“Oh, pardon me, she said” as once again a failed background check prevented a good-paying job.
A non-violent drug conviction from 15 years ago, with the original case begun 17 years ago in February 1998. Delivery of a controlled substance in February of 1998. I was selling drugs to support my drug habit. The Pasadena Police saved my life the day the set up the buy of Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). 357 units, carying a punishment of 5-99 years in Texas Prison. Through grace, the Honorable Judge Brian Rains in court 176 granted me 10 years probation.
My idea of “getting sober” meant I would not do cocaine, heroin or ecstacy any longer. I mean everyone drinks and or smokes dope, right? Riiight. So three years, two D.W.I.’s and a divorce later I was sentenced to 10 years TDC. I got sober after a while of being locked up and went to my first meeting on my daughter’s birthday in 2001. I did work with a mentor, a closed-mouth friend in prison and turned my life around. I made my first parole. I did NOT drink in Huntsville when I was released with 8 years and a few months “on paper.”
I waited three weeks because I held on to the notion that I could have a few beers and be cool.
The first time I had two drinks it was really six. I was going to wait until March 18, 201 to smoke dope again and whatdoyouknow… I was getting stoned a few months into my parole. I then relapsed on cocaine on night. Another night I got a hold of some X. The last drug (other than alcohol) was crystal meth. I hate meth. I was looking for cocaine, but I am a drug addict and I took what was available.
I left out that I’d lost my car the last day I got high. I woke up in a blackout, borrowed a car and a keyboard for a gig and proceeded to spend the gig money post haste. I woke up in the Height with a home full of Asian people I’d never recalled meeting. They saved my life. I got a ride to the Montrose and proceeded to try and hustle drinks at Mary’s.
Yes, that Mary’s.
The following day I took my last drink around noon on Friday, December 19th, 2003.
I was already enrolled in the University of Houston. I then was accepted into the Moores School of Music in 2004. I completed my bachelor’s degree in 2008. My master’s degree was done a short two years later in 2010. I then began the Doctor of Musical Arts degree.
I became Dr. Henry Alphonsus Darragh in December 2015.
I’ve been turned down for two jobs since then that I was verbally told I was hired for. You see, those jobs are making and teaching music with children. I have never harmed a child. I have a 17 year old daughter who we got custody of in 2010. We being my wife Melissa and I.
Thank God for her, as I’d likely be under a bridge if the Creator had not put her into my life 6 1/2 years ago.
How long until one’s time is served? I began voting promptly upon completing parole in March 2011. I did not celebrate getting off parole with a joint, I’m a square. Heck, I was an approved volunteer for TDCJ for years and went mostly to the Ramsey Unit for meetings. In 2009 I was awarded the Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award, after Rudy V., a man whose legacy continues to bear fruit in the recovery scene.
So what must one do to be pardoned? Is it the Governor of Texas that I need to have on my side? What about President Obama, can he help me?
I did my time, I served my sentence. I want to be a full, 100% citizen.
Please Pardon me.