"His name's Carlos; he's a good male dog. I'm actually trying to get him up for sale now. He's not much, he's housebroken, he's good with kids, he loves people. I had him since he was a puppy. He's very strong; as you can see he broke his collar once again. I'm always over there by Lincoln and Davis Street, South Side. Always outside with him on my front porch. It's the first house on the corner, on the left-hand side."
Day 2 of Dog Week. Here's Chapo (Spanish for "Shorty"!).
"I'm guessing he's about five. I was told that he was two. Everyone who's looked at him says especially because of the grey in his beard that he's probably about five. But I got him out of a place that basically looked like a crack house. It wasn't in the best spot; the woman had like four kids and she seemed like maybe she was struggling with all that. Maybe she couldn't afford it. He's extremely well behaved, he's really well-trained, he loves people, loves dogs. Really, the only time he acts up or he barks is if there's a dog he doesn't get to meet. If there's a dog across the street and he doesn't get to meet him, he'll start hopping at first, get upset, and then he'll bark, but other than that, I mean, it's amazing. Some people say that maybe it's that he really appreciates what he has now. He's living in an area like this, you know, we're right downtown. He's spoiled--he eats well, we go to the canal and grill almost every day for breakfast or lunch and he'll get a little meat or something."
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Yoda.
"My wife and I lived in Orlando, and we had about nine English bulldogs, and then this one became available. He's a Chinese Crested, and we went and rescued him. The English bulldogs were the greatest dogs in the world, but this one...they say they're the ugliest dogs in the world. If there was an ugly dog contest, the Chinese Crested would win, but he is the most loving dog we've ever had. Believe it or not, he was green and grey when we got him, which is why I named him Yoda. Now I wish I had named him Einstein."
"I'm the vice-president of NAASCA, the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse. We work with adult survivors, but we fight for children's rights because children don't have a voice; we all know this. So what we do as survivors is we go around and work with different organizations. We do our best to get help for everyone. Many times, kids are in a situation where it's family members who abuse them and they don't dare tell. They've been threatened, they've been told that they're going to get killed if they tell, or they're going to kill other family members, so the kids keep their mouths shut. When children don't get the help they need, like I didn't, they end up, many times, out on the streets, they turn to alcohol and drugs, they get into detention centers, and also in foster care. If the foster care is not a good foster home, those kids run from those homes, and then we have to worry about those kids being pimped out. They get into human trafficking. So when you go into Walmart and you see those missing kids on the wall, they may be dead, they may be alive. Many of them are a part of the 'Underground Railroad' trafficking. I was kidnapped and raped when I was 12 years old in Staten Island, and I was lucky because I was brought back. I was one of 14 he abused and that guy only got three years in prison. He ruined 14 little girls' lives. For years I suffered from panic attacks--I even wrote a book called 'Panic Child.' And statutes of limitation have to be addressed because when a child has been abused and they can't speak, they push it back in their minds and a lot of times they don't even tell their friends. Also, first time offenders--it doesn't mean they've had only one victim. It just means that it's the first time they got caught. So that's something that's near to my heart, that they get heavy sentencing just like all the rest. On one of our streets, we have 72 pedophiles. Seventy two. And there's children all over the place. Law enforcement has to work harder; we have to come together. If we have everyone's backs we can cut down on these crimes in our own neighborhoods."
You can find her website at www.naasca.org.
"I was a firefighter for 12 years. It was fun. I loved seeing the kids. The kids for some reason love the firemen and they're not so warm to the police officers. The kids love the idea of going over to the fire trucks; maybe it's because they're big and red versus a police car since they see it go down the street all the time. But also, everyone knows about the inherent dangers of being a firefighter. But being trained, a firefighter knows what's gonna happen and anticipates. I had a good 12 years."
"I was psyched the first time I was getting my license, and being able to do stuff on my own. Growing up was hard because my parents don't have a lot of money and they're separated. But once I was able to get things settled by myself, stuff got a lot easier for me."
"To have a good family makes me happy, and seeing my mom after 14 years. I didn't see her because I didn't have papers yet, so my mom finally had a visa to come visit me. Like I said, 14 years."
Josh and Brittany talk about their experience helping out during Hurricane Katrina:
Brittany: "We met in New Orleans doing relief work for Hurricane Katrina. He was down there for a year; I was down there for about six months, and just met down there. He said, 'Do you want to move to Pennsylvania?' and I said, 'Sure! Let's do it!' I was originally from Arizona."
Josh: "We're actually Jehovah's Witnesses. We were down there and we just happened to bump into each other and meet."
Brittany: "We wanted to help other people. Their lives are in shambles, and we wanted to give back and help people out, rebuild their homes. We worked in the Lower Ninth Ward, where there were mostly slums."
Josh: "That's the area that got affected with the levees. That area wasn't supposed to get flooded, but once the levees broke, that's the area that got hit the hardest."
Brittany: "People were always very kind to us. We had to tear walls out and wear Tyvek suits, and we had other crews that would rebuild from the ground up."
J and B also feel very strongly about recycling. In fact, they own Rag and Bone Recycling in Easton. Check out their website at ragandbonerecycling.com.
I caught Andy Tirado playing guitar at the Public Market:
"My dad was a musician. I come from a Puerto Rican household; he played an instrument called the cuatro--it's got four sets of double strings, so it's got eight strings total, but they're in groups of two. And so I grew up around it, you know, and it always intrigued me. I started playing technically like around age thirteen, fourteen, but I didn't really start taking it seriously until my early twenties--I'm 27 now--so, like, the past six years I've been gigging and playing shows and stuff. Lately I've been playing out weekly, sometimes twice a week, sometimes three times a week. I've been trying to play some more of my original stuff as well as covers; I'm also a composer. I'm coming out with an EP by the end of the summer for my project called 'Jamazon.' It's like rock, but like fusion; it's got elements of everything--I like all types of music, so it's got some jazz, it's definitely got a lot of Latin from my roots, some funk. It's fun stuff and I think it'll appeal to a lot of different people because it's got a lot of different things in there. "
"What inspires you to write?"
"Personal experiences. Not just my own, but other people's experiences, too. Whatever moves me. For example, one of my songs is inspired by a friend of mine who was suffering from depression, so I wrote a song about that, but a more uplifting kind of story, 'cause he ended up being okay. So, stuff that just makes me feel good and that I think will make other people feel good, 'cause that's what everybody wants, right? To feel good."
Check out his Insta @andrewtirado19
"We're all unique. Everyone is different. None of us are the same. Just like the leaves we're all different. Everyone goes through their own experiences. I have a beautiful experience with God, and I think there's a lot of people that do that. It's our own individual experiences between Him and the rest of us as individuals."
Tracy "Gypsy" is captain of her chapter of the Guardian Angels.
"We started here in 2007; we were going to training and we came out in 2008. We hit the streets. We trained for sixteen-and-a-half to seventeen weeks here in Easton. We also go to New York and do the subway patrols, but we mostly patrol the streets of our own town. We do civilian policing; we are the eyes and ears for the police and we are also mentors for our youth. Our headquarters is out of the Easton Community Center on 9th and Washington Street so we been there since day one. Curtis Sliwa was just here actually on May 12th--we had our 2018 regional convention so he came to debut a movie that he made, too, and it's called, 'Vigilante: The Story of Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels.'"
"How did *you* get involved?"
"Back then, there was a lot of gang activity going on; there was a triple homicide, like, two blocks from where I live by 13th Street and Northampton. I had kids that were young then. So, caring about the community, the kids, keeping them safe was a main concern of mine. I went to a meeting at the Community Center and ever since then I just joined since day one and I've been patrolling the streets ever since. We do a lot of things for the kids, like on June 25th through the 30th we're doing 'Angels in the Park' on 12th and Ferry Street, from, like, 5 to 7:30: food, activities, face painting, games, last day hopefully a carnival with a dunk tank, dunk a cop or an Easton Angel."
Check out their website for more information: www.guardianangels.org, or their Facebook page, Easton Guardian Angels.
"I do parkour. I'm fairly new; I've been doing it for about five years, but this spot is new to me. It's mainly about moving through your environment really quick and finessing it, kind of. You're moving quick and you're doing flips. I want to be sponsored by Red Bull."
You can check out his Insta @hyson2017
I moved up here 29 years ago for love and I had two children in my forties. I got married and moved here because he was born and raised here. He's been a musician in the Valley for about forty years. I kinda stayed here; we're not together for a long time, but my children are both here. My son works at Mr. Lee's Noodle Shop in the public Market. My daughter works for Barred and Broody; she's a vegan baker. I'm a pastry chef, so I started her out right! But Easton's a wonderful place. It's going through a phenomenal rejuvenation. It was so nasty when I moved here I didn't think I'd ever come downtown and I love it here. A lot of good restaurants, a lot of fabulous independent shops, a lot of good people. I think it's nice to see how it's turning around."
"I work for a major oil and gas company, and I spent the last five years living in the Middle East. I lived in Saudi Arabia working for a petroleum chemical company and it was a great life experience, but...it's really hot! (Laughs)"
"What are some misconceptions that we have about the Middle East?"
"Wow. I don't think you have enough recording time for that... Well, umm, not everyone there is as conservative and radical as the media often perceives. The countries over there, they're filled with very hospitable people. It's their nature. It's their culture. They're very welcoming. I mean, I've been in many villages throughout the countries there and you meet people, they will invite you to their home just to hear *your* story. To meet you and learn about you and even to try to work on their English, right? But, mainly just to feed you! That's a big thing in their culture. I find that the people are quite open-minded and accepting, except for what we do see in the media--that doesn't represent everyone, right? Obviously those people exist, but that's not the majority of them. They want to just live their lives and work their jobs and have their families at the end of the day. It *is* really hot there, though! (Laughs) It was a great experience for me, and I didn't leave because of the culture, I didn't leave because of the environment, I left because I wanted a new job, a new step in *my* career. So I went back to the U.S. I was really glad to have been there. And one of the reasons I went there was to not only see their culture but to get out into the rest of the world more readily. Middle East is in the middle. You can get to a lot of places really quickly, compared to here. In the U.S. everything is far. Except Canada... So, from there, six hours you're anywhere in Europe. Ten hours, you're in Asia. And then you can really see all types of things, so that was one of my motivations for going there. And having the financial means to explore."
"The group is 'Anonymous for the Voiceless,' and this is called a Cube of Truth. We're an animal rights movement. These groups are all over the world and they started about two years ago. What we're doing is, all the screens you see here are showing footage from slaughterhouses in the U.S.. Just in the U.S., but this is where your food comes from, so if you eat meat or dairy, we're just showing you where it's coming from. And all this is legal, which is scary, because if people would see this and it would be a dog or cat, there'd be riots. I mean, they're literally burning cows, they're throwing chicks into grinders and killing them. So we're just here to spread the message, see if anyone has seen footage like this before, answer any questions. Every member in this group is vegan. We all said we couldn't go vegan, but we all did when we saw footage like this. I've been vegan for two years and I was looking for a way to do activism with my photography. I'm not, like, a PETA person to go and do disruptions like laying naked with blood on me, so I really love this type of activism where I can just talk to people. We have a lot of people who are really open minded; they just don't know where their meat comes from. We all grow up thinking we need meat and dairy to survive, and that's just what we're told, so you live by those rules that your parents tell you and don't really look outside the box. And I did. And once I saw this, I just had to do something about it. If I had seen this sooner, I would have been vegan a lot sooner, but this stuff doesn't flash across the news--you have to look for it. And that's what the government wants; they don't want people to see this or they wouldn't make money for the meat and dairy industry. We're not here to badmouth farmers or farms. We understand you need to make a living, but we're here to offer options on different ways to do it."
"The coolest thing that ever happened to me is going on tour with the Bach Choir in Germany. Singing in Germany! It was twenty years ago. We sang and we toured Germany, in the church that Bach was music director of. We sang in his hometown! It was great to sing in those places."
"I'm from Washington State and I just retired. I moved here a week ago to live with my son, who was good enough to take me in. I looooooove Easton. I looooooooooove it. I love the old buildings. My head hurts from always turning it from side to side looking at them. I'm always standing in front of them and Googling the building for its history."
"I live in Williams Township on a small farm."
"What's it like?"
"It's the spring. Things are coming out of the ground, the sheep have to be sheared, and the chickens are laying eggs."
"How did you get into farming?"
"Moved from New York City. I had the land, I never did it, and I decided to try it. That was fourteen years ago."
"I'm a comic book writer visiting Easton from Denver. I've been into comics since I was five when my father bought me a comic because he wanted me to read; he's a journalist. It was The Flash. It was the one where Barry Allen was on trial for murdering Reverse Flash. (Laughs) That's some super geeky shit! It's interesting because The Flash wasn't popular when I was a kid, and now it is. Like, I would go to comic conventions when I was a kid, and I'd be not only the only kid, but the only black person. There were only about two or three hundred people there, and now, there are like 100,000 will go. Denver Comic Con was 120,000 last year."
"So what made you decide to write comic books?"
"I started a couple of years ago. I write one called The Burning Metronome and it's pretty cool. I just decided I wanted to try it."
You can check out his comics at www.theburningmetronome.com.
"I moved here a few years ago with my wife; she's the curator of the Sigal Museum. We were in Philly before, and I followed her up and found a job here. It's a neat little town with a hoppin' downtown area."
"I'm originally from the Pacific Northwest. *laughs* It's where the faeries live--it's enchanted! One of a kind place. I miss home every day, but I'm hanging in there."
These are the stories of the people of Easton, PA