"You gotta believe in somebody who created all of this magnificent beauty that we have."
"I believe in… how do you call it?… a 'love attraction.' Basically, if you do good, good things gonna come to you. If you do wrong things, you gonna have a rough time, and I'm trying to do it better right now, better for me. For my life."
"What was the best day of your life?"
"When I was younger and went to Dorney Park. That was the first time I had ever been out of where I live at and went to have fun. Where I live it's like hella riots and stuff like that. Not quiet."
"What was it like to have to come back to that?"
"Well, it was all normal…"
"The one thing in life I regret is not being strong enough…if that's the right word…but, intervening more in my older son's life as an adult. I think if I had, some of the things he's gone through wouldn't have happened, but when your children become adults you know you're supposed to step back, and maybe he wasn't ready for me to step back even though he thought he was. So, what I've learned is sometimes you might have to overstep your bounds, you know, and make something better happen and they'll realize it down the line and say, 'Oh yeah, I'm glad you did that.'"
"I live the good life. I go out walking every day, four miles a day. At my age (I'll be 64 in November) my doctor tells me I'm doing good."
"I had a BB gun over in New Jersey and I had just bought it. As soon as I was on my way home, an officer stopped me and asked me what was in my bag. I told him I had a BB gun in there and it was still in the package and he asked me to give it to him. Yeah, I found out that I needed a permit for it and I had to spend 177 days in county jail for it and a two-year probation. They charged me as a felony, possession of a handgun."
-"What's one thing you regret?"
-"What's one thing you're proud of?"
"I have a son in college who just turned twenty."
-"What else should we know about you?"
"I'm half Italian and half Cherokee. I used to live out in California. It's a lot nicer out there: they're more laid back and more friendly. You ask 'em for money or food, here they call it panhandling, out there they call it helping."
"I see you're reading The Death of Ivan Ilych, a book about living an unexamined life. Why?"
"Primarily, I haven't read anything in the Russian literature canon at this point, so this is new to me that way, so I'm just getting into a new area of writing. I'm learning from it that love is a very complicated thing and that it's not necessarily easy to find people that you can be sure love you, but you should just basically focus on how you show and how they show, rather than just using the words. More showing and illustrating, I guess."
"What's it been like being his mom for the past twenty-six years?"
"It's been a privilege; he's a good guy. I like him as a person. I gotta love him, but I like him. He's a nice guy."
Him: "Do what it takes to surround yourself with the people and the environment that make you happy and feel welcome. I relocated to downtown Easton. I'm an Easton native and was away for several years but I just moved here last year with a friend and immediately made a lot of friends downtown. It was a really good experience and I surrounded myself instantly with some really cool people."
Me: "Where had you gone?"
Him: "I went to college in Massachusetts and then I lived in Philadelphia for a time. I've been living here for just about a year now. I haven't really lived here since high school, so it's interesting to be back here as an adult and see the drastic changes that have been made to the downtown area. It's on the up-and-up, and I'm happy to be part of the community."
Me: "What's the biggest change that you've noticed?"
Him: "The general interest in being downtown with the different community events and festivals. It's nice to see the change."
Outside Angelo's Restaurant
N. Fourth Street
Him: "Go downtown and spend money! Easton is a great place, yes it is. I'm here for forty years."
Me: "What's it like here now compared to forty years ago?"
Him: "Oh, much, much, much, much better, thanks to Sal Panto, the mayor. More business, more working people. He put the place on the map."
Me: "What's your favorite place to go in Easton?"
Him: (Laughs): "Right here! Angelo's"
Me: "You're Angelo?"
"My dad went to jail for child support and then he got out, and then he went to jail for aggravated assault against my mom and he got out, and he's been all right. He's changed a lot. Me and him work together at Pizza Hut."
"Was it difficult to forgive him for what he did?"
"Yeah, it took awhile, and I kinda got used to it."
Woman on left: "Have kids close in age so you're dealing with all of the diapers and feedings at one time. I have a three-year-old and a newborn and it's kind of a pain in the ass."
“The most important advice I can give her would be to follow your instincts.”
“How will that help her?”
“Well, in all kinds of places. From eating all kinds of stuff to sometimes Mommy can be wrong and then like when she’s older and people want to tell her to do something she doesn’t want to do.”
"After getting clean, breaking up with the mother of my kid, being stabbed eleven times—you wanna see the scars?—and being locked up, I’m gonna head to Virginia to raise dogs—Bullies—in a kennel. I love dogs; I’ll get ‘em shipped from a breeder, start with two and start my own bloodline."
"You know what I just did? I retired! I'm on my way to school to study to be a medical administrative assistant. I was a supervisor in the Newark school system for food service, but when you do something for long enough, it runs its course."
Me: "What's a choice that you've made that has helped define who you are?"
Him: "I'm divorced! That about sums it up…"
Me: "Tell me about it."
Hm: "Well, I've been divorced for twenty years so far. And I was married for twenty years. God, I'd never do it again. See, I was married when I was fourteen. We went down to Maryland where it was totally legal; in fact, my father-in-law drove us down. It was one of those eighth-grade first-love things. She was blond. I'll never marry another blond."
Me: "What went wrong?"
Him: "I went into the army--this is like Jerry Springer stuff--I went into the army and she married my best friend. She kept on saying, 'I hate that guy, I hate that guy.' Six months later she married him."
Me: "So, what now?"
Him: "Now I've got four girlfriends. Lemme see… One in New Jersey, one in Ohio, one in Germany, and one I-don't-know-where-she-is."
Me: "You don't know where she is?"
Me: "Don't you think that if she's not telling you where she is, she might not count as a girlfriend?"
Him: "No, she does. She's just on the internet and doesn't want to disclose her location."
"I was once wrapped up so deep in the bad ways of the world, but I used my Queen to help me out of the darkness. God gives us a free will card and I had thrown mine in the trash can. But now, I stay focused on His words and watch it all come to pass. See, the world will teach you the bad things and I participated in that. I can't make excuses and say, 'Oh, I grew up without anything' or anything like that; I was brought up in a good family. We didn't have everything the rich people had, but we had Jesus. God ended up taking a lot of the garbage out of my life."
"I'm 80 years old, and I enjoy myself sitting here watching people every day."
"If you could go back in time, what would you want to do?"
"I had nine children. I had to wash clothes by hand, cook all the meals… I wouldn't want to do that again!"
Man on right: "We've been friends for 60 years."
Me: "How does a friendship last for sixty years?"
Man on left: "He never picked on me."
"I work for FEMA. If there's a disaster, I put people's lives back together. God made me a protector because nice people are hard to find."
Him: "We met in a hotel. We've known each other a month."
Me: "You really met in a hotel?"
Him (Laughs): "Yes. We're both from Tunisia. We came to the United States to study IT and business."
Her: "I miss Tunisian food the most. It's very spicy…"
Another Guest Post!
Taken and reported by Emma and Jenessa from the School Age I group (between ages 6 and 9) of the Spring Garden Children's Center in South Side Easton as part of a lesson on interview and photographic technique. The subject today is Frank, owner of Cheeburger Cheeburger on Northampton Street, which, the children found out, has been open for nine months.
"What's it like to work at Cheeburger Cheeburger?"
"Sometimes we get busy. If you're in a bad mood, this is not the place to work."
These are the stories of the people of Easton, PA