Xavier McElrath-Bey and James Dold
DescriptionXavier McElrath-Bey (43) and James Dold (36) reflect on their childhood and the people that helped them become the men they are today.
Subject Log / Time Code
- Xavier McElrath-Bey
- James Dold
Recording LocationChicago Hilton Hotel
Partnership TypeFee for Service
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00:22 James dold. I'm 36 years old. Today is Friday, November 15th 2019 and we are in Chicago, Illinois.
00:32 And my interview partner is Xavier mcelrath-bey who is my good friends and former coworker? My name is Xavier mcelrath-bey. I'm 43 years old today is November 15th in Chicago, Illinois. My interview partner is James dold and he's my former coworker and good friend.
00:57 For James James James, you know, you won't share the story about your childhood. And no and you talked about how and oftentimes work should have been good memories manifest in traumatic experiences. Can you share one one of the story in particular that they can speak to that?
01:26 Yeah, you know they're sort of anime eyes with a child. Sometimes. I think that traumatic experiences can sometimes have you perceived in the moment as sort of fun and exhilarating and it's not a memory that is entirely super clear to me that part of it has been so it'll be told through what happened cuz I was so young when it did but I remember when I was 3 years old, it was a time when my parents are taking my mom was still struggling with a lot of things and often times. I would get left alone in like the backyard, you know, so I'll be in the backyard and we had to settle dog things name is like Teddy was his little tiny thing and that had a big will I be alone for hours on end and eventually the end of somehow I figured out a way to sort of escape this enclosure that I was in and so in the moment, I thought it was I thinking of my mind
02:26 Looks like a a great little Adventure that I was going on where I was somehow able to get this big wheel that I had like over this fence and that somehow able to get the Civil dog over the fence to be like, I guess by stacking bricks and somehow climbing over and the area of the city that was it was in Las Vegas, Nevada, which is where I grew up and I took my big wheel and my little dog and I decided I was running away from home at Leander Starr. We're going to live, you know, a new life somewhere and for whatever reason I wasn't and I just didn't want to be at my house. And and so I took off my big well and it might be a spy like for 5 in the afternoon. Like why does rush hour start in that it was said, you know real well to leave the difficulty of town right off of Bonanza and Eastern Avenue in Las Vegas. And I remember just getting up kind of taking off my big one like those memories, right? I don't I don't remember all of it. Not perfect. But the things I do remember is
03:26 Finding one of those old billboard signs that was sort of standing up and driving there with my dog and saying to my dog, this is where we're going to live now into this little like billboard and the next thing I remember
03:43 Was I being in this room for this this fashion image of being in a room with all the stuffed animals? And what happened was there was a woman who was a concerned citizen. I saw this three-year old little boy driving down a really busy highway on his big wheel and thought I was going to get you know hit by a car, you know, Lord knows abducted or anything could have happened to me. So she thankfully followed me in to this little 7-Eleven area ends up having some do you contact in police officer somehow and what's been told me about the incident is that this police officer comes up to me and he says, hey little buddy. How you doing? Come here real quick. And that's when I jump back on my big Will County officer. My mama said, I don't have to talk to you might just take off on my big. Well, you know, and then of course they they took me into
04:43 Protective custody at that point and them to childhaven cuz I know parents around like nobody knew it. I was apparently a covered and just stood than oil and grease and you know and so at it's like one of those moments where it's like a traumatic thing but like as a child I didn't receive it as traumatic as it's like you know it and I was so young to that. It's the one where it's like not a complete memory instead of one of those things where you have parts of it and then other parts get filled in by, you know how people you know, describe the situation to you, but I think it's kind of reflective of what we talked about earlier, which is just in a different experiences that you have in your childhood where you know, there's good and there's bad when you grow up in and traumatic experiences and you have such profound experiences like that that really shape who you are and who you become and it's one of the things that I'm really interested in talking with you about to be
05:42 I think your story is.
05:47 At once both so tragic and and very sad but also so inspirational and such a point of Hope and I gave a talk yesterday called The Power of transformational suffering and unconditional love and the idea was about taking these horrible things that happened to you in your life. And if I using them to bring hope to other people and being able to get there because of the kindness of love that people show you along the way even if you don't serve recognize it at the time and you know, I'd love to hear more about getting those points for you sort of what your childhood was like and then also the people who kind of gave you that unconditional love that showed you that you know, you could overcome, you know, some of those circumstances thank you James. I am listening to your story just bring me back to so many points in my life and how much like, you know that 3 year old child that you were that was running from someone that didn't miss her.
