August 7, 2018
We ran into Billy waiting patiently for the bus. He noticed our name tags and camera and immediately struck up a conversation. Before we knew it, he was hopping on his bus, trying to get the end of his last sentence out before the doors closed.
What is the happiest moment that has happened in your life?
"The birth of my son. My only child. He just turned 18 about 4 months ago and I’m going to be a grandpa soon. It will be interesting. I can only imagine what he is going through. I know I was a little apprehensive and anxious just like anybody who’s about to embark on something that they have never done before in their life- which for me was fatherhood. I can only imagine what mom was going through. It’s kind of funny because he’s going through the exact same thing that I had...
I come from a family where most my relatives were gone before I was even born. For instance, I never met my grandparents on my father’s side- they were well dead. [My son] doesn’t have that much family for me to provide additional support, you know? Cause all my family is dead and now he’s my new family and now he’s got new family of his own and I just wish he had a bit more ancestry that are still 6 feet above. Unfortunately, my dad was born in the 20s and you know he was born in the Depression, for Christ’s sake. It was rough times and you know he married late and then subsequently I for instance have a 103 year old aunt and 105 year old uncle in the United States that I’ve never met. Yeah, actually I know their names too. That’s some of the funny things that happens when family kind of splinters over time you know?"
"I am a previous resident of Boyle McCauley. For about three years I was in the neighborhood. I lived three doors from the Mustard Seed. I've witnessed many a thing; if I didn’t like what I saw on television then I just looked out the window. A lot of entertainment out there. But you know it is a beautiful neighborhood."
"I frequent Church Street because I would go to Spruce Wood Library- it is one of my pleasures. There is a lot of Heritage in this area, I lot of beautiful architecture if you really go down Church street. My Church begins Church street. It’s the first Church on 96th. It’s St. Barbara’s Russian Orthodox Cathedral. It’s the dome Church at the beginning of the Street."
"This neighborhood is a combination of rushed and a combination of slow motion. In the three years I enjoyed it here. For the most part people are friendly. But I’ve had some trouble down here. I was robbed two and a half years ago coming from work. Yeah, knife point. Three guys, and you know I have a black belt in karate but I’m unarmed. You got a knife in front of my face and it’s just: "Take my wallet!" But that is the only threat I had in this neighborhood."
"The people out here are really deserving and a lot of them they search for it but a lot of them depend on it. There are a lot of holes in the system and a lot of people around here abuse. It is an unfortunate fact. I see people who are on social assistance and it is there to provide them with the necessities of life but if they don’t have to pay rent by sleeping on the street and if they don’t have to pay for their meals by eating at a shelter then that gives them a lot more to supplement their addictions. Everybody has a vice. Yours might be social media or media! Mine isn’t riding the bus, I’ll tell you that."