I love women, oh now we got problems (laughter) no grandkids you can adopt. When she said it’s nothing but another method of manufacturing people don’t see it that way you have to think as open as you can I mean you don’t let everything in that you think of but you try to think as open and think in a comprehensive manner. Always try to think globally but what can you do that can unpack the world in a positive way globally not just locally think but what can I do for my community first well my household, then my community, then the global community that’s how I think.
Daniel: Tell me please who or what has contributed most to your doing well these days?
80211: The people in Vietnam. The only thing small about the Vietnamese and it really isn’t small is their stature they think very comprehensively and totality they think very; the people in Vietnam they have a way of thinking culturally than what’s in the West. Here you grow up you say sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me, well in Vietnam they say, “ the cut of a knife will heal overnight but a name I’ll remember forever” So, that’s tellin you how the culture is set and also, this is worldwide this is a global thing women are the best teachers I would probably say they are the original teachers. And the field that I love aviation a lot of people don’t know the very first person to have a FAA issued commercial flight license was a black woman named Bessie Coleman. They don’t tell you this much in school she’s American but she got the license in France the very first one to get it, Bessie Coleman some people might say “that can’t be you had the Airforce” yeah you had that but if they wanted FAA issued license they had to pass FAA check rides and most Army, Airforce guys they would get checked out with their brother-in-law with their uncle they said look I know you can really do this maneuver I’m not gonna fail you, you just tell me you’re gonna give it more hours and I’m gonna sign you off on it, you can’t do that with a FAA inspector (laughing), you gonna do it right or you gonna fail simple as that. Even for the young ladies I say again it’s a lot of cultures that see women as the main teacher Asia is one of them and I recognize that myself even little girls they have a different (my family) take the kids to the park boy my sons will rip and run they’ll tear a tree down. My daughter walks real slow she’ll go into an area of grass look around pick one blade of grass and give it to me and say this for you daddy. Okay, I try to put it in my right pocket “no, no goes in the other pocket” I forgot little girls analyze everything. I seen a little girl in the library here the other day her mother was teaching her how to check out books at the machine, she had a book and she stepped to close to the exit and the red light came on and made a buzz sound and she looked at the book and looked at that screen that turned red, and she knows that she did it and her mother pointed out why what was goin on, she must have been maybe three years old.
Daniel: Please tell me sir in one sentence. When it comes to living a healthy, safe, stable, and happy life what are your hopes and dreams looking ahead? In one sentence.
80211: Opportunity, I was always told that you don’t close the door to opportunity, this environment offers you availability to make opportunity.
Daniel: What are some of the personal strengths that you draw on as you pursue your hopes and dreams?
80211: Accuracy and Consistency that’s my nature know yourself it’s written on a Sphinx somebody knew that a long time ago “Man know thyself,” so, know yourself.
Daniel: Tell me what are some of the challenges and obstacles that you see standing between you and your hopes and dreams? In one sentence What holds you back?
80211: I’d say timing, timing has a lot to do with everything it impacts everything, opportunity you can make the opportunity but the timing has to be right. Sometimes people aren’t ready for what you have to offer. Sometimes the market if your trying to do a business sometimes the market isn’t trending or looking at what you have. Right now, what you have a lot of that you didn’t have when I was coming up you have a lot of consensual, acceptable, and legal use of weed. I stand on the corner waiting on the light to change car comes by speeding first thing I smell is weed this you got to worry about could you imagine if someone is flying and they took a smoke break a weed break.
Daniel: Tell me please what needs to be done so that the challenges and obstacles that you face can be overcome and you can realize your hopes and dreams?
80211: You can’t be a conformist all the time I learned a long time ago when I go take a class, I’m going back to school to learn some more infrastructure about something the thing is don’t depend on every authoritative figure in a uniform or in a structured building or organization don’t depend on them to be your cornerstone, to be totally comprehensive of what you learn from that particular experience. If you’re going to school to learn something don’t depend on your teacher the educator to give you everything for you to know you have to go do your own due diligence your own research, lots of times I found out things and pointed it out to the educator on the sly that they were incorrect on what they were presenting to the class, some resent it some appreciate it, you have to learn you have to work with folks you don’t care for you don’t like they have different core values, totally go against your core values it happens this is a globe it’s not a corner nook.
Daniel: I have two more questions for you. Both of them call upon imagination. In one sentence imagine you’re a powerful leader a decision maker who can really make things happen, how would you change the system to help people in the homeless community to realize their hopes and dreams and live healthy, safe, stable, and happy lives? In one sentence you’re a powerful leader how would you change the system?
80211: Information would have to be given in a accurate and timely fashion. If someone is acting on information that happened let’s just say it’s not timely it’s outdated information what your trying to change and also you have to change yourself how you look at things. You can’t look at things through old eyes old glasses, just like today in a business class if I’m going for my MBA if someone was trying to teach you to put together a five-year business plan their out of their mind. You’re gonna have to do a one-year, a two-year, and a three-year business plan with your business model ready to change at any moment it has to be dynamic. Someone try to give you a static five-year business plan it’s not gone work.
Daniel: And my last question for you. Imagine for a moment please that you had a million dollars and you could spend it to help the homeless community to realize their hopes and dreams and live healthy, safe, stable, and happy lives.
80211: Buy a ranch, okay it would be self-sustaining by them grow your own cow, lamb, pig, have some produce and vegetables what not. Let it be every six months the clients or candidates that stay at the ranch you give them basic instructions on how to maintain outside of the system. Because this is what’s happening people trying to live within a system that’s not accepting the policy has changed and is not accepting what they have to offer anymore so you have to look outside of system and sustain yourself. On the ranch every 6 month, I’d give a person up to 36 months to be there then you would have to move on every six months you would have to be able to tell somebody this is what I’m looking to change in the next six months and it has to be on a progressive level. The reason I’m saying a ranch cause it just would eliminate stuff like going to the grocery store, you provide showers and what not and home living and stuff like that. And it could be in an area that regular community don’t see homelessness as an eyesore as a matter a fact ranches are very productive. It could be a combination ranch or farm and you could learn a lot of business from they say necessity is the mother of invention so when you have to build something from scratch you learn a lot especially if you have to have it to sustain yourself or your family, you learn a lot.