Building pyramids

The cookie: Hamentashen with pistachio and poppy seed fillings (check link and scroll down for recipe)

The speaker: Wally, owner, mechanic, and mustachioed master  of AutoPro in Capitol Hill

The story: I really admire people who teach. When I was a kid, I’d see people working on a motorcycle and I’d get curious about what they were doing. Now, sometimes kids will come up and ask me, “Hey, what are you riding?” and I’ll ask them, “How old are you? Where are your parents? You know, if they say it’s okay, I’ll teach you how to ride this thing.” That’s the kind of thing I do. I know it’s not as good as teaching or something—hell, teachers could be out there in the world just screwing around, but instead they’re spending every day with kids—but that’s how I try to give back. Just trying to make kids feel liked and wanted in life, because a lot of them don’t get any love. It’s so important to be loved, whether it’s by your family or your friends. And it’s hard to find true friends. Usually they always want something from you.

On April 17th it’ll be four years since I’ve been clean and sober. I used to make meth and speed and I’ve done a bit of prison time for a little bit of kind of a lot. I kept building my pyramid and then I’d get in trouble and have everything taken away. At some point I was like, “I am done with this lifestyle!” and here I am. My life is good now. I run this shop. I own my Harley, my CRV, my crotch rocket, my motorcross pro circuit racer, my skidoos. I have a daughter and a grandson and I’m only 41: pretty young to be a grandpa. Now I’m trying to buy a house, which is tricky because all the banks see is “prior drug conviction” and they think my money is coming from that and not my business. But it’ll all work out in the end. You only get told “no” so many times before somebody says “yes,” so how can I go wrong?

(Where’s the cookie, you may ask? Wally turned it down because, bless his ex-addict heart, he doesn’t eat refined sugar nor butter anymore. He’s a stronger man than I! Or… well, just a better man in general. Seeing as how I’m a chick.)

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