Bernard Baran
CT: Congratulations.
Thank you. Thank you very much.

MB: What have you been doing with your time?
Well, mostly just spending it with my family. My mom came down; is spending a couple of weeks with me. Getting to know Boston and the area around here