The way you your start life isn’t necessarily the way you have to live it.
That is one conclusion that can be drawn from Steven Mallory’s journey.
When NPR’s “All Thing Considered” host Robert Siegel interviewed Mallory in 1994 and 1995, Mallory was 22 years old and recovering from a life as a “fast-living teenage drug dealer” in Dayton.
Mallory, a trash collector for Montgomery County with three children at the time of his first interviews with Siegel, changed his ways after friend Antoine Gibson died in 1992. He wanted to live a better life.
As part of a story that aired Wednesday on NPR, Siegel said that back then, Mallory struck him as a person with imagination who wanted more out of life than it was giving him.
“Mr. Steven Mallory of Dayton, Ohio, whom I interviewed back in 1994 and 1995. I wondered ever since whether he's OK. Turns out, he's better than OK,” Siegel said.
Siegel came to the Dayton area and caught up with Mallory. He still works for Montgomery County, but has moved up in the ranks.
“Over 20 years later, Mallory, 44, now lives in the Northridge Estates subdivision just north of the Dayton city line. Here, there are single homes with garages and neatly mowed lawns. It's the very vision of a middle-class suburb.
He is Dad to three grown children from his days with Groves and one teenage daughter with Tracey, his wife of 18 years. Tracey is an elementary school principal. Their teenage daughter, Zharia, will be making college visits this summer.”
Besides his work as a Montgomery County scale operator, Mallory owns two businesses, a lawn care service and a massage clinic.
“Seeing Steven Mallory today as an enterprising middle-class suburbanite reminded me of the capacity for imagination that I had seen in him back in the 1990s. He imagined a life unlike anything he had ever experienced, and he made it happen,” Siegel said.
Hear the entire story here: