Kids with class: the life of Gordon


If you only had one arm would you bother to get dressed every day? Is one accident enough to change completely your life?

Apparently so. Gordon went from being a multi-millionaire drug lord to a hardcore member of Alcoholics Anonymous.

In the ’80s on the Jersey Shore, Gordon started out selling cocaine. Many people try out this kind of lifestyle and end up in prison, addicted or killed. Not Gordon. He had quite a knack for it. Once he got his money up, he didn’t just waste it and go all out spending with it. No, he was smarter than that.

Like many of the cocaine dealers that helped fund the city of Miami, he set up businesses, or fronts, whichever you want to call them. One was a childrens’ clothing store, Kids with Class, the perfect front for a cocaine dealer. He also had a construction company and a few others. This was where the real money came from. Gordon got rich and was living the American dream: mansions, muscle cars, motorcycles; you name it he had it.

Little did he know it would soon all come crashing down on him. Gordon and his lifelong friend, Frank, both had millions of dollars. The difference was that Gordon worked sort of for his and Frank just came from a wealthy family. The two of them together was like a fuse that had just been lit. They both started drinking heavily as well as gambling. They developed addictions to both.

Frank’s problem got so bad that he would soon be removed from his family’s will and Gordon literally went off the road. A major motorcycle accident while drunk caused him to be hospitalized for a good while. At first, he was lucky enough to be alive and even luckier to still have all his limbs. But after a little over a year, complications started to arise. Surgeons amputated an arm to stop an infection from spreading.

Imagine going from Scarface to being dragged down from your thrown and beaten. This was a sign for him.

After the surgery, Gordon entered his first AA meeting. Like many who start the programs, he relapsed a few times along the way. But he has not had a single drink since 1989. He goes to every meeting and has even become the chapter treasurer. He helps by offering a room to anyone who may be going through hard times or needs to detox. In the last three or four years, maybe four or five different people have rented a room while trying to get straight.

Redemption isn’t the right word, but it’s the first word that comes to mind.

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