A Fierce Kind of Love, a project of Visionary Voices
Institute on Disabilities at Temple University
 

Here.
Stories from
Selinsgrove Center and KenCrest Services

Joe

recorded at KenCrest Services April 2015
PHOTO of Joe
photo by JJ Tiziou


Image Gallery - click a thumbnail to start


LIVES LIVED APART Interview with Joe Recorded April 22, 2015


PHOTO of Joe with his interviewer Kathy
KATHY'S COMMENTS: "I am still thinking about the freedom that those without disabilities take for granted - the ability to travel freely, to handle our everyday affairs, to feel valued in our careers, to feel competent and in control, to not be judged, to feel safe. I believe that every person should be given a chance to reach their full potential and to be treated with dignity and respect.

After the interview, I learned that Joe had lived in Pennhurst. I see that Pennhurst is a "haunted asylum" attraction for Halloween and I hope that people see it as a place that we never want to return to, not a place that creates fear of the "mentally insane." The manner in which we treat those who need our help speaks volumes about the values of our society. Empathy, love, patience."

Joe: You got me.

Kathy: We love to have you.

Joe: You're on Candid Camera.

Kathy: OK. OK, today is April 22nd and we are here at KenCrest with Joe and I'm Kathy Pentek and I'm the interviewer. We have Celia.

Joe: That's JJ.

Kathy: And that's JJ. He's our photographer. We'll see him later. He'll be taking some photos of everybody. He wants to make sure he gets everybody.

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: Yes, yeah. Make sure before everybody runs away.

Joe: You don't want that to happen, do you?

Kathy: No, I don't think that will happen.

Joe: Of course you know... we're here to talk about...

Kathy: Yes.

Joe: Where you work and how you like where you live and stuff like that.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: Ask about Joe.

Kathy: Right. I'd like to know about you and how long...

Joe: Once you get to know me then you know my outside job.

Kathy: Your job?

Joe: Outside job.

Staff: Outside job.

Kathy: Oh, OK. Would you like an outside job?

Joe: Yeah I've been here too many years. I need...

Kathy: Uh-huh.

Joe: Another job.

Kathy: OK. Alright, can you tell me how long you've been here first of all?

Joe: I've been here about 20 years.

Kathy: Wow, that's a long time. Yeah. Do you remember when you first came?

Joe: I was young.

Kathy: Were you? You're still young.

Joe: Yeah but I'm getting up there now.

Kathy: Oh, OK. So do you remember when you first came what it was like for you?

Joe: I was helping. Or (Always something)

Kathy: Yeah.

Joe: Tell you the truth people believe you. You don't tell the truth people think you make up stories and stuff like that.

Kathy: Oh, mm-hm. This is true. This is true. It takes some time and people will find that out.

Joe: So you know get your feelings out and you talk to people. They won't bother you.

Kathy: Yes.

Joe: And sometimes they call me Cowboy Joe.

MORE/LESS OF JOE'S INTERVIEW

Kathy: Oh, why would they do that?

Joe: I'm a cowboy.

Kathy: Are you? Really? What do you do that makes you a cowboy?

Joe: Ride horses and stuff.

Kathy: Wow, do you like being outdoors?

Joe: You ever do it? You ever do it?

Kathy: No I've never. It sounds exciting.

Joe: Oh yeah, it's different from other places.

Kathy: Really? Wow.

Joe: Mm-hm.

Kathy: So do you like being outdoors?

Joe: I like outdoors too, yep.

Kathy: Do you like animals?

Joe: I like horses and stuff.

Kathy: Do you? Yeah they're powerful aren't they?

Joe: Oh yeah. They have back hoofs that kick you.

Kathy: Oh yeah. That's true. You have to be careful.

Joe: Keep your head up. If it'd down they start eating grass.

Kathy: Oh well that's good advice to watch out, right?

Joe: You've got to be careful man.

Kathy: Mm-hm.

Joe: Horses are dangerous. If they get mad, back out. It won't be the same.

Kathy: That's true.

Joe: Dee, she rides horses.

Kathy: Oh, who's she?

Joe: She's the one that goes bowling with me on Tuesdays.

Kathy: Oh, OK. Is that something you like to do?

Joe: I do a lot of stuff like let's say, you know... everything and work and stuff because that's what you do. It can get in the way sometimes so.

Kathy: Right. How many days do you work?

Joe: I work on Friday.

Kathy: oh, OK.

Joe: Every Friday.

Kathy: Mm-hm. That's nice.

Joe: Mm-hm.

Kathy: So do you get to do other things on Friday?

Joe: We go places sometimes.

Kathy: Oh, OK. What's your favorite?

Joe: My favorite is... sometimes like movies and stuff and go and do more things.

Kathy: Mm-hm. That's nice to get out. What kind of movies do you like?

Joe: I like... sometimes I like western movies.

Kathy: Oh exciting, right?

Joe: Like cowboys.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: Ride horses. I like those kind of movies too.

