Okay.$$Okay. So I'm looking at these things [drug addiction] real early, and I'm going through school with this. And I'm saying now like, you know, "If we don't have no promise by people in the wall that we can look at and say, 'Well, this man here did something or this woman did something,'" just like that poster I have there. You know, you sit back and you say, "Oh, I can say all right. These individuals accomplished something." Look at Jack Johnson. He was a boxer, but not only was he a boxer, he was an inventor too.$$Right.$$Or I put these collage up here on the wall because I want kids to say, "Hey, man, yeah, all ethnics groups played a role in this society in which we live."$$Absolutely.$$We can't pick and choose. And I grew up under that. My old man [father, Earl Vanderbilt Carlos] let me work things on my own to the point where if--if a guy at the candy store would come in and bring sodas. Now most times my old man be in there busy. Okay? Or my brother shining shoes. So when the guy would bring the sodas, we wouldn't count them right there.$$Right.$$But after he's gone, we count them. We might be four cases short. And it had been going like this for a long time. And I'm telling my father, I'm telling my father, and this particular day the guy came, and my father say, "Go count them sodas right now." And I'm thinking he wasn't paying attention. But he say, "Hey, man, I'm just too busy. I'm trying to get these people's shoes ready for when they come home from work." This particular Saturday he say, "Go count them sodas." I went and counted them, say, "Daddy, we're four cases short."$$Wow.$$And he went back there and he told the dude, say, "Hey, man, come on here." He say, "Count these cases with me." And the guy got kind of like, you know, disrespectful. And when he got disrespectful, my old man say, "Whoa, you ain't got no rush. I been buying this shit from you for a good while. Let's count these sodas." So when the guy count them and the sodas came up short, and I told my father, say, yeah, me and my brother, we say, "Daddy, they short all the time like this." And when my father questioned the guy about it, the guy got kind of huffy, like, look at my father like, "Boy, don't question me." And when he said that, I remember the hairs rolling on my neck. You know, my old man wasn't no young man. He calling him boy.$$Right.$$But my old man dealt with him right there on the scene, on the spot, and it was a big scene in the neighborhood [Harlem, New York, New York], and--$$What did your father do?$$Whipped his ass.$$Okay. That's--$$Whipped him from one end of the block to the other.$$(Laughter).$$And, and you know, even though he was whipping this man, I had pride. Not so much that he was whipping the man as much as I had pride for the fact that he wasn't going to let this man just take advantage of him, steal his shit, and then talk shit to him too.$$Right.$$From that right there, it kind of like woke me up, you know, in terms, not so much to say that you're going to whip everybody, but you can deal with any situation irregardless--$$Right.$$--Of what the color line is.$$$$Right.$$And I remember one Christmas we was going over to, right there on the 145th Street Bridge, okay?$$Okay.$$And we went over there, and if you remember, they used to sell all he Christmas trees down there for Christmas.$$Okay, I--$$And my old man was getting on in age, and he goes down there and asks for a tree, and we--ain't nobody there but us. Some white folks walked up and he tell my father, "Well, boy, you going to have to wait." And this guy's thirty-something maybe. And you look at my father. My father is in his sixties now. "Ah, you have to wait, boy. You boys going to have to wait." So, my old man didn't say nothing. He waited. And I asked him when the guy came around to us, I say, "Look, let me ask you a question. How old you have to be to be a man around here?" I say, "That's my father. He look like a boy to you?" So my old man telling me, "Naw, Johnny, be cool." Now I was--I mean I'm steaming.$$Right, how old are you approximately?$$Thirteen, fourteen years old.$$Okay.$$So I go back with my old man, I don't make no scene, but I left and I went and got my brother. Told my brother, said, "Come on." He say, "Where you going?" I say, "Man, just come on. We got to go do something." He say, "What?" I say, "Man, I got to go teach somebody something." So I burned up all his trees.$$(Laughter).$$I burned them all up. And I let him know. I say, "Hey, man, it's just based on the state of mind that you in. Everybody's not a boy and everybody's is going to not accept you calling them a boy." I say, "Remember this, next person you come to, maybe you'll have a little more kindness in your heart." And he didn't know whether to run after us or run to put his fire out. We got on out of there.$$(Laughter).$$And you know, things like this get me in trouble. You know, like my old man used to tell me, say, "Son, you got forty-eight hours to give me an explanation as to what you did and why you did it."