06:47 Think of that as a traumatic thing in so many ways we did things that felt right as children. We do things that felt good, you know, and he was much as we the back of one's experiences in our lives really was just a manifestation the drama right like the three-year-old child finding its way of the fence and taking his dog has his big wheel on under the Odyssey of life in the moment. And I really is it indicative of what that child prices running from the extended we win in order to be able to relieve ourselves or the misery that we were in 11 years ago I ran away and you know, it was in response to a very brutal stepfather who
07:29 Who produced love to drink, you know every every day with every weekday, he will go to work at work long hours and he would be there until like 7-8. He will come in and he was go straight and retire to his room. You will watch novellas and watch Spanish shows and I don't know Spanish and so it was always that disconnect and so, you know, this will be a routine that you repeat every day until Friday came and went Friday would come that would be the overall to sort of sense of anxiety on on one on one hand because her mother was so anxious about getting the money from him before he spent it because he would drink until he was broke, you know, and he would do this repeatedly and because of that we often struggle financially so my mom's go every single Friday night was it get to the bar to go into his pockets or to convince him to give the money up before you spent it on the night. She had to take more risk taking approaches in one time. I remember she came home with a head bleeding and I have none of my what happened to her. She said that my stepfather hit in the head with a bottle.
08:28 Because you kept can I get the money from him other nights? I remember she was coming just in time to to have us put our shoes in our coats on and we will run out the back door. And I remember one night in particular. I will never forget. We didn't know where to go and my mother kept looking and looking and I didn't know what you was looking for. It was too late for her to go to her friend's house and she found a hallway and they are in the hallway. She had a sort of sitting near the the farthest reaches the farthest reaching part of that space in the most, you know secretive place, which was really still exposed to the door that was just around the corner from the steps. And I remember we all fell asleep there and I remember when morning came a woman came out telling us to leave that we shouldn't be there that we don't belong there and it's never some words exchanged all choir members remember being released his routine abruptly awaken to that and it's almost as if we had picked up with from the fear that we had when we fell asleep and so that's his flu. No one example, and I think I got tired.
09:28 My ran away at 11 years old during that time many things happened. I was in the streets. I was sleeping at friends houses their mothers often times for complain because I felt like, you know that was jeopardizing them cuz they shouldn't be harboring a runaway child, but I was very persuasive at times and then the other night when I couldn't do that accept in abandoned buildings.
09:49 Eventually, I met people neighborhood my friends friends and they're there their relatives and came to discover a game and that game was the Latin Kings in the South Side Chicago and that was really out of necessity the family that I had embraced very early on because that's all the love and camaraderie but much like what you experienced instrument of the strangers in my life unlike the woman who was there to protect you and perhaps was you no more well-suited to do. So for me. It was really a matter of people who were also broken just like me for wanting to spend the time with me. Until, you know, share those moments and to be a part of my life and do it was as being a part of a game we often had each other to rely upon an interesting enough like that was the grace constellation of my life. And so I think that what we go through his kids James, you know it especially you know, what impulsive risk-taking and pictures way being like all children we tend to do it feels good and going back to what you went through, you know, you talked about
10:49 Do you know you have Jeff to the flashes of memory of what of what what resulted in that my curiosity as much as I expressed, but I ran if I'm just curious to know what I what were some of the things that you were running what would cause a three-year-old child to to make its way beyond that that boundary to see freedom and at the very least safety and now that's a separate question and it's one that the answers to it come not from my memory, but from the memory of my siblings, do you know who been able to you know, kind of fill in some of these gaps and and that's actually things that I've only recently learned about and you know it in so I think for my child it was interesting cuz it was the very first few years were sort of just chaotic and full of I think a lot of trauma some that I remembering a lot that I don't and then then there was sort of this. Of stability for many years or relative stability and then sort of those trama.
