Patty discussed on In The Thick

In The Thick


Patty hi so your memoir truth be told it's heartbreaking it is a story about your loss of your son and then you redemption robbie your son was murdered by gun violence for years ago in broad daylight in his truck at an intersection in by california he was twenty three old and patty you founded a foundation named after your son it's the robby publicity foundation and it promotes gun buybacks converting unwanted guns into art and also for formerly incarcerated people restorative justice programs so i you said in your book that you got to know your son even after he passed away you were coming to know him and you started reading all of his books on his bookshelf which is so difficult but just give us a sense patty before we talk about your work now and what you're doing now regards to gun violence just give us a sense of you know this amazing young man robbie who was he sure you know if he just saw him he had a very large frame he was a big guy and so he he kind of looked intimidating but he had such a gentle spiritual soul and at the time he died he was i think i discovered that he was very much on a spiritual journey so while he did look like a man's man and he was a man's man he enjoyed surfing and cycling and all of these kinds of extreme sports there was another side to him that i discovered later after his death which was that he was practicing buddhism and he was practicing meditation and he was going regularly to a yoga class where he's this big guy with all these very thin framed young women and they all remember him fondly and and the hugs that he gave and you know he was just the epitome of not to judge a book by its cover because if you were just to see him off the streets you would never imagine that this is a guy who was doing downward dog you know with all these other yogis and he just got his passport before he was killed because at the time i was traveling all over the world because of my job and he wanted to come with me to india to learn yoga and meditation from different ostrov throughout the country so that's the kind of guy he was at the time he was just about to begin a career he was learning how to well he was working in a bio tech company and when the the week that he was killed he laid out a suit on his bed because he was getting ready for his interview they were going to hire him fulltime and unfortunately that was the suit that he was buried in oh gosh patty both media and i have sons and listening to this is just it's just so hard i can only i mean as a parent i'm like i'm just the fact that you can talk about it i just couldn't even begin to to fathom how how you can tell that story but in your book as well one of the things that struck me was by day home california which people might not even know where you described like this community out out in california that was having issues with the rise of crime and a big part of the context was economics and write exams a lack of employment economic opportunities that spy thomas is in crime and you talk about it in your men more you how did economic inequality play into the crime and gun violence not only by yahoo but in the country in general by yoho california in the mid nineties right like right paint a picture of that as well you know it gained national notoriety for all the wrong reasons it was the first city fit size to declare bankruptcy and i had a unique perspective to that because in nineteen ninetythree when i graduated from college at uc davis i returned to the city where i was raised my first job out of out of college was as a copy editor at the local newspaper so i was there at the height of the crime and it was after the closure of the naval base mare island naval base and it was coming toward the end of the cold war with the soviet union at the time and there was a ripple effect that a lot of people didn't understand and when i was working at the newspaper i just remember there was such a spike all the headlines were about homicide number ten homicide number eleven you know.

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