$$Talking about the burning of the Christ--$$Talking about anything that I did.$$Oh, okay.$$I mean I was just--$$Forty-eight hours?$$--Forty-eight hours. "You got two days to get it together in your head as to why you did what you did, and make me understand it."$$Alright.$$So, I grew up with the same premise.$Okay.$$Now--$$You're just starting to be--cause trouble, just starting there.$$Oh, no. You know--here's another thing. In my neighborhood [Harlem, New York, New York], man, it wasn't no whole bunch of fathers in the house. Many of them been junkies for years. So they ain't--they absentee parents. The mom might be in the house, and she might be still junking. They didn't have no whole bunch of clothes or food coming into the houses. You know, just like you go to some people right now where they got crack cocaine, and you look in their box and they don't have nothing but the light bulb. Or back at that time, man, it wasn't crack cocaine and it wasn't no whole bunch of drugs, it was just pure "D" unemployment. Unconcerned. People didn't have no concern for them. I saw a kid--as a kid I saw on TV this guy in this green suit, Robin Hood. Robin Hood impressed me. That movie impressed me so much because here's a guy that thought like I did. He said, "Man, I'm not concerned about man's law. I'm concerned about God's law." And that's the same philosophy I have.$$Right.$$And I liked the fact that he didn't worry about the sheriff from Nottinghood [sic., Nottingham] and the King [John] and this and that. He did what he had to do to feed the people.$$Right.$$Okay?$$Alright.$$And I looked at that in terms of where the churches are back and then. Because the churches wasn't doing what they should have been doing. Adam Clayton Powell [Jr.] was doing his thing, but when you sit back, you see every other one was doing it.$$Right.$$Which they weren't. So then, I went back over to the freight yards right out in front of Yankee Stadium--$$Right.$$--And I started busting those seals on them freight trains. And I'm looking--at that time I think they had just started making succotash, frozen foods and stuff. They had clothes in there. So I would go back and monitor them trains, and I told my boys, I said, "Man, we going over there and we going to start hitting the freight trains." And telling me, "Oh, we going to make a lot of money." I said, "Naw, fellows. This ain't about the money." I said, "We ain't making a dime on this. We going back to try and help the people in the community." Okay? And they say, "What are you talking about?" I said, "We going to help the people in the community," and saying, "You need food in your house, you going to have it too." I said, "But this ain't about our pockets." So we went over there and we hit the freight trains.$$Right.$$Now, when we hit the freight trains, you know, the first thing in the front of my brain is Mr. Lester and Mr. Bryant [ph.]. And they know my mother [Vioris Lawrence] and father [Earl Vanderbilt Carlos]. So I go up to the guy on the bridge. You know, they used to have that little box there where the guy would open the bridge. And I knew just by living in Harlem, Harlem River Houses, because after we left Lenox Avenue, we moved up to Harlem River House on 153rd [Street]--$$Right.$$--And Seventh Avenue--$$Right.$$-On Edgecombe. So, I go straight to the guy in the booth--in the box and I said to him, I said, "Hey, buddy, how you doing?" He said, "What are you doing?" I said, "Man, I'm just trying to find out how you doing?" And he looked at me, he said, "Ah, I'm okay." I said to him, I said, "You sit in this box every day, all day?" He said, "For eight hours I sit in this box." I said, "What's your job?" He said, "My job is to make sure that if the tugboats was to come and they got a high mast on it, to open the bridge, a ferry come, whatever. My job is to open this bridge when it's necessary." So I said to him, I said, "Well, how much money they pay you?" He said, "They don't pay me enough for the work I do." And I said to him, I said, "Well, how would you like to have some extra food?" And he looked at me, he said, "What are you saying to me?" I said to him, I said, "When, you see us run across this bridge regularly." I said, "We going to hit these freight trains," I'm saying, "And the police going to come to you one day and tell you to open this bridge up." I said, "Man, all I ask you to do is give me ten minutes." He said, "I could never give you ten minutes." I said, "Give me seven minutes, and every time we come across the bridge, we'll drop you food for your family." And he was in agreement. So we started hitting the freight trains, and we bring it back and we give it to the people in the community. I mean, hey, here. This is for you guys because you ain't had nothing.$$How old are you at this time?$$At that time, I'm still around thirteen, fourteen.$$Okay.