Category: life on life’s terms

“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.


I am grateful to those who have shown me the way and who have reached out to me when I was in struggle.

I am grateful that (to quote my friend Dan) I get to be the guy I always wanted to be.

God grant me the SERENITY
to ACCEPT the things I cannot change
and COURAGE to change the things I can and the WISDOM to know the difference.


My fourteen year old daughter, Hailey, is moving into my parents house. She wants to stay in Pasadena where here friends/peers are and I support that decision. She is going into high school and made the JV cheer leading squad and is also in the marching band. She has alot going for her.

So why the blog? Well, since way less people read this than my facebook page, I can get out some of the feelings, the emotions surrounding this move. When I tell people, friends that I love and care about their opinion, I find myself shaming out and guessing that they think I am a bad dad because she isn’t living with me and my wife, Melissa. Well, truth is, it doesn’t make sense to a) uproot to Pasadena, b) uproot Hailey and take her from her friends so she can go to Lamar and know noone!, and c) commuting to Pasadena 2X a day 5 days a week.

So, I am doing my work around that and getting used to the idea of my daughter living with my parents.
I prayed about it and really feel as if God’s will was for this move to happen. Why then should I fear?

Tonight I load up my gear and realize I’ve loaded out from the Montrose for the last time… ok, from the house on Marshall. We are in Braeswood area and although I know we are decidedly inside of loop six one O, I’m not so close to many of my most favorite places.

Yet, rent will be 25% less and I’ll have a better office/studio space. Significantly better.

So I’m going to stop pining and pack my shift and drop it of in my our new house! I will also be prepared should we ever lose power in the future what loading in to the crib will be like in the dark.

Note to self: call Green Mountain