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Evansville, Indiana
October 30, 1987     The Message
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October 30, 1987

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October 30, 1987 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 3 Telling the truth Convicted drug dealer tells students about his life wit drugs By MARY ANN HUGHES Message Staff Writer Raymond Hester told the truth last week -- and his mother would have been proud. The former drug dealer talked to seventh and eighth grade students at Holy Redeemer School, Evansville. He spent an afternoon telling them about the darkness and despair that filled his life as he slipped from the casual use of marijuana to the constant, ad- dictive use of cocaine, qualudes and heroin, and finally became a dealer, selling drugs to students just like them. Hester, who is on his way to prison to serve a seven-year- term, told the students how his life disintegrated as he searched for the perfect party, for the perfect high. "I just wanted to have fun." Instead, he drifted from job to job and from place to place. He spent a year eluding arrest by the Evansville police and at one point in his life, he was so destitute, he liv- ed in the back of a U-Haul trailer. tr And it all began, he told the students, with a "bad attitude." "Fun was my primary objective." Hester began drinking when he was a sophomore in high school. "Just beer and a little whiskey, just on the weekends." He didn't start using mari- juana seriously until after high n. school. "My friends said, 'There's nothing wrong with pot.' That's what they used to think. So, I smoked a joint here and there." BUT THAT'S WHEN the ly- ing started, he told the students. "I had to sneak it and I lied to my parents. I had to chew a lot of chewing gum to cover it up." Hester told them that his life was turned upside down when his mother died. With tears in "'Drags and alcohol willdestroy you people. They will do what I used to do to my family -- they will spit in your face." his eyes, he said he questioned, "How could God take a good woman like her?" After her death, nothing mat- tered. "I started partying, smoking pot. I didn't care, and I didn't care about God. "I cursed God." He began drinking heavily and smoking marijuana on a regular basis. He was fired from his job. "People told me, 'You better start thinking about your life,' but I said, 'Nah, they don't know anything.' "Who cares." His drug habit slowly began growing, yet he says, "I didn't know it." He reminded the students, "There's an old phrase that says, 'Marijuana leads to hard drugs.' Let me tell you, people, marijuana does lead to hard drugs." He told the students he joined the U.S. Air Force and im- mediately started experimen- ting with hard drugs such as acid and downers, "which became my favorite drug. They took all my problems away and I couldn't feel anything. Then I graduated to speed and heroin. I invested all my money in drugs, because they made me feel good." There was a tiny voice in his head that kept reminding him of his family and his family values, but a louder voice kept shouting, "Who cares?" AS HIS DRUG USE increas- ed, he began to believe that he could do "anything I wanted to do, because drugs were not the problem." He told the students how he started using-heroin while working at an Air Force airport. i ii i FAMILY ! -" PHARMACY i Medical Arts Pharmacy 3700 Bellemeade Avenue Phone 477-1532 Donald Gutzweiler City-Wide Delivery Duncan's Riverside Pharmacy Dm-SddCmet Magmdnu - "We Deliver" Corner Riverside and Governor Evanlivllle 422-9981 Newburgh Pharmacy BILL REINE, Pharmacist Complete Prescription Service and Health Supplies Phone 853-6166 ii i PAUL'S Pharmacy Paul Mayer, Owner 2170 W: Franklin St. 425-7141 Plaza Pharmacy Newburgh Plaza Shopping Center Fast Prescription Sendce Ken and Rebecca Hacker 853-7141 Oak Hill Pharmacy Prescription Specialists Hwy. 6 and N. Weinbach Ave. LARRY SCHULTHEIS, Prop. 425-44 ,, Stratman's Pharmacy City-Wide Delivery 413 Locu Street ,  ,: . L John end Judy Stratman 425-5293 i "We would direct the pilots in -- with these $17 million airplanes. We didn't care what they did. We were just having fun -- and we didn't care about the pilots up there." When the seriousness of his drug problem became known, he was forced to leave the ser- vice, but still his attitude re- mained, "Who cares." He returned to Evansville with a bag of "good pot" in his car. He lost four or five jobs that first summer home. "All that held my interest was getting high." He began attending a trade school, but soon was smoking joints "every morning before I went to school. I'd smoke at lunch and fall asleep during the classes. I didn't know