11:49 Manifesting themselves later, right so very early on and I was asking my oldest sister who's about 15 years older than me. What are you know what it was like where we lived when when I was born and because I actually learned, you know within the last four or five years that my biological or my father. My dad raised me. I should say I wasn't asking my biological father and so I've been on this journey trying to piece together a little bit about like who I am and where I come from and all of that and that there any kind of suck me back to you know, the very beginning and reconnecting with you. No family. I never knew by that I hadn't then also family that I had but I'd become so disconnected from because of age difference and also sort of where our lives let us write and some of what I thought about them which way
12:49 Reveal the came to be revealed as you know.
12:55 Their manifestation of their trauma and made the decision that they made as a result and then how I ended up receiving them. But but when I was first born in according to my oldest sister, we essentially lived in a drug house and in Los Angeles and or in Long Beach, I should say and my mom struggled with a very terrible drug addiction and my sister and my oldest sister about 15 years older than me that my mom had her when she was 17 and my mom was dealing with trauma of her own right of course wasn't ready to be a mother that young and I think struggled a lot and so we were in the situation where you know drug addicts drug dealers were just constantly coming in. There was a problem. She describes a prostitution track, you know right near where our house was in a situation where you know, the first time she ever did drugs
13:55 And she became an addict and cycled in and out of the justice system and in and out of abusive relationships and very first time she ever did drugs was with our mom actually which was a revelation for me when she was just 14 13 or 14 years old and which is a revelation from you because as I was older, I became cognizant and I was thinking through things I sort of had this kind of so much hatred for her because you know, I looked at her through a certain light and I was like God, do you know why do you make these decisions? And she also had her first child when she was 17 as I was raised with my nephew and my niece and so 4 more like brother is insisting a brother and sister to me and I always was angry with my sister for doing that, you know, and you know kind of the most hated her for many years until I went back looking for answers about what my, you know, very early childhood was like and you know, she told me this entire story about her own life of addiction.
14:55 And and being in a situation, you know is a 15 year old young girl where you know, she has a another five-year-old sister and then a little baby brother who need people to take care of them and having all these strangers in and out of the house and a mother who's struggling with addiction. That's so bad that you know, she's taken apart. Do you know she's that we can out and take it apart televisions in Lycra on the roof of the house and there's no food and and being in the situation where she feels like she needs to contact someone So eventually she goes to her grandmother who you know, what's on the other side of town and urges her to call child protective services and at that time there at least in my family that was very much a sense of Shame and like you don't interject in people's lives and then no you don't get involved in that way. It's my grandmother ended up making my sister who's 15 again call protective services and you know, from what I
15:54 You know what that point, you know my sister and I were both removed for temporary. Of time. And then that complicated my sister's relationship with my mom. And so those were you know, like the early experiences that I don't remember seeing how I have no living memory of what sort of their piece together by other people but you know it it's worth lays the foundation I think for what my childhood was like because it was very different right? So as my dad who raised me comes into the picture more more me or they end up that they got clean so my parents and I've got clean they end up running a house in Las Vegas. My dad goes to work as a as a poker dealer and
16:42 We end up raising for a long. Of time my my nephew and my niece like I said, and then there was a period of time about six months where my sister went to this is our God clean got married and she came to live here in Chicago and move the kids took the kids back and so is about six months. We're just me and my younger sister and my mom and my dad that lasted for about six months. I was in my sixth grade year and that's when my grandmother died and at that time she was raising my two cousins Justin Gabriel because their father was in prison and mother have been killed by a hit-and-run driver how she also suffered from schizophrenia Associates would have walked into walk in traffic. And so, you know, these kids my cousins were in a situation where we don't know what he was going to take them in. So, you know, we took them in and then you know, and then that's when everything begins to sort of really start to go off the rails, PA.
17:42 You have kids coming into the house with a lot more, My sister eventually relapse is so we end up taking, you know, my nephew my niece back in my older sister weather for sister who was at the time living with her father ends up coming in living. And so you're you have a situation. We have all these kids all this drama and we're all roughly around the same age, you know. So now your time out kids for preteens moving into the teenage years. They're rebelling the deal with all this on address the unmitigated childhood trauma in my cousins would experience, you know, basically every measurement of adverse childhood experience that you could you know, they end up going through that and then for me, you know, I sort of Rebelle, I'm not getting the support and love that I let you know. I feel like I need at that time in my house cuz my dad's working and my mom is, you know, kind of around but not really and she's you know, focus on other things and it created The Perfect Storm.
