Drew, a very talented man, an Artist, a Viking, and a Carpenter, Mo my old friend, who had got into another jam, and myself who was there, only because Mo had asked me to take a job with him, were all working together. I had met the guy who owned the shop, a few months before, having him build cases for framed photographs that would travel throughout the 67 Counties of Pennsylvania. I was working for the Pennsylvania Speaker when I met the owner, I hadn’t been in a wood shop for a couple years. It was nice being around all those tools, the buzzing of the motors, things getting built. My friend Craig was at another one of those times, when it was good if people saw him working. The powers that be, were looking him over pretty hard, and he needed them seeing him busy. The owner of the shop and I, got along good when we had met, he had taken time to show me some of his operation. I gave him a call, asking if he could put a couple hands on, and caught him at a good time. The money wasn’t great, it was about 60 miles round trip, but this was about more than money. The only way Mo was working was if I was too, here we found a job, the business was Art. In the shop, we made crates, a plywood box, with batons, on skids, with a lid that bolted down. Inside they were foamed, precious objects would ship in these crates, each crate was custom made for the object. Work outside the shop was with collections, packing them, moving them, storing them. We had airport runs, picking up paintings on loan, and delivering to Museums. I knew a little of this world, Mo still thought art was something his sisters did. The drive home at night was brutal, in the morning we’d leave early, stop at Sip and steak, one of those places in Philly where the regulars are suspicious of anyone new. The owner, Rocky, was an old guy, we never got his story, we were sure it was sorted. One evening we did see him on the news, there was a Cigar Shop opening up on the main drag, running through Manyunk. The man who was opening it, had a lot of press at the time, bad press. There was a lot of buzz and worry about what it was fronting, so Rocky got out in front of the cameras, just to voice his support for the man, extending a personal welcome to the group coming in from South Philly. We kept it pretty quiet, the work we were doing, most times while working, we’d be under the radar, what we handled was valuable. Our boss was always armed, there were times it would get a little dicey. There was the Art Collection, from the Philadelphia Convention Center. It all had been removed from the old center, and stored up in the Badlands of North Philly, in a building where the top two floors, had been used by the Prison Work Release Program. Here is where the city stored its loot, It wasn’t a secret in the neighborhood what was on the third and fourth floor. From the neighborhood, a number of the locals were alumni out of holmsburg, familiar with the building, having worked on the top floors. It took about a week, the collection was moving to a more secure location on Broad street. Mo and I stayed at the building, while four guys, shuttled two 40′ trucks, between the locations. Each piece of art, was logged out of the old storage, and logged in at the new facility on Broad Street. There was pre Colombian, there were mummies, paintings, antique furniture, all very fragile, all very valuable. None of this we crated, a decision was made, for us to get in and out as fast as possible. Carefully, we would place the objects on the floor of the trucks, that had furniture blankets spread out, packing everything tightly together. There was no loading dock to speak of, nowhere for us to get off the street as we were packing the trucks. People were always drifting around the ghetto, they’d stop and watch, they’d make us nervous. The word was getting out, everyone in this part of town knew what was in this building, now they knew how exposed we were with our operation. The boss, was never to far away, he just stood by, watching for any bad sign, hand on his Glock. I’ll tell you, that’s pressure, working, knowing that at any minute, you’d be right in the middle of a shoot out. It may sound like a lot of drama that i’m telling you here, that maybe this wasn’t quite so dangerous. At the end of our last day working here, a couple cops in suits show up. They had heard about us, by the buzz on the streets. They told us we were nuts, that word was out, that with what we were doing, we really needed to have armed guards on site. They were amazed, that so far we had pulled it off, they hung around for us while we wrapped it up. I had no doubt, our Boss, had our backs as we moved this collection, he was not shy about pulling his Glock. There was a time at Home Depot in North Philly, when a Security Guard had stopped a guy with his coat stuffed. Our boss was close by, as the guard, with a hand on this guys arm, told the guy that he would have to come along. The shoplifter told him he was just a Security Guard, that he could do nothing. Well when my boss heard this, he grabbed his glock, and implanted it on the side of this guys head, telling him, “BUT I CAN” as the thief fell twitching on the floor. My boss took a few seconds, giving the Security Guard time to process what just happened, made sure the thief was cuffed then left the store. A crowd had gathered and he was wrong. He could loose his permit for this he needed now to disappear.