Kathy: Mm-hm. Those are exciting too, yeah.

Joe: So you know. So you know pretty well.

Kathy: Yes, the exciting ones.

Joe: You ever been to Handicrafters?

Kathy: No.

Joe: You know Ken?

Kathy: No.

Joe: You know big brother Ken?

Kathy: No.

Joe: He works at

Kathy: Oh, does he?

Joe: Handicrafters.

Kathy: Oh really? Wow.

Joe: So like this place.

Kathy: Is he a friend of yours?

Joe: My big brother.

Kathy: Oh, is he? Oh. Can you tell me about him?

Joe: Never go to the back of the horse. The horse would get mad and angry and hurt you.

Kathy: Oh, you'd have to be careful.

Joe: Have to be safe, yep.

Kathy: That's good advice.

Joe: Sometimes I tell people you want to go on a horse. They're scared to go on a horse.

Kathy: I think they're big animals. It might be...

Joe: They put me on a big horse.

Kathy: Did they? Wow.

Joe: They have to.

Kathy: Yeah.

Joe: You know. I know a lot of people and sometimes, you know, I do my work here.

Kathy: Right. Can you tell me about your work?

Joe: Sometimes I work at the gym. We clean the place up. Sometimes we do working crew. I do work crew sometimes.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: You know Ozzie?  I don't think you met her.

Kathy: No.

Joe: She takes us there – places.

Kathy: OK.

Joe: Bog boxes and stuff like that.

Kathy: Oh so something a little bit different then.

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: Do you like that? Not so much? No? OK.

Joe: I do it anyway.

Kathy: Keeps you busy. Are you a good worker/

Joe: Oh yeah. Everybody loves Joe.

Kathy: Joe's the best?

Joe: The bottles, they're like 50 pounds. They say,  "Joe, you're strong, lifting boxes up." and "Joe, that was good work, Joe".

Kathy: Does it feel good to keep busy?

Joe: Keeps me out of trouble.

Kathy: And keeps you in shape?

Joe: Yep.

Kathy: Yeah that's true. Makes the day go by?

Joe: Fast.

Kathy: Yes.

Joe: Mm-hm.

Kathy: But you said you'd like to work somewhere else. Where is that?

Joe: I'll think on that.

Kathy: Yeah, that's OK. You can think about it.

Joe: Maybe at the store or things like that.

Kathy: Is that sound...

Joe: Restaurant. I can work there too. I'd like that.

Kathy: Do you like it because it's busier or more people?

Joe: Both.

Kathy: Both. It's something different.

Joe: Yeah, change it. You know?

Kathy: Right, right.

Joe: Something different.

Kathy: Something different.

Joe: Yeah, something you can... do it.

Kathy: Right, mm-hm.

Joe: I do a lot of things now.

Kathy: You seem to be pretty well rounded there.

Joe: Oh yeah. People say it, yeah. Sometimes I can be funny.

Kathy: They think it's funny?

Joe: People in a good mood and stuff like that. It tells you a lot about yourself.

Kathy: Oh I think that's true. That's pretty smart.

Joe: We eat pizza.

Kathy: That's always good.

Joe: I like food. I'm a big eater.

Kathy: Well if you're working carrying 50 pound things I'd think you'd need to keep fueled.

Joe: Yeah, you're right. Yeah, be strong.

Kathy: Right, exactly.

Joe: If you can do that, you know.

Kathy: I think so. I think so. So where do you live? Do you live here?

Joe: I live in West Chester now.

Kathy: Oh, do you? OK.

Joe: Mount (inaudible).

Kathy: And do you live with other people?

Joe: I live with Ralph.

Kathy: Ralph? Uh-huh.

Joe: And Michael and Tom and me.

Kathy: And Tom?

(Noise and talking in background)

Kathy: We have some visitors. We'll have to wait a minute. That's OK. No worries.

Person: Want the door closed?

Staff: Yes please.

Joe: We want to be private.

Staff: Yes, exactly.

Kathy: Yeah that way you can talk.

Joe: Talk what you want to talk.

Kathy: No, you can say whatever you like here.

Joe: Yeah, I'm pushing it though.

Kathy: You aren't to us. We love to hear your stories and about your life.

Joe: Achievements over the year.

Kathy: Yes, I think it is.

Joe: My dreams come true.

Kathy: Are they coming true? Yeah? And what is that?

Joe: It's like... sometimes people say dream like... have a dream. You know who said that?

Kathy: No, who would say that?

Joe: Martin Luther King.

Kathy: Oh really? So do you think everybody has a dream?

Joe: I think that's right, yeah.

Kathy: Yeah, I think you're right too.

Joe: People dream of different things.

Kathy: Yes and you haven't forgotten your dream.

Joe: Not yet.

Kathy: Not yet. Good! That's wonderful. That's wonderful.

Joe: So as I'm going to try to do... I saw Chris. You know him, right?

Kathy: Yes.

Joe: He's a nice guy.

Kathy: Right, yes.

Joe: So they say Joe, I hear you have a dream today. I say yeah.

Kathy: Oh.

Joe: And they say isn't that what Martin Luther King used to say?

Kathy: Yes.

Joe: Martin Luther King.

Kathy: Yes.

Joe: He said well, it's a way.

Kathy: That's a good one to remember.

Joe: But I know I'm doing that. I'm smart and I have fun so I don't know why they put me here.

Kathy: So do you like it here or would you rather be somewhere else?

Joe: You guys know about this place. It's residents.

Kathy: Mm-hm.

Joe: They're kind of different from us.

Kathy: I see.

Joe: Like some of them, you know, are comfortable, you know... I signed an application before I start. That's a job. I'd like to get a paper about that.

Kathy: OK. You're excited about this job.

Joe: Yeah because this place never changes. It's always been like this.

Kathy: Oh, OK. It's the same over and over?

Joe: Some of these people, you know, you've got to be careful.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: Don't get in their way, they want to hurt you.

Kathy: Oh really? Are you afraid?

Joe: I'm brave.

Kathy: You're brave. You're a cowboy.

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: It's like the horses. You have to be careful about everything really, right?

Joe: Hi, my name is John Wayne.

Kathy: I'm very happy to meet you John Wayne.

Joe: Nice to meet you to ma'am.

Kathy: Ride 'em cowboy.

Joe: Yeah. Giddy up horse.

Kathy: But life can be a little...

Joe: Entertainment.

Kathy: Yes. I was going to say dangerous but entertainment... I like that attitude. That's a good attitude.

Joe: I do have a good attitude.

Kathy: Yes, you do. You do have a good attitude. That and a good work ethic. That's wonderful. I think you should be proud of yourself.

Joe: I've came a long way over the years.

Kathy: Have you?

Joe: I mean a long time ago.

Kathy: You've learned a lot.

Joe: Yeah. Work crew and stuff like that, you know. Work outside.

Kathy: So you've learned to get along with people here?

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: You think it takes special skills? Yes.

Joe: Yeah, it does.

Kathy: Mm-hm.

Joe: A lot of people could be like me.

Kathy: That would be wonderful if everybody was like you.

Joe: But it's not true.

Kathy: No.

Joe: I'm an important person.

Kathy: Mm-hm.

Joe: A lot of people aren't like that.

Kathy: Oh.

Joe: And some people say go off or talk back to you and get you angry, upset. In my mind is your own business, do what you gotta do.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: Do my own work like I should do. You've got to get your feelings out.

Kathy: I think it's important to talk about your feelings.

Joe: It means a lot to you.

Kathy: No, it really does and I think if you hold it in it makes it worse. So sometimes it's important to get it out.

Joe: Sometimes you can explode.

Kathy: Right. Exactly, exactly. I have a little pin here that my friend who is a yoga teacher gave me. It says to breathe. Sometimes when you're angry or you're upset you forget to breathe and you hold it all in and it makes everything work and you have to stop and think and breathe.

Joe: That's true.

Kathy: Right and get your feelings out in a good way, in a good way.

Joe: In a bad way?

Kathy: No not a bad way, in a good way.

Joe: No?

Kathy: And then you can deal with them.

Joe: Oh yeah.

Kathy: Yeah.

Joe: That's what it's all about.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: You know what I mean?

Kathy: Yeah that's very true. Yeah.

Joe: you can't just, you know. It's not just for you. It's for other people too.

Kathy: Yes, you have to watch out for other people too. So when you said you have a meeting today and they said oh you're very important. Do you think they're a little jealous?

Joe: They could be, yeah.

Kathy: Yeah, OK.

Joe: A lot of people like to get upset around here.

Kathy: Well do you think other people have a hard time getting their feelings out?

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: Yes they do.

Joe: That's true.

Kathy: Maybe that's a problem.

Joe: Yeah, sometimes.

Kathy: I think everybody has a problem at times.

Joe: Same here. That's why we're all here.

Kathy: Right, right.

Joe: Because the problems in the outside world.

 Kathy: Sometimes there are people in the outside world who have the same problems.

Joe: (inaudible).

Kathy: Mm-hm.

Joe: Everybody is special and important.

Kathy: I think they are. I think sometimes we just need to find that out which is why I love being here today.

Joe: Because you get to know me more.

Kathy: Yes, I think you're important, very important.

Joe: And I get to know you people too.

Kathy: Yes. You're our new friend. I'm so excited.

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: I hope you'll be my friend.

Joe: Yeah, I will. Don't worry.

Kathy: Oh, OK.

Joe: I'll give you respect.

Kathy: OK. Well that's wonderful. I love that you have a wonderful attitude.

Joe: What can I say? I've got to.

Kathy: Uh-huh. Well it must be adventurous if you're a cowboy.

Joe: You have to call me the Duke.

Kathy: The Duke? That's it. John Wayne the Duke. He was a very brave person.

