Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

The Spokane Tapes

 June 16, 2023 at 12:01 PM PDT

S1: Now playing on the Parker Edison Project.

S2: Seeing how you all three turned out. You're still the intellectual. You're still like the big brother. You know , to a lot of people , Rob , though , he's not the ladies man. He's down the family man.

S1: That's up next on the Parker Edison Project.

S3: Hello , I'm Jennifer Wong. You are listening to the Parker Edison Project on Kpbs. You're the greatest , Jennifer.

S1: Honestly , you are. I'll put it on the very next episode.

S4: You are now tuned to the Parker Edison Project Project.

S1: Good morning and welcome to the Park Edison Project. Season three is winding down , and I said it before , we're getting into the meat of things. Records and LPs are a gorgeous way to look at life. An artist's album can double his documentation of that time period. We hear their thoughts. The mood gives a picture. It's a chunk of someone's experiences. Because of this idea , I can't just jump in in the middle of a song or an album. It won't make sense to me. It throws me off if I don't hear from the beginning. Some of you are meeting me near the middle of my album. I want you to hear the whole thing. I want you to know me. That's a big part of this podcast. So for this episode , I want to bring you in to an important time in my life. You might not like everything you hear. That's okay. You don't have to. In fact , if you get nothing else from what you hear today , let it be this. I am not a good person. And with that said , what you're about to hear is a true story.



S5: So when was 16 years old , went up there with him for a little while. The idea really came to move back out there. I was homeless. My mom kicked me out of the house and she was like , you know , what are you going to do with your life ? And I knew that if I could hustle in San Diego , I could definitely hustle in Spokane. I think I sold it to you , too , because we're going to hustle. We're going to do this music. We're going to sell some little weed. We have a good life up there , right ? And so that's where the idea came from.


S5: And , you know , we had planned of all three going. For some reason you backed out of the very beginning and said You're going to come later. Me and I got up there and tried it out for a little bit and tell her you got it there.



S1: Her stories. Okay.

S5: Okay. Okay. Okay. So when we first got there , we stayed with this real old OG from Compton who , like , you know , just like in the story , just lay back , chill by the time you can. We were staying with a friend of ours that I grew up with in high school , went to high school with for a couple of years named Shawna Weaver. Okay. So was a different cat. Like in high school. We didn't really take it like that. She knew more of my my best friend Todd a little bit. She knew some of the girls yesterday. It was friends with them , but we weren't like super tight until I came back. And she was kind of she was kind of into the hip hop culture at that time. Right. And , you know , we thought we were all everything hip hop. So like , you know , it was all staying at her. She had a one bedroom spot and we all stayed up in that spot. Yeah. Okay.

S1: Okay. Rob and I know each other from California , but the person that drives him to pick me up from the Greyhound bus station is Shawna Weaver. That means she's officially the first person I ever met in Spokane , Washington , which is crazy to me because maybe she knew it at the time , but I didn't realize the impact she was making because it's been 20 years and we're still close.

S2: Spokane Valley.



S1: Tell me about Spokane.

S2: Beautiful. Beautiful , no doubt. However , there's a lot of ignorance around here still. It's not as much racism. The orientation compound closed. That was out in North Haven. You don't have to feel uncomfortable going into Idaho anymore. I mean , but the ignorance came back when a certain person was in office. We won't mention any names. It's like a certain mentality came back. The flags flying around again , that kind of went away for a while. Confederate flag. Flies.

S1: Flies. It's always been that because I remember being out there , it was a 4th of July and they had a basically a part of the 4th of July parade was KKK members. And it was almost like the people were booing , but there was a civility between them , like a fight didn't break. Both statements were being made. That was one of the most unique moments I've seen in life. Wait , wait , wait. Let me pull you back.

S2: We met at my apartment. Spokane Valley , Washington. You stayed with me because I was dating one of your friends. Freaking Abra back in the day. And I was like y'all's momma. Even though all of you are older than me. Trudeau You guys couldn't take care of yourselves to save your life. And we lived off of them 711 nachos and hot dogs when I wasn't cooking. And you stayed on the phone with Cassie ? Yes. Yes.