what the teachers were talking about." One morning, on his way to buy drugs, he had a car wreck. Before his case came to trial, he skipped town and went to Las Vegas, a place "where people didn't care." "I got heavy into drugs. I was using needles and crossing drugs --using uppers and downers. I was drinking 190 proof alcohol and mixing downers with it. We just mixed it all up. We did it all. 1 really felt I didn't have a future anymore. "I told God, 'I don't need you anymore. Who cares.'" In Los Vegas, he was so broke, he slept in the back of a U-Haul. HE FINALLY BECAME so tired of his life, he stole $300 and took a bus back to Evansville. When he arrived home, confused and broke, he said, "I turned to God and God helped me. "I flushed the bag of mari- juana and called the police. I spent 10 days in jail and then I went to church. I got down on my knees and asked God to help me -- and He did." "It was a glorious six months," he said, but soon he started going to bars again and soon he was using drugs -- "just on the weekends. Soon, my drug habit increased to three ounces of marijuana a week." Then, he began using cocaine and qualudes. "The drugs cost me a lot of money and that's when I became a bouncer at a strip joint." He also became an "honorary member" of a biker group and "fought a lot of fights." "I gave up my family. My family had helped me -- and I spit in their face." He began working for a drug pusher who supplied him with cocaine, a drug that made him feel "so good. I couldn't do wrong -- I felt on top of the world." To pay for his new cocaine habit, he began selling cocaine to students. "I got to the point that I didn't care. The drugs had taken me down so far, that I couldn't say no to them." He told the students that "when somebody says you can quit drugs, that's baloney. Don't let somebody tell you that you can do a little bit." In May of 1987, he was busted for drug dealing and in December he begins serving a seven-year prison term. Since his arrest and convic- tion, Hester says he has return- ed to his "roots." He also has the newly-found conviction that "drugs won't make you happy." He urged the students to "learn to face your problems head on. Don't rely on anything superficial. "Drugs and alcohol will destroy you people. They will do what I used to do to my fami- ly -- they will spit in your face." When Hester finished speak- ing, the students were silent. Then he asked if there were any questions. There were several. He had come full circle. The man who had lied to his parents about his drug use had finally told the truth -- about drugs and how they destroyed his life. His mother would have been so proud. Elderhostel Continued from page 1 Indiana countryside. They par- ticipated in a talent show one evening, and on the last night, held a graduation dinner and dance. During the graduation festivities, the Elderhostellers acted as though they had known each other for years -- even though they had only met just a few days earlier. In one corner, Rev. Luhn was entertaining a few of the sisters with his jokes. Across the room, Rose Marie Bell of Taylorville, Ill., played a tambourine with the Convent Combo -- a band comprised of Benedictine sisters. On the dance floor, Pat and Dom Kwaterski of Green Bay, Wisc., were among the Ullll i i _. FAMOUS BRANDS FOR LESS. FURNITURE - CARPET - APPLIANCES HOME OUTFITTERS --,1,,-1 "-JASPER - LOOGOOTEE - wAsHINGTON WE DELIVER ALL OVER SOUTHERN INDIANA i ii ii Here we come! ! ! 3 or 4 nights for as low as S 189perperson, Unbelievable, but true. A complete vacation wlth departure from St. Louis, leaving on a Sunday or a Thursday, and including ah-fare and hotel. Call AP.A Travel Agency for ell the details. Certain rest|Ictions apply, But hurryl Oiler for ll,Tdtecl time. AAA Travel Agency Evmv.,'ve Ph 425-2288 Jasper Ph 634-1213 I I I IIII couples cutting a rug during a polka tune. Magdalen Hildenbrand of Evansville raised her voice to talk over the music and laughter during the dance. A recipient of an Elderhostel scholarship, she especially en- joyed the chance to learn about computers. "At least now I'll be able to read a computer manual," she laughed. "It's pretty nice to be able to keep learning," she continued. "When I go back to Evansville, I'm going to try to get as many people interested as possible. I love the learning experience and to meet all these new friends." For information about Elderhostel programs across the United States and abroad, write Elderhostel, 80 Bovlston St., Suite 400, Boston, MA 02116. iii i VINCENNES, ii iii ii i American National Bank Bicknell - Sandborn Vincennes Orlve4n Facltltlels - Member F.D.t.C. A Full Service Bank ii SCHNELL VILLE i i FOR COMPLETE ELECTRICAL SERVICE H.G. FISCHER RT. i ST. ANTHONY i