Joe: He's a big guy too.

Kathy: Yes, yes.

Joe: He was up there.

Kathy: Yes, he was.

Joe: He made a lot of movies.

Kathy: Yes, yes he did. Exciting movies; horses.

Joe: Important person.

Kathy: Yes, yes he was.

Joe: Hi, my name is John Wayne. Nice to meet you.

Kathy: Yes, that's a wonderful thing to say.

Joe: But Joe is something else. He's something else, ain't he?

Kathy: Yes, he is. You certainly are.

Joe: Is he (Inaudible) Indians.

Kathy: Indians? That's exciting.

Joe: Oh my. I talk all day.

Kathy: That's great. I love it. I love it. I'd like for you to tell me about how you live, what you do.

Joe: So far it's 12 o'clock.

Kathy: Is it?

Joe: We have time?

Kathy: We have time. We have plenty of time. If there's anything you'd like to talk about we have plenty of time.

Joe: I'd like to talk about a lot of things. I like people. You know some people, they don't. They start trouble for other people around here.

Kathy: Do they? Is it stressful?

Joe: It's really uncalled for because people will do things and they can test you and see how you say things, how you... They like to boss you around because they think they're better than everybody. They think they're the boss and staff but they're not. They're residents.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: He's right.

Kathy: He's right. So do you like the staff? Do they do a good job of keeping everybody...

Joe: They like to act up in my house. They do. Then they get not as smart as me. I tell them off.

Kathy: Well you're pretty smart. I can see that.

Joe: It tells you a lot about yourself.

Kathy: Yeah it does. Yeah, your character does speak a lot about yourself.

Joe: That's how I do it now.

Kathy: Mm-hm.

Joe: And some people work here, they like to scream and shout.

Kathy: Oh do they? Do they have to because things are crazy?

Joe: Some are crazy. They tell me.

Kathy: I don't mean somebody is crazy. I mean things get a little out of control. Maybe that's how they try to keep people in line?

Joe: That's true, yeah.

Kathy: Yeah?

Joe: You might be right. I know it is. I can tell.

Kathy: Is it upsetting when they shout?

Joe: Gets my blood pressure up.

Kathy: Gets your blood pressure up.

Joe: I go outside, take a deep breath, get fresh air, I count to ten and it'll be OK.

Kathy: That's a wonderful way to deal with it. I think we all have to deal with that in life and it's hard.

Joe: Got to work on it.

Kathy: Especially going outside is a wonderful thing.

Joe: Nature.

Kathy: Yes, nature does affect us. It does make us feel calmer.

Joe: Relaxed.

Kathy: Right and maybe you feel like you're not stuck somewhere then.

Joe: I think it's important... like saying for instance for attention and (Inaudible) me.

Kathy: Yes, maybe they are looking for attention. Do you have good friends here? Somebody you can enjoy?

Joe: I have a couple friends. Not that much.

Kathy: Mm-hm. Have they been here as long as you?

Joe: Some people, yeah. I've been here longer.

Kathy: Have you?

Joe: Yeah I was here a long time ago. I've been here for years and years. Yeah but still too much. Too long.

Kathy: Too long?

Staff: So where did you live before?

Joe: I lived a lot of places.

Kathy: How did you come to be here?

Joe: Car took me here. I think I was... I'm not sure but... That reminds me of Johnny Cash.

Kathy: Oh, the guitar?

Joe: (Inaudible).

Kathy: Do you love Johnny Cash?

Joe: Hi, I'm Johnny Cash.

Kathy: Is that your favorite type of music?

Joe: (singing) Take this job and shove it. I'm not coming to the place no more. He used to say that.

Kathy: I will sing that with you if you want to sing it because I really love that song.

Joe: Do you like Kenny Rogers?

Kathy: Yes, I do like Kenny Rogers.

Joe: Know when to hold em, know when to fold em...

Kathy: Know when to walk away...

Joe: Country western.

Kathy: Exactly. Do you get to play music here? No?

Joe: They got radios in the other room but a lot of people around here (inaudible) They got their own, you know.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: I got a friend Harry.

Kathy: Mm-hm.

Joe: One thing I don't like about him is he smokes too much.

Kathy: That's not good, yeah.

Joe: And he just came from the hospital and he said to me "Joe" he says "Smoking is good for you." I'm like no it's not. At least I'm being honest and telling the truth, you know?

Kathy: No, I think that's good. That's good.

Joe: And Harry, he'll tell me he gets annoyed.

Kathy: Does he? Does he like the same kind of music?

Joe: Something like that would be nice, really nice telling him like attitude to a lot of people.

Kathy: Oh, does he?

Joe: He smokes and he says he's a cop. I said if you're a cop you wouldn't be here.

Kathy: That's true. That's true.

Joe: He says "Look here." That's what he says to me "Look here. I don't care what you say. I'm going to smoke anyway." That's what he says.

Kathy: Does he? Does he have to go outside to smoke?

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: Yeah.