S1: Yes. For you , millennials , there was a time when phones were attached to the wall. That'll be in a whole nother episode. What was each of us like ? The three of us were staying at your place. It was Rob , Abra and me briefly.

S2: You always had insight to everything. A different perspective. With Rob. He was just like a ladies man , always some other chick every different day of the week. Nope. Abra He was just crazy. But he was a writer at the same time. He was a writer. He was a poet , but he was nuts. Probably still nuts to this day. But that'd be like the three of you , the intellectual , the ladies man and the insane poet. Seeing how you all three turned out , you're still the intellectual. You're still like the big brother. You know a lot of people , Rob , though. He's not the ladies man. He's down the family man. And then Abra , who knows what happened to him ? He's out there crazy , still being crazy. I hope he's still a poet , though , you know ? I hope he's still writing.

S1: Shawn is mentioned in a good friend of ours , but that's not his real name. I'm trying to run a unique balance between giving people their due privacy , but also telling what happened as I experienced it. That's something I hope you get from this as well. Things don't necessarily sit black and white. The duality I spoke about in the beginning of the episode is constantly at play. When you're hustling , you're sitting with nothing trying to magic trick it into something.

S5: You differ in memories because you're the one that put me up on game. So we both were working at the mall. You say I'm good. He was that great steak and potato and there was a dude. I forget his name exactly , but he was the assistant manager of the great steak and potato. He would close the restaurant five nights a week and he just wouldn't ring people up for four hours straight. He take that money and go buy his up every night , Right ? Every night. And then we went party every night. But you are the one that put me up on game. You call me up on day. And he was like , Yo , you know , he's getting all this , like , for real. And he's like , No , come this party. And you took me to a party and you're like , Man , So it'd be every night you say , steal money from the restaurant and buy some weed. He wasn't selling it. He's just going to blow these two houses tonight. This is what we doing. And so.

S1: We did. We went to we went to a party and that was very water , very wild.

S5: I'm I , you know. Yeah , right. But he's Uncle Berry. Technically , he was a friend of ours. His mother's boyfriend. You have to be close to 50 at the time. He'd have his parties in his apartment with a bunch of teenaged guys and girls. We all go over there , smoke up. Nothing weird happened , like , with him or anything. It's just weird. This is the company he chose to keep. We kept them high because mushrooms get some mushrooms. It's sweet. Sweet. It's a masters math. He knew everything. He drank everything he'd pass out. But he buys food. He was like , Yo , Berry , we should really just buy this acid that's coming in. And me and my homeboy got acid for the party , right ? And so we called him Uncle Barry because he hook you up. Right ? Uncle Barry's going to take care of you. All right.

S1: The hustle for that , though , was We always have. Like a place to crash. Whenever that party would go , it would go into like two , three in the morning and we could just crash wherever. Yeah , you.

S5: Party it up , you'd be the life of the party. And then when you pass out , it's okay. You got a spot , right ? You got a spot.

S1: It was that for like places to sleep and entertainment at night. And then in the mall I worked at Hot Topic. Then I worked at Sam Goody. But we have the homeboy who worked at the great steak and potatoes. I'll get food for there for free because I was broke. And then I get Cinnabon. I remember we would have like left over.

S5: You know , Kayla and Taryn. Yeah , I forgot.

S1: That's where Kayla's from.

S5: That's exactly where she's from. That was such an accident. Happy accident. We got a beautiful daughter out of that. But , yeah , the mall.

S1: Was a whole life , man. That was a whole life.

S6: I am. Grew up in Spokane , Washington.


S6: So was it junior and senior year ? Had to have been. Okay. Okay.

S1: Tell me about Jessica.

S6: Jessica is an amazing soul. Was my best friend. We met when I was in fourth grade. We played summer softball together. Jessica and her sister Karina and myself and a handful of other people that you would probably remember from back then. I lived out in the country for part of that time , and so I went to a different school than her for middle school and elementary. And then I transferred in my sophomore year. Damn , I miss her. I can't believe it's almost been four years. June 20th. Wow.

S1: For the millennials. Who Sam Goody.

