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Continued: 'I can tell there's something different about you'

  • Article by: KAY FATE , Rochester Post-Bulletin
  • Last update: December 30, 2013 - 11:24 PM

Drugs were “my baby,” he said. “I wrote a goodbye letter to drugs, told them they’d destroyed my life, and it was time for us to part ways.”

If urges should hit, Gayles said, “I play out the whole story in my head. Here comes the jail, here comes the prison.”

He’ll be on probation until May 9, 2014.

“That’s the real test,” Gayles admitted, “if I can stay grounded when I’m off, without somebody checking up on me.”

Between now and then, he’ll continue to work on changing the things that got him in trouble so many years ago, feelings of anger and betrayal that Gayles said were compounded by a rough childhood and growing up without a father.

“I knew it would take prison to stop” the criminal behavior, he said.

He didn’t seek help before, because “I didn’t want anybody to know about me. I couldn’t swallow my pride; I thought I could handle it, but I couldn’t.”

He’s surrounded by a support system now that includes family — four generations strong.

“I am so proud of him,” said his mother, Etta James Gayles. “I tell him he’s inspired me to stop drinking. I see a big difference.”

  • related content

  • In August, Tim Gayles of Rochester went over his schedule with his Olmsted County parole officer Robyn Wood. Originally from Chicago, Gayles wants his children to grow up in a better environment than he did. “Kids don’t do as we say. They do as they see us do,” he said.

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