18:42 Or a child predator to come into my life and I'm sure to take advantage of that, because I was looking to start a fill that void. And so, you know I did and I found my bills are found me in the Boy Scouts the place where you know, I thought I think my parents thought that I would be safe right when she was a volunteer parent. And so, you know, I think a lot of parents yet. He just never think about that. You know, it's like oh, yeah and I got time to deal with this that he's in the Boy Scouts. He's doing this he's doing that during the course of and I met her some of my seventh-grade here and he has a grooming process started right away is for the building of trust and you know, eventually the relationship turn not just from photos like a parent's, you know, I'm overseeing her volunteer with like this child organization, but now the boundaries of what's acceptable behavior between children and adults begin to break down and she becomes closer and closer and building the sort of emotional ties to me and then
19:42 Sexual abuse begins and and what happens in that moment is I begin to the beginning of the development of a traumatic bond that I form with her time. So when I met her I was 13 years old. I just finished my 7th grader in Middle School in The Grooming process. They started from the middle of the summer that of that year and then I can just continue it on and then it ended up being out getting a lot more, you know, the abuse would have escalated until I could actually rape situation. They're in my 8th grade year in middle school. So I was confident like leaving my house. I was over this other house all the time. You know, that's where the when I had this traumatic bond with her the that sort of unhealthy bond is what in a while. I wanted to be over there. It's like why I was going to kind of do anything.
20:42 That she wanted me to do take care of kids cooking clean and eventually led to meet him like leaving my house or running away and going in love with this other family because I felt like that was the only place that anybody cared about me. So, what was what was missing? I'm think I'm going back to my mindset at 3 or child that ran away.
21:02 What was missing in your life when you are 13 years old that made use for the right for her for that type of rhino encounter where someone would be able to manipulate you into moving in and like what what was boarded? What was it about the home life that that she provided they made you that much more vulnerable and impressionable to be able to make that morphine to leave home. And that's great question. I think the biggest thing was that I want I was when I was much younger around 5, I was sexually abused by another sibling an older sibling and for many years. I was dealing with like all this guilt and shame and I was just like how you know night and I felt it bubbling. I was like this huge burden that I had cuz I felt like I done something wrong or that they just like it's just this terrible shame that I had about it. And so I built up when I was about twelve I built up the courage 11 or 12, I built up the courage to finally tell my mom would have happened.
22:04 Her response in retrospect it, you know, I like I appreciate the difficulty of having to deal with that cuz it's like you deal with to be two of your kids and no one's telling you now that one of them is the other and and she I do I think that you just didn't really know how to deal with it. And so there really was no response. I see so I felt like I almost felt the sense of betrayal because it was like I just shared this terrible thing that happened to me and I want there to be some sort of justice and it was like the sense that there's no justice that comes out of there's like, no not even like I'm talking I'm talking this person are you know anything I should make you know, and so for me that created a situation where end my abuser later on use that right? It was like I'd never would have allowed anybody to live in the house with you by that had done that to you and I can't believe your parents would do that, you know, and so and then and it was the message that I that I wanted.
23:04 Because I Adele with this traumatic experience and I felt like there was a terrible Injustice that was done to me and you don't come 13, right? And so now here's this person telling me yes, like what was done to you was horrible and was the first person who never listen to me in that way and like believe me until Dove empathize with me. And so that the felt that trust even more right because it was only like my mom I ever told in this other person, right? And so there was one response that came down from my mom and then another response that came down from this person and when you're 13 14 you like you think you're an adult right like yeah fake like you're making all these decisions in like out and so in those moments as these these boundaries begin to get broken between, you know acceptable adult behavior in my mind. I was like, oh, yeah, like, of course I would you know, I want to be with this person. I love this person. They're caring for me. You're right. That was the
24:04 The idea had in my mind was like, oh, yeah, like they they believe me when I told him about what happened. They told me exactly what I wanted to hear. And yeah, I can make my own decisions. I can decide up need to leave my house and you know, and so and that's kind of what you know made me vulnerable to that and then let my a situation, you know where I was exploited for many years and I love you with my family until about Midway through my sophomore year in high school and then I moved back in eventually, but you know those those those, so, you know, there's a big stick with you and then comes in to find you in the end. I mean, that's one of the things that you know, when I think about your story to be is very profound, right cuz it's not so much the suffering that happens to us, but it's like the how we use that and I'm really curious that he knows to hear more about, you know, your transition and how you were able to overcome the trauma that you experience then and how you're using that today to like make the world a better place.