Joe: One time I said "Harry, you know.."

Kathy: The lighter?

Joe: Yeah. One time I saw him and he went like that. That's dangerous, burn the place down.

Kathy: Oh he put it close to his mouth? Yeah, that's not good.

Joe: I tell him but he won't listen. He's too stubborn.

Kathy: I think sometimes people like to do what they like to do and they don't listen.

Joe: Me? I'm different from them. I am.

Kathy: Yeah.

Joe: A lot of people could be like me and if they was it would be a better world. You know what I mean?

Kathy: I know exactly what you mean?

Joe: You know what I'm trying to tell you?

Kathy: Right, right.

Joe: It's true. You know how it does. Sweep, sweep, sweep, back to the bed

Kathy: That's a pretty good saying.

Joe: I got that from Myers Russell. You know him?

Kathy: No.

Joe: He was so funny back in the day.

Kathy: What was his name again?

Joe: Miles Russell.

Kathy: Russell?

Joe: Miles.

Kathy: Russell Myers?

Joe: He was Jewish.

Kathy: Uh-huh. Is he a comedian or an actor?

Joe: No, he used to work here.

Kathy: Oh, he worked here? OK. Oh and he gave you good advice?

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: Yeah well it's good to learn.

Joe: You've got friends who look out for you and care about you.

Kathy: Mm-hm.

Joe: A lot of people you've got to look out for and watch their back.

Kathy: And you said you have people who care about you?

Joe: Sometimes.

Kathy: Sometimes?

Joe: Not always. Honest people know that.

Kathy: Honest people?

Joe: They make up stories and think they're better than somebody but they're not.

Kathy: Well you sound like a good friend. Are there people you care about?

Joe: I care about people but I don't like how people treat me.

Kathy: Oh.

Joe: Sometimes but so far, you know, I'm alright now.

Kathy: You're OK Now? That's good. You seem to be OK. Do you watch out for your friends? You seem to be somebody who watches out for people.

Joe: Yeah. I used to have a trainer named Desiree Myers. You know her?

Kathy: No. Desiree?

Joe: From Coatesville?

Kathy: No.

Joe: I'm from Coatesville too.

Kathy: Are you really from Coatesville?

Joe: A long time ago.

Kathy: Yes. Is that where you grew up?

Joe: Yep.

Kathy: Do you remember a lot about Coatesville?

Joe: I was in a bad place and they didn't treat me right and a lot of things weren't called for.

Kathy: Right. It was tough place to be?

Joe: Yeah and people weren't very nice to you.

Kathy: Mm-hm.

Joe: I know you got (inaudible) but I didn't like that place.

Kathy: Yeah.

Joe: I didn't feel comfortable and how they treat me.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: And I just don't like how some people are, attitude and take it out on me because I do my job.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: Act like it and said Joe does no work. I work and people cut my check every time I work and I do my work and there's my check and they don't know what they're doing because every Friday I get my check.

Kathy: Right. So they weren't giving you right check?

Joe: Somebody been messing with me - not doing it right.

Kathy: I see so that upset you?

Joe: Because everybody said oh they get paid more than you and that hurts me to talk to me that way. I don't think it's fair.

Kathy: That was upsetting.

Joe: And someone else too causing me problems and trouble around here. Just walk away.

Kathy: Right. Well you seem to have a good attitude by trying to not let it bother you, going outside, and walking away.

Joe: You've got to do that.

Kathy: Right because if you get involved it gets worse, right?

Joe: If you have an outburst then you do something bad.

Kathy: Oh that doesn't sound good.

Joe: They can spank you or fire you.

Kathy: Oh.

Joe: If you don't behave yourself.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: I know all this because I've been a long time ago.

Kathy: So..

Joe: I'm still here.

Kathy: Right so nobody's fired you yet.

Joe: No.

Kathy: That's good. That tells me a lot about you.

Joe: Because if you got a problem tell somebody.

Kathy: So who can you tell if you have a problem here? Is there somebody special, maybe a staff person?

Joe: Yeah, Azzy.

Kathy: Azzy?

Joe: Azzy.

Kathy: Good person?

Joe: She's nice.

Kathy: OK.

Joe: She's my job coach.

Kathy: Oh. Ok and does she help you with your job then?

Joe: Well sometimes... big boxes and stuff.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: She says "Well Joe how did you get this fast?" I say, you know... Everyone says Joe is funny.

Kathy: So you're a good worker and you're funny? They like you then.

Joe: Yeah, sometimes.

Kathy: Well sometimes it's not you. Sometimes it's not you, its other people.

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: Then you can feel good about yourself.

Joe: You've got tell people how you feel about stuff.

Kathy: Right. So what's a typical day like here? Like a usual regular day?

Joe: Same thing.

Kathy: Same thing?

Celia: So what is that?

Kathy: Do they wake you up and give you breakfast?

Joe: Not here, at my house.

Kathy: At your house.

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: Yeah. Does somebody do all the cooking?