S6: The best music store ever that has CDs and maybe even cassette tapes back then.

S2: Right , right. Right.

S6: Right. I have a lot of memories of Sam Goody. Oh , my gosh. With Jessica working in there , that's where you guys met , right ? That is.

S1: She sold me a tape , and then she told me that they were hiring and gave me an application. And so it happened.

S6: You know , Sam Goody helped shape some of my favorite music of my life , you know , going through the different aisles and just checking out different stuff that I didn't know anything about. I got into Alternative back then , like a lot of different music.


S6: I'm a real estate salesperson as of now. I used to do project management and now I sell houses and I love it.

S1: Oh , let's , uh. Let's go to a break. Be We'll be right back.

S4: Let's go to a break. Stay tuned for more of the pep EP.

S7: Hello , Good listeners. My name is Adam Greenfield and I'm the host and creator of the written Sine podcast. In it , I have in-depth and admittedly sometimes shallow conversations about writing with writers and artists of all kinds. We talk path process and what the artist life is like , for better or worse. So subscribe and listen now on Apple Podcasts , Spotify or wherever you consume podcasts.

S8: Hello , my name is Trevor and I am the president of Powder Clothing Company and we are known for our super soft , highest grade fleece cotton hoodies , organic materials and no chemicals are used. They're super comfortable and we feel that our hoodie is one of the best out there. We can be found on social media , on Instagram , at Powder Underscore LA as well as

S1: And now back to the peep. Peep , peep. So we're hearing about my first time hustling out of state. Something happened , and I skipped town. After a while , I come back , things are a little different. Time passes. I've been in California for a month or two , and then I come back and you're fully upgraded. Like when we first landed out there , we was couchsurfing.

S5: Sleeping with girls that have a place to stay.

S1: Bruh and come back. And now you're on a third story in the Doe houses next to the to the Spokane Community College. Yeah.

S5: Yeah. Yeah. I mean , I'm like a drug kingpin right now. I don't want to be , you know , brown or nothing , but , you know , I graduated from , you know , selling , you know , dimes and half gram bags. We started , you know , we had a little operation going , had a clientele that's some guy , some Gonzaga students that was with me. And , you know , it's kind of kind of romanticized the business a little bit. Right. Like the people are selling to at the time didn't think of as Jensens. And now we can look back and see now. I mean. Yeah , but most of the people that I was selling to were either in my age range , some college kids , you know , that type of thing , right. It wasn't the life I was supposed to be doing. Right. But , you know , if I'm going to we're going we're going to do it right. Right. And that's where we're at.


S5: There's a swimming pool in the middle. We're selling most and probably 7 or 8 apartments in there , somebody buying from us. But one of the apartments was a married couple. The wife was a fiend , right. And so anytime she says she want to hook up , she want dope , but they don't have a lot of money. And so what she offered us was that her husband worked at the grocery store late at night. We could go in there , fill up carts , groceries , and he wants charges for it at all. $50 worth of dope. You go in the grocery store , 2 or 3 carts filled up with whatever you want , walk straight through the aisle. He scanned one thing and we out with groceries. Right. And so it would happen anytime they want a dope like he get paid who the off week we know that we going to go grocery shopping because he ain't got no more money he was.

S1: Like Robin Hood because he's taking you taking orders for people like cats.

S5: We said the neighborhood. Yeah. Like legit taking orders for people like , Yo , we're about to do this grocery rule. You need some groceries. How old were you ? So when it first started , I was 18. So by the time we're doing that , I was between 19 and 20.

S1: When he's talking about getting groceries , we really were pulling out three and four shopping carts and handing out bags in our complex and we got it from a bad way , no denying that. At the same time , if you ever really been down bad , like didn't have Top Ramen to boil that week and somebody came through with a couple bags of meat and veggies , man , that does something for you. It. It makes you feel like you can push through. Eventually we move out of.

S5: We got way hot , so got super hot. Yeah , true.

