The White Boy Confessions: The Explosive Story of Marcus Valdespino and San Antonio's Hood
Marcus Valdespino| Strategic Media Books | 290 pp.
With only a few bucks to his name, just enough to "buy some chips and soda at the store," Marcus Valdespino remembers being a teenager in the late '80s when one of his friends pulled out a wad of cash from his pocket and started counting out $20 and $50 bills in front of him. Valdespino was intrigued and asked him where he got the money.
"That's when he showed us the rocks of crack cocaine he was selling," Valdespino told the San Antonio Current during an interview on his autobiography, The White Boy Confessions. "I was like, 'To heck with our $5. Let's sell those little rocks instead.'"
In The White Boy Confessions, Valdespino, 42, a former on-air personality on SA's Sports Radio Ticket 760 AM and currently a security guard, writes about his life growing up in the Alamo City with a father who was a drug runner and how that led him to embrace the gang life and sell drugs to make a living.
What is your first memory of your father and drugs?
I remember once my dad took me to [San Antonio Spurs player] George Gervin's house to sell to him. It was wild. That's actually not in the book because the publisher was a little worried about including that, but it happened.
You were four years old the first time you saw your parents get arrested on drug charges. What was going through your mind as a little kid?
I kind of understood that my parents were doing wrong, but I was more upset at the police for taking away my parents. At the time I didn't understand that my parents were the ones taking themselves away from me.
You call your book The White Boy Confessions, but your last name is Valdespino. I'm assuming you're mixed, yes?
Yeah, my father is Hispanic and my mother is white, but I've always been identified as white. I would be referred to as "white boy" by my friends because I'm so light complected. But, yeah, my last name is Spanish. Everyone in the book is basically black except for me, my mother and my father.
When did you decide to join a gang?
I was at a club talking to this girl who I guess was involved with an East Terrace gang member. He came up to me and asked, "Why you talking to my girl?" We started fighting and I could see all these other East Terrace gang members running towards me. It was a scary feeling. I ended up getting jumped by like 15 of them. That night a thug was born. I remember saying to myself that I was going to have my own crew one day. I was going to decide who gets beat up and who doesn't.
Is that around the same time you started selling crack?
Yeah, we started taking over apartment complexes. I don't know if you remember the movie New Jack City, but it was like that. We took over one called Eden Roc where half the people there were on crack. We ran that place. Then we went to Wurzbach Manor and ran through that place, too. We preyed on these people.
In the 12 years you were selling, you never ended up in jail on drug charges. How did you avoid it?
The feds were following us for a long time. But the day they eventually ended up kicking down our door I had just sold my last 50-pack of cocaine that morning. They didn't find anything. They wouldn't have found anything anyway because I would bury my crack cocaine outside. I used to feel guilty because I have friends who ended up in the penitentiary and I never did. But that's all in the past for me.
How did you get your radio gig? Were you selling during that time, too?
I started as an intern and then made it on the air with Charlie Parker. We had a show for about a year and a half. They called me the "sports freak" because I knew everything about sports. Yeah, I was still selling and hanging with my homeboys. I would actually go to WOAI with cocaine in my pockets and a gun on me. They didn't know what I was doing. Here I am on the radio talking sports and then an hour later I'm back at the housing projects selling dope.
What finally got you out of the life?
A helicopter had been following me and my wife one day. Later on, the cops just swarmed us at our apartment. I was in handcuffs on the couch. My three little kids had to witness that. I still didn't get arrested, but I finally told myself I can't do this anymore. I had to join the real world at 28.