I was born and raised in New York City to a single mom and I have two younger sisters. I never knew my father but I heard a lot of stories from my mother about his heroin use and all of the things he put my mother through. I could be the man of the house when my mom didn’t have a boyfriend so my focus as a child was getting rid of any man that came around, so I could have more of my mother’s attention. I started hanging around the firehouse on 2nd street, around the corner from my house on Avenue B. The firemen practically adopted me by letting me hang around as long as I wanted and feeding me. This was around 1971 when I was eight years old. If there was a fire call and it was close enough to the firehouse I would run there, and sometimes the firemen would give me a ride back to the firehouse on the truck, either in the cab or on the back. I idolized the firemen and wanted to be a firefighter on day, but my intentions were misguided. I started pulling false alarms and setting fire to the bags of garbage piled up outside my school, P.s. 188 on Houston street to get attention. I would be the first to pull the fire alarm at the corner box and direct firemen to the trash fires to “help” them. The lower east side was pretty dilapidated in the early 70’s, and setting fires to abandoned cars was a sport. In fourth grade I was arrested and incarcerated for 18 months for _______