S1: So we get out of there. We're back in your shameless blocks out near the valley. One day we're riding around with this young lady. She's fond of you , You know what I mean ? Yeah. It's me , you , her and her friend. We go back to their house. Yeah , right. To Leslie's house. And we're hanging out. It's a couple of us. A couple. A couple other guys come through right there drinking tequila. Rose. I remember that. I never had it before. That's how I remember that night. That night goes out , like two in the morning. Three in the morning like it usually is just hammered. I get the next day , whatever , whatever.

S5: You was ready to go ? Yeah.

S1: Yeah.

S5: Just trying to be out. It was Spokane was my , uh. It was not what it was cracked up to be , Right ? And he was ready to be out , and it was time. So time to go home , man.

S1: And that's what happened. He bought me a Greyhound ticket. I hopped on , and I can still remember what I saw looking out the window that day. It reminded me of , like , war movies where the guy just sits , sees a landscape passing by. And I felt that way , like completely alone. Hustling makes its own type of PTSD. And if you get in long enough , you don't come out the same. I went back to the Northwest a couple times after that , but in hindsight , I'm sure that those first trips are the ones that changed me the most. The stuff I couldn't even talk about in this episode. But all of it combined pivoted me towards wanting to help communities. After that , I did so much dirt. I felt bad. After a few years trying to repair that damage began to feel normal. Now people come up to me all the time and say how much they like the show and how it's a positive impact for them. And I thank them because I appreciate it. But I don't know if I ever fully feel proud of it because it's still something that comes from something bad , still kind of feels like I'm bringing groceries to the Doe houses , you know , like Ill gotten Gains is doing.

S5: He's doing extra out there. And I knew like , I'm going to be completely transparent with you. Think I told you this before I grew up in Southeast , right ? But my mom raised the blues out of the hood and became middle class. I didn't have to choose the life I chose , so I was out there trying to be something that my mom for years for me not to be , you know ? Do you know what I'm saying ? I knew I was doing wrong when I was out there doing wrong. It didn't pop off like it should've lost a great friend out of it , you know ? AB is. I known him since I was five years old. And , you know , it was just it didn't it didn't crack up like it was supposed to be.


S5: I am a full time dad , you know , fully invested in the children , fully invested into getting some money and , you know , taking care of the family. It's a doing. Doing more of what should have been up my alley back then. Right.

S1: And so if you get nothing else from what you hear today , let it be this. I was not a good person. With that said , I'm better today and working towards being even better than that tomorrow. So when you hear me say , I appreciate you listening to the show , kind of know the real reason why Now , this episode is dedicated to fan Gilbert , Dre , Chris , Mitch and Jessica Medlin. We're going to close the show with some music from Bertie Bardo and the fantastic Redwoods music Collective. This is I Get Gone.

UU: He's a ghost. I love the phone. Instead of the night. I'm the light of the moon. And a roll out is passed. Ever met a guy ? Blue. I get. Five. I go. And it is. Where the blackness is bright. As Lieutenant Girardi. In just. Oh. The things he lost in the dark. Like a raven again. Can be. I did not. By the guidelines of plain. By the heat of the sun. By the fevers. We. But I'm. As I stretch out to the heart. To the seller or something. To the edge of this dark. It. By. We've gone.

S1: Thanks for stopping in. The Parker Edison Project is produced and hosted by yours truly , Parker Edison. And of course , the good people at platform collection. Be sure to subscribe and catch the next episode on Apple , Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. If you have any comments or questions , visit the Park or Edison Project or hit us on Instagram at the project. Chris Reyes is head of audio production. Lisa Jane Morissette is Operations manager and John Decker is Associate General Manager for Content. This programming is made possible in part by the Kpbs Explorer Content Fund. I love saying that because it reminds me of Sesame Street. Y'all stay safe out there.

Artwork by Anne McColl<br/>
Artwork by Anne McColl
A revealing retelling of a street hustlers coming of age amidst the quiet chaos of the 90s northwest.

A revealing tale of two California hustlers coming of age in the Pacific Northwest.

Episode artwork Anne McColl

Show credits: Parker Edison (Host), Chris Reyes (Head Editor), Bob Surratt (advisor), Adrian Villalobos (Media Production Specialist), Lisa Jane Morrisette (Director of Audio Programming and Operations) and John Decker (Senior Director of Content Development)