Joe: I used to.

Kathy: Did you? Yeah?

Joe: You've got to be careful. It's dangerous too.

Kathy: It is dangerous. It's nice when somebody does it for you.

Joe: Yeah, you're right.

Kathy: Yep. Do they have a lights out time where you have to turn the lights out at night?

Joe: Depends on... you have a fire drill and you gave to go outside around back and Mary says is everybody here? She's funny too.

Kathy: Is he funny?

Joe: She.

Kathy: She. Oh. So they have to count to make sure everybody got out?

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: Mm-hm. It's important.

Joe: Everybody...  Everybody here?

Kathy: That's good.

Joe: OK. People put their seatbelt on. I always have my seatbelt on anyway.

Kathy: That's good. You're safe. You follow the rules to be safe and healthy.

Joe: A lot of people say that.

Kathy: That's good. That's a good thing to do. You've got to watch out for yourself, right?

Joe: If I don't, nobody will.

Kathy: What's that? I'm sorry.

Joe: If I won't nobody will.

Kathy: Oh, nobody will.

Joe: Its really good that we get to know each other or friends like us. Some people.

Kathy: That's a good thing. That's a good thing.

Joe: Yep.

Kathy: It's good to have friends and talk about yourself.

Joe: It tells you a lot, you know? How you feel.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: All that stuff.

Kathy: Mm-hm. Do you remember growing up? No?

 Joe: I was shipped from one place to another place.

Kathy: Oh really?

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: Couldn't find the right fit? A good place to be.

Joe: Well... Coatesville. I move there in a restaurant in Coatesville with my sister, Liz.

Kathy: Was that interesting? A lot of people coming and going?

Joe: Mm. Something else too... It's been a long day.

Kathy: Yes.

Joe: That way you have to tell people, you know, about you.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: That way they get to know.

Kathy: People are interested.

Joe: Sometimes I don't feel comfortable around here because people don't treat me right and say bad things about me like the better you are they talk back to you. You know what I mean?

Kathy: Yes, I know. I hear the same thing too sometimes.

Joe: (inaudible).

Kathy: Right. People sometimes... it's more about them. If they don't really know you then it's not about you. It's more about them.

Joe: That's true too.

Kathy: Right but it's still upsetting.

Joe: That's right, yeah.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: Don't bother.

Kathy: Right tell them not to bother you.

Joe: Yep and as well how you handle yourself.

Kathy: Yes.

Joe: Things like how people... how you are. Sometimes they can be too hard to handle

Kathy: Right. So do you see your sister ever?

Joe: On holidays.

Kathy: On holidays. Does she come to visit?

Joe: I go to her place.

Kathy: You go to her place?

Joe: Yep and my niece.

Kathy: And your niece?

Joe: Yep. I come from a big family.

Kathy: Oh, do you? Wow. Is it nice to see them on the holidays?

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: Yeah. Do anything special to celebrate?

Joe: Easter was here before and my niece's house for ham and stuff and after we're done eating we do the Easter egg hunt for eggs.

Kathy: Oh that was exciting.

Joe: Yeah. They said "Joe, you got more than your niece."

Kathy: Oh, did you?

Joe: At the time my brother can say "Jackrabbit." He said they can be ornery.

Kathy: A rabbit?

Joe: No I mean...you know what I mean, right.

Kathy: Yes, yes.

Joe: I know you do. I know you do too. That's good.

Kathy: Yeah, I know what you mean.

Joe: Wonderful. A lot of people, they all gone.

Kathy: Are they?

Joe: But what I heard other people said they were going to close this place down and (inaudible) and close that down and work an outside job.

Kathy: Are you worried about that?

Joe: I've got to think on that.

Kathy: That's OK. Take your time.

Joe: Sometimes.

Kathy: Yeah. I think it's uncertain. Nobody knows for sure what's going to happen yet so nobody can deal with it yet.

Joe: I'm OK.

Kathy: You're OK? Does the staff talk about it?

Joe: No. You know I'm alright. I'm OK.

Kathy: OK.

Joe: Because Joe is healthy, I tell them to go to the doctors because Joe is always healthy.

Kathy: Do you go to the doctors a lot?

Joe: Sometimes.

Kathy: They take you? They make sure you stay healthy?

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: That's good.

Joe: Make sure nothing is wrong with me.

Kathy: That's good.

Joe: Make sure I'm OK and check on me see if I'm alright.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: You probably met him before... Michael?

Kathy: Does he...

Joe: He's diabetic.

Kathy: Oh is he? Oh. That's hard.

Joe: Yeah he got (inaudible) me too.

Kathy: Really?

Joe: He does. The other one.

Kathy: So what does he have to do when he's diabetic?

Joe: He has to take his blood sugar and insulin shot. That's not good.

Kathy: No, it's a lot.

Joe: He won't live that long.

Kathy: It's harder. It's much harder when you have a problem like that.

Joe: It's important to speak up.

