By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
A disgrace: Publishing this article as these people are evacuating their homes ahead of Hurricane Ike is in extremely poor taste ["Problem Child," by John Nova Lomax, September 11]. As a former resident of Bacliff, I am aware that the area has plenty of problems; however, many kind and caring people live in the area. Methamphetamine use is a serious problem all over this country, not limited to Bacliff. The tone of the article was sensationalistic, condescending and unabashedly elitist. Making light of the hard life and crime poor people have to face is disgraceful.
Comment by Angela Watters
Success story: I agree with the above comment — elitist and biased. Why so one-sided? What about the people you're talking about? What about me, who's been there and done that? You have no idea why they are who they are and what circumstances made them the way they are. Furthermore, you're on the outside looking in, not the inside looking out.
I grew up in Bacliff on 7th Street. There you can see the pile of trailers that once was. I was a small child when the shrimping business went to hell. My mother was a single mom working at diners in the local area trying to feed her seven-year-old son and teenage daughter. When the business went bad, an influx of drugs seemed to sweep the area. I started smoking weed at just 11 years old and took my first hit of acid at 12. I was an outcast because of the way I dressed (very poor), so when I discovered I could make money robbing, selling weed, etc., I began — and also began to be accepted.
I began to think that tough was better than putting your head down and crying behind closed doors. So if you looked at me curiously or said something out of line, I was on that ass. I did everything from dogfights to running drugs. I was 14, and life was good. I was goin' to be a gangsta and live fast until I died.
I grew up with some locals who joined a gang called the Browns. I wasn't Mexican, so I wasn't in it. So I hung around my best friend and brother and his best friend, and we had our own clique. Soon we hooked up with some more locals who were poor like us, and that's where 4th Street came into play — not some old man's house. It was at the house of a friend who was a little older than us who had a connection on dope in Dickinson from the 29 Bloods. And so it began.
I have since straightened out my life. I respect all those G's from the sticks but can say that they ain't all bad, but they ain't all good, either. It just became a way of life. I decided after a few run-ins with the law and some beatings from them that I would take a different role. But I still kick it with a few of them and know that in their hearts they want to change too, but it isn't a cakewalk. It's almost as if I just got lucky, because I fell and somehow got back up. More than once. I would like to express more, but I'm at work. Holla! I am now a construction manager for the second-biggest construction company in America (Fluor) and a proud parent to the best kids alive. Imagine that, a gangsta from the sticks.
No empathy: Glad to hear you were able to turn your life around, Leroy, but wanting us to somehow empathize with those worthless punk thug criminals is ridiculous. They are a waste of oxygen.
Comment by 1USA1 from Houston