Ron: Hunts Point Bronx
Ron, fifty-three, grew up in North Carolina, moved to NYC in his early twenties. He spent most of his early years in and out of incarceration. At thirteen he started stealing; his first offense was a bicycle. "It was neon, and you could see it glowing from far away. I was like, I got to have that." In New York City he fell into drugs, "crack, dope, pretty much all that stuff." He has been clean for the last seven years: "I just got tired of all that bullshit. Too much running around, too much stress. I don't do anything but these cigarrattes now. I don't need to wake up feeling awful. I want contentment, and that crap doesn't help with that."
He is now in school to get his certificate for refrigeration repair. He works during the day and attends school at night.
When I asked him how he wanted to be described, he gave a huge grin and said, "I am good man, who you don't want to fuck with."
More Bronx photos here: Bronx