(ideastream) - Today, ideastream concludes its series – “Cleveland Tough: Tales of Survival and Perseverance.” This week, we hear from 48-year-old Carl Cook, a man whose father was a federal judge, and mother was a doctor. But early on, Cook got caught up in gangs, drug addiction, and served time in jail….before turning to a life of helping the poor and homeless.Complete article here.
My name is Carl Cook, I got involved with gangs.
We were called the Alpha Aces, and we used to bang with a gang called the Survivors off St. Clair.
That’s how I kinda got hooked on crack cocaine, uh, heroin. Y’know, we started to sell it, then I started to use it.
On jail time as both a retreat and a performance
I was in the city county jail quite often. The key to survival in prison life is -- and I’ll say it kinda simply -- is wear a mask. We have to be somebody we may not be. We need to have that tough image, and that’s the survival instincts. Got (into) a couple fights, but that’s just territorial stuff...