Kathy: Oh it is if you think somethings doesn't feel right then it's very important to speak up.

Joe: If you have a problem you need to tell somebody so they can take care of it.

Kathy: Yes, exactly.

Joe: Don't let people control you.

Kathy: Well if something doesn't feel right you can tell them.

Joe: Yeah. I speak up a lot for this place.

Kathy: Oh, that's very nice. That's good.

Joe: A lot of people can be like me.

Kathy: That would be wonderful.

Joe: If it was.

Kathy: That would be wonderful.

Joe: Wow. What time is it now?

Kathy: Are you getting tired?

Joe: No.

Kathy: OK.

Celia: Hungry?

Joe: I'm OK.

Kathy: That's good. So the food at the holidays is good?

Joe: I like hoagies. I like hoagies.

Kathy: You like hoagies? Oh, good.

Joe: Italian.

Kathy: Italian hoagies. Yeah, they're good aren't they?

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: Especially in this area.

Joe: Some people don't like them.

Kathy: Oh.

Joe: You hear that?

Kathy: Yeah, what is that?

Joe: Telephone.

Kathy: Oh telephone, OK.

Joe: So you met Al right?

Kathy: Yes. Yeah, he's wonderful.

Joe: He's a good guy, you know?

Kathy: He really is wonderful.

Joe: If anybody gives me a problem I come to Al and Al says "Don't worry Joe I'll be down to handle it. "

Kathy: That's good.

Joe: I can count on him.

Kathy: Do you think you can count on him?

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: That's good.

Joe: He always does. If someone gets angry, before I would take it out on other people, but if I was upset I come to Al. Al says "Don't worry Joe. I've got you."

Kathy: That's wonderful. He's a good guy to have around.

Joe: A lot of this staff, you know, give me a problem or trouble around here just because something work for me. (Inaudible) because they do that.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: I tell them people never listen, never learn.

Celia: So they take work away from you?

Joe: But now it's still the same sometimes. Not always. Know what I mean?

Kathy: Right. Yes. Yes.

Joe: You have to make sure you're necessary. People say things about you, say you did this and did that and everything. I said no. I just speak up, say my piece.

Kathy: So you mind your own business but they're trying to start something.

Joe: Sometimes.

Kathy: Sometimes they do.

Joe: You know I don't like it. I try something different, different work. An outside job.

Kathy: An outside job.

Joe: I need an application first before I get started.

Kathy: OK.

Joe: I start full time and then part time. Work there full time.

Kathy: And the staff helps you get the job?

Joe: No, I can do it.

Kathy: Something you can do by yourself?

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: Right like you were talking about a store or restaurant like where you grew up in?

Joe: In Coatesville.

Kathy: In Coatesville? Maybe not that restaurant but a different one?

Joe: Yeah. My name is John Wayne. Nice to meet you. 

Kathy: Nice to meet you too.

Joe: Yes ma'am. May I help you?

Kathy: That's a wonderful thing to say. I think people would love that.

Joe: A lot of people like me sometimes. It makes the day go fast.

Kathy: Yeah well when you're trying to have fun it makes the day go faster.

Joe: Yeah it gets it off your chest.

Kathy: Yes, it does. Yes.

Joe: I work with (inaudible) He said "Joe, you're the best."

Kathy: Aw, that was wonderful.

Joe: He's a big talker too like me. He could go all night. He is. He said "Hi Joe. Can you help me?" I helped him too because people in West Chester (inaudible) everyone is different from each other.

Kathy: Oh, that's not good.

Joe: (Inaudible) bother me too much and they don't get me upset. A lot of people treat me...

Kathy: Is that mostly people here?

Joe: At my house too.

Kathy: At your house too?

Joe: Not that much at the house because they know what kind of person I am.

Kathy: Maybe people need to give you a chance, right?

Joe: If you have a problem to tell somebody on me. Like they say "Joe didn't listen. Joe started this, Joe started that." and people tell what is that behavior to get your own way but you don't do that.

Kathy: Right, so they're just making it all up?

Joe: Make it up. It's not true. I don't think it's true.

Kathy: But you think Al knows you here, right?

Joe: I know Al a long time. He has two jobs. He works here and he works at the hospital. He tell you?

Kathy: Oh, so he's very busy, I didn't know that.

Joe: Yeah. One day up here in his office and he gave me a t-shirt, a blue shirt and a basketball shirt.

Kathy: Oh, OK.

Joe: A long time ago I used to play basketball.

Kathy: Do you play basketball?

Joe: A long time ago. Not anymore. I'm getting too old. So I can do that. You know? When I was younger it was different. We get older we're tired.

Kathy: Yeah so you have to slow down a little bit.

Joe: But if we're only still working, we can but if you want to work with someone on them.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: People coming?

Kathy: Nope, just us.

Joe: Oh, good.

Kathy: Are you getting tired of me?

Joe: No, no.

Kathy: I'm just joking. I'm just joking.

Celia: Are you ready to have lunch?

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: OK.