25:04 This is why I was thinking about asking the same thing about you and I was just say much like you James, you know, there were there is a certain people along the way. To the experiences that they realize it or not. They made a difference, you know, and often times. We we sought Refuge we saw safety and turn out to be the wrong places and three fortunately, you know, I was able to do the same and and then on the right places at times Sandy for me that place, you know, I found initially when I was in when I was incarcerated on my was 13 years old.
25:42 After having run away at the age of 11 enjoying the game between the ages of 11 and 13. I had racked up over 19 arrest in 7 convictions at age 11 that same year that I ran into work right away. My best friend shot me in the face by accident. We're playing with a gun so I can read it so many traumatic experiences and of course that manifesting into anger and violence and this this allegiance to a game that I really didn't have my best interest. If you didn't have the best pictures of themselves know they profess to love themselves in in in in do we profess to love each other on the reality is that we were really just repair a broken together and we were seeking love in the wrong places and Saturday that was with each other, you know, you know and as young as young as we were we made some horrible decisions and not a 13 years old.
26:30 After running away from a group home, Maryville Academy, and that was that was in response to another traumatic experiences experience when I witnessed another kid being restrained and killed on a bus by accident nonetheless but to us of a tragically and it really just made it through space in the in the compound in the facility and we just all ran away many of us left and 3 months later. I was convicted of first I was arrested for first-degree murder gang related murder that happened on a night when I was supposed to sleep in abandoned building because you know, I was on the run from DCFS. I'm after that happened. I did go home to my mom and I remember sleeping on the couch and I remember crying over and over and just asking God forgive me. I really just feeling like I was his Unworthy of life and worthy of any.
27:20 Even God's ear, you know in 2 weeks later when I was arrested. I was charged with first-degree murder and under their my rest interesting enough on the police came to my house by brother. He had saw Gunner I need for my matches and that she was his matches. I was using his bedroom and they said they saw a gun piece all going to need to match anyone out the door and I just thought that you was mad at me for some other reason my brother continue with schizophrenia, you know, untreated undiagnosed schizophrenia. So his behavior was always your attic unpredictable. I just pay them no mind. Honestly Phresh. I should have been there more from his brother, but he had a lot of reason to be upset with me when he saw the gun. He was both upset and scared and so he ran and he called the police and the police came to the door. They were knocking on the door very heavily. And I thought was right with gang member and the reason why should I live in a rival gang territory? And so my first instinct was a-goin grabbed the gun and I ran and grabbed the gun and I remember going to the dark hallway.
28:20 And my mother I heard it coming towards the living room and I didn't know what to do cuz I'm one hand. I don't know how to see the gun on the other hand. I'm trying to protect my home cuz if you are banging on my door.
28:30 And I didn't know what the police but then a bright light can shine through the diamond of the window. And when I saw that I knew instantly was a police and heard him talkin outside in her my brother's voice. Also when they just don't want me like the police are here and I just know answer me. My mother came into the Hall. She couldn't see the gun initially. She said Xavier open the door and I said no mind to open the door and when she opened it, I just dropped the gun for my hands up and some strange reason, you know, I knew I was not going to get out for a very long time. I've been out the system. I wasn't at this point B on the run from Maryville, they found two other weapons and I just thought I'm just not going to get off of a long time and I'm going to be in the back of the Patty wagon staying myself as best as I could looking out the steel mesh of the back window and just crying, you know, I know it wasn't going to get out and blew that I know that that Friday night that those charges will only be you know,
29:24 Delivery my initial charges come Monday, Monday morning. I will be released over the homicide and homicide detectives took me to the homicide division where they questioned me and it was just a matter of questioning. It was really nice routine that they really unfortunate beat me up. They they they choked me to hit me with telephone books today in eau de it was a very brutal situation and do I was guilty. I tried not to say anything and eventually when they brought in the statements of my co-defendants, I just gave up and said I'm guilty, you know night and I confessed to my involvement and you know looking back upon that so much trauma, you know, there was no adults in my life up to that point. We really I could say we're really making a positive into my life everyone from teachers to caretakers to foster care Motors to group home staff to detention center staff. You name it? Like it was all very negative. It was never love and then one day Sunday, you know month later after I've been transferred into the adult system and I'm still doing a juvenile.
