James Taylor (JT) and Darlene Lewis (DL)
JT: I got out in ’99 December right in time to catch a new year.
DL: How hard was it for you to find a job?
JT: Almost impossible. Even though there was a ‘Now Hiring’ sticker on the window, they still would find a way to tell me no.
DL: You know, when you first met me, you were almost in tears.
JT: You sat me down. You found out what it was I was trying to do. And if I couldn’t get what I was trying to do, what would I like to do then? And the first job that you sent me to was the McDonald’s. I became a manager, and then I lost the job. But you were right there waiting to pick me up and send me somewhere else. Because I know where quick money is, and that’s part of what leads you back into the streets. But you continued to help me and push me when I’d fall.
DL: You know you was going to fall off the wagon ’cause we all do. But I knew you’d come back. I, I always knew that. ’Cause of your heart, and because of your sincerity. I knew eventually that you was going to make it. Let me ask you, what is the biggest misconception peoples have of you?
JT: That I haven’t changed. They’re still waiting for that guy to come back. They don’t think that what I’m doing now is real. Even though I have faults, I look in the mirror and I like what I see.
DL: Do you ever feel like I’ve been too hard on you?
JT: Yeah! But during those times that I feel like that? I remember prison. When you’re hard on us, it’s love in it. You care. They didn’t. You have been a mother to me. You took me in, and I mean I couldn’t replace you in my life. If I tried I mean I’d be searching forever.
DL: We make a good team.
JT: Yes ma’am we do.