Joe:  It's about that time, isn't it?

Kathy: Yes. OK.

Joe: It's 12:30.

Kathy: Yes, that's a long time.

Joe: See?

Kathy: Oh, good.

Joe: I can keep it up, keep talking all day.

Kathy: I think you could. It's been wonderful listening to you.

Joe: I'm a good talker.

Kathy: Yes, you are a very good talker.

Celia: You're a great talker.

Kathy: You're a great talker.

Joe: I'm the best.

Kathy: Yes, you are.

Joe: In the neighborhood.

Kathy: It was fun and I learned so much. It was wonderful to hear your story.

Celia: Is there anything else you want to tell us?

Joe: I can tell you a lot of stories. It makes a big deal, nothing you can do about it.

Kathy: Right. It's very hard, It's hard to deal with people.

Joe: I get.. sometimes I get frustrated and you know on how people treat me. I don't like that and they say "Joe" For instance "Joe, how you doing today?" I say "I'm doing OK" sometimes.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: Take bad, bad, bad. Little bit of bad. You know Myers?

Celia: I don't think so. The name is familiar. Myers Russell? The name is familiar to me.

Joe: He don't work here no more. He passed away.

Kathy: I'm sorry.

Joe: He'd been sick a long time.

Celia: Did you used to live with him?

Joe: I used to go visit him and stuff.

Celia: You were friends.

Joe: Yeah.

Celia: That's too bad. Sorry to hear that.

Joe: I miss my friends who passed away.

Celia: Sure. Makes sense.

Kathy: It's very hard.

Joe: Now me? I don't have enough friends, a little bit. You know..

Kathy: Right.

Joe: Uncomfortable and not too happy and people treat me like this.

Kathy: Well maybe you'll get some new friends.

Joe: I want to move on to a different job. A long time ago with more people like me.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: Because there could be people like me.

Kathy: Oh sure, yep.

Joe: Don't let people get to you. (Inaudible) You know him?

Kathy: No.

Joe: He said Joe, don't let anybody walk on you. He just said ... he taught me to say... Let me think. "Joe Joe Davis" It was funny man.

Kathy: It's funny.

Joe: But he goes off sometimes too.

Kathy: Does he?

Joe: He beat up everybody.

Kathy: Oh, oh.

Joe: They kicked him out of here.

Kathy: Oh, well they need to keep the peace here.

Joe: He had a behavior problem.

Kathy: Oh, did he?

Joe: He didn't know how to control himself, his temper.

Kathy: Oh, you have to learn how to handle, right.

Joe: Me? I don't do that no more.

Kathy: Right.

Celia: Good.

Kathy: That's good. That's good.

Joe: Because I came a long way over here since a lot of people been caring about me. I've been nice to them. They're nice to me.

Kathy: That's wonderful.

Joe: It goes both ways, not one.

Kathy: Right, it does. It does.

Joe: So you've got to try to think about how you say and what's your feelings. It's important. It really is. To get it off your chest.

Kathy: It is important. It's important to talk about them and get it out and not hold it in and to have somebody you can go to.

Joe: Someone that can look up to you.

Kathy: Yes. I bet a lot of people here look up to you.

Joe: They do.

Kathy: They do.

Joe: I like some people but I don't like some staff here like you know, saying bad things about me and making me uncomfortable.

Kathy: Right, yeah, I wouldn't like that either.

Joe: And they set there and wonder why I get this way because it (inaudible) me. That's why I get like this. I tell people staff (inaudible) too. I say I'm (inaudible). Tell the truth, be honest, don't make up stories and telling a lie. Tell the truth that way you know.

Kathy: Right.

Joe: See this place is like... see what I mean? See what I mean? People with bad behavior here.

Kathy: Right. Well you seem to have it under control. That's good.

Joe: Yeah.

Kathy: You seem to have a way to deal with it.

Joe: Yeah. You know. I don't worry about it.

Kathy: Yeah.

Joe: The more you worry about things, the more things come. You know?

Kathy: Yeah.

Joe: This is going by fast.

Kathy: Oh yes. Time is going by really fast too.

Joe: Tick, tick, tick, tick coocoo, coocoo, coocoo.

Celia: I think it's time for lunch.

Kathy: Yeah, I think it's time for lunch.

Joe: Then we talk more, right?

Celia: Not this time but we're going to come back so after we do your interview and we get it in writing we're going to come back and show it to you and see what you think.

Joe: And see if I agree with it.

Celia: Yeah and this afternoon JJ is going to take your picture after lunch.

Joe: OK.

Celia: OK?

Joe: Yeah.

Celia: Would that be alright?

Joe: Yeah.

Celia: Awesome.

END


Photos by JJ Tiziou




LOGO: The PEW Center for Arts & Heritage logo


A Fierce Kind of Love has been supported
by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.


Share:
Follow:
GRAPHIC: visit our blog    GRAPHIC: Like us on Facebook.      GRAPHIC: Follow us on Twitter.