30:24 Saudi I get my adult public defender who comes to visit me and I'm sitting there at a room and it's a typical day watching soap operas. I hated it all my children all that I hated it, but we had to watch it because that was the shows has its staff likes watching the bench I got into it cuz you're invited Beauty by Nena said she didn't have a choice but I memorized a woman came to to to our section. She stood by the by the front foyer, and she she asked the staff to call for me when I went up there. I didn't recognize I didn't know who she was and they said it was a visit and I'm like I didn't I don't know what she is and then it said this is your public defender.
31:00 I remember asking for a private space. She obviously came with the intentions of talking more about my case on anymore how she could help me but the reality is that there really was much of a private space. We need up in the bathroom all in the back towards exotic confinement cells adjacent to the bathroom and your magic Po Folks are still coming back and forth but there was no wonder he's just standing there. It was just as private as we possibly being I remember some of the questions are retained my case for was happening house doing Benjamin up for conversation. So it evolved into more, you know more more more of a sort of maternal. You know, how are you doing? How are they treating? You know what happened? You know, like really just asking me questions what happened at Maryville, why'd you run away, you know and all these questions as she asks, and then I remember her saying something ask me a question that just broke me down.
31:52 And everything and it was really indicative of what was truly wrong with the time.
31:56 She said is your mom going to visit you yet, and I just stopped and I thought about it and I just started crying and when when when I try to respond, I couldn't keep crying crying. She said you don't have to answer.
32:16 So you don't have to answer you noticed, you know, I understand you have to you have to answer and you know, that was you know, the first person who do you know made a difference in my life and I like to think that you know that do most people have good intentions, you know, they come into your life and they see a child. Hope it is your child with no but up until that point me if you didn't see your child and so I'm just curious to know like Nina was was there ever a woman like that for you James, you know, it was there ever a sort of Saving Grace, you know the moment when something just clicked over and you said wait a minute I get to the what real love looks like.
32:56 Yeah, and I mean, I'm just so struck by your story.
33:01 It's amazing to cuz I've heard it so many times now.
33:08 But it just it's always just so every time I hear it. I always feel like I hear like another a new part of it.
33:20 For me, I think.
33:27 You know, I found the that person initially I think in sports my coaches. I was coming in a situation where you know, even though I'd moved back in to my house. I kind of just hated my parents, you know, all of this terrible stuff that happened to me, you know, and I was just so angry with everybody for it and I was just rebelling against the world and I hated everything, you know, and I really just needed I think at that time somebody just come along who was completely different piano not associate with my family or anything and in just a towel, show me a different way and the very first person to do that. I was a guy by the name of Eric Thomas who was a young guy and I know he was he was young in retrospect you show at the time, you know.
34:27 But like back then you know when you're a sixteen-year-old and and do you know your disguise your coach looks like he's old man down, you know from me and I was a kid. Do you know I I was in a situation where as that whole situation for me was unfolding like I would Drew from everything, you know, I kind of cut off all contact with any friends. So there is really the stunted Social Development that happen for me where you know, I was very sweet of gregarious outgoing kid up until the point of the abuse that we can talk her lights on and the end of my seventh grade year and go in my 8th grade year in middle school, you know, my abuser operate in such a way like a lot of food do users do does rid of manipulate you deserve cut off contact with other people. So you're not talking with your family. So you're not talking with friends that you don't have anybody else in your life except that person and it's another method of control, right? So,
35:27 No, because now you don't have anyone that you can talk to you don't have anyone that you can share about what's happening to your with your story and like how you're feeling, you know and dumb and so I I didn't really know how to make friends and I didn't know how to talk to a girl. There's like all of this that I had to sort of kind of like learn and go through and saw it and I did it so like awkwardly to it. Like when I remember and think that I was just I was super awkward and but Victor is coaching part of like the person who gave me this would have unconditional love it, This was is a wrestling coach was sort of a hard-nosed guy, you know, every young man at that time be a boy, you know, it's like that's what I needed. It was like and I needed discipline. I needed to learn the value of hard work and developing a strong work ethic in and you know, I found that the, you know initially on the wrestling that where it was like, you know, like you go out there in a few and one of the kid and you know your battle and there's nobody else in the world.
36:27 Second that can help you and often times. These matches are going to be determined by you know, that hard work and you know the combination and all this and so and so that's you know where I slowly began to develop and re-establish confidence Jen learn that I had nail self-worth and then there were other coaches along the lines that I had, you know coach Mike Evans who is my football coaching people who just started believing in me and sort of lifting me up. You know, slowly ice would have came back to life in a matter of speaking it on and also my friends, you know, like in the another were friends that I then developed in and high school where and we're still like all best friends today get an Umbreon stats and all that and I don't think that they ever really fully understood what they did for me because it was a you know, it's just like another Outlet where you could go sit with a group of guys at lunch and crack jokes and have a good time and act stupid and you know, it was a space that you know, it is is cathode.
37:27 I can therapeutic, you know, and I think for me that's what initially sort of set me back on like a a path of cuz you know, I don't know what would have happened in my life, you know without sort of that structure and I was the only person to finish high school and among the kids that was raised with my family. You know, what a my siblings sent them. You know, I think back on that tuyet the varied it's a very difficult the oven temperature to feel this burden on you, you know him because like, you know, and I think about all the trauma that happened with them and where they're at in their life is like, you know, what can you do now? What do I owe? You know, and it's like I think about the grace that I was given to be able to be where I'm at today and it's like this idea of like, okay like you earn it now, you know and them are you have your grace to you know, and like and I feel like you have a second chance that you have like you're earning it, you know, and that's really amazing and I don't know if you want to share a little bit.
38:27 About that before we wrap up. I mean, I think that it makes sense to share that and I we first met when we first met we working at the camp paper 2% of Youth. We were working to scale back extreme sentencing of kids. I came to the space totally new never enter the state capitol day of my life and you know, and I found myself in 2014 join the campaign and I remember you know, the first time I met you where we experience or training you were training me and one other person about legislative advocacy and with that look like and I never would have imagined that you went through what you went through. I look at you today in the life that you live and what you Aspire towards for others in particular vulnerable populations and kids especially, you know, why would never have known that nobody am fortunes have known you now for years and change since I've been with you to be a part of that Journey the part of the journey that really is a beautiful man station now of all that you went through
39:27 About the time you experience and you know what my much like myself, you know how I was able to change go to come increasing more remorse for the things that I did you yourself you able to grow change and be able to survive at some of those eels in BO2 be coming to the full person who you are what you think in so many ways. We were meant to be you know, I think that it was it wasn't by coincidence that you and I ended up in Nevada Nevada 2015. It wasn't by coincidence that we ended up also North Dakota South Dakota Arkansas and in other places where we were able to dance reforms to help ensure that kids would you be born with kids with made mistakes had second chance and his rights to Redemption. And so I just want to say that in my experience and what we've been through what I've been able to Bear witness and learn from you James, you know, I look at you as one of my heroes I think of you as someone who's much as you've been through you've been able to in so many ways inspire me.
40:20 And I just want to thank you for that.
40:25 Just want to thank you for
40:29 Siamese brother and
40:32 Most important to give me a chance to know that I can be a real change maker.
40:38 Today there are kids who are no longer faced with the prospect of dying in prison.
40:44 Because you brought me along and you help me to learn what it means to be, you know, a changemaker and you allowed me to be a part of your magical your magical efforts really just to be there with you and experience that nerve from you. I appreciate you for that and I appreciate the campaign for being seen that space and opportunity to ensure that our pasts arms and all that. We went through really could be you know, I really just you know, that's what are we defined as a way of positioning as best as possible to help other kids who who deserve and I hope so smart. Thank you for that man. I love you, man. And I love you too. And you're one of my heroes Xavier. I mean, I think I was telling folks earlier today at this conference that you know, really what it means to be a changemaker is to transform yourself right and to hold for others and I don't think so, but there's been a better example of that and how you've used your life in your life narrative and
41:44 Took to change the outcome for 4 people all over this country who were kids were much like you, you know the same situations and I think that's the most inspirational thing. You can Inspire to until you are one of my great Heroes as well. So, thank you. Thank you. I love you, man.
42:18 Every time and every time I talk to you I told you that he's going to be our identity will be to drink with a sit-down will just get it will go off into discussion. It stalking. I do have the most formative for me to be like to know he would understand what led to that place in the first place.