Ronald is pretty awesome. Against many odds he has become a small business owner, a proud father and a sound engineer. Luckily he had a great family behind him to support him after prison. When he got out he went back to school and earned his GED. Something he hadn't done before because he'd been kicked out. It wasn't easy because around the same time he was going through a divorce and taking care of his daughters, now 10, 9 and 4. "Just to rise above it...it's an amazing feeling".
After completing his GED, he got a job as a cook prep, then a chauffeur then a forklift driver. He saved up some money and purchased a piece of property in Wellston, where he grew up. The house was a shell, but he worked out a plan with a friend's dad to put a roof on and he would pay him in installments. This is his first time flipping a house and he admits he's made a lot of mistakes, but he's already purchased another property in Wellston and three lots in Hazelwood. To be a part of the revitalization of the area is what drives him to do this. (a little more on Wellston here; http://www.thewellstonloop.com/)
Besides returning houses to their former glory, Ronald writes his own poetry. He thinks he first began when he was around 10 and never stopped. It's something he even incorporates into his music. Yes, he does music, too. He began watching videos on youtube several years ago on how to use Apple's Garage Band and learned from that how to record his own music. He transferred what he learned there to pro tools. Now he records himself and other local R & B and Hip Hop artists in his studio. This studio, 'Bermuda Music World', was named by his aunt because when Ronald was recording she said he was in the Bermuda Triangle. The album he's working on, entitled "My Odyssey", will be coming out this summer. Expect it to be a blend of Hip Hop and spoken word poetry.
Ronald knows that music takes patience and at any time the right song could help things take off. So his main focus is his real estate. The thrill of being able to do these things is great for him, especially now that he isn't surrounded by the negative individuals that he surrounded himself with before prison.
As we wrapped up our teas and he his Vegetarian Panini, he told me of his experience with prison and going back to school, "I learned a lot from it. I think I learned more."
Insights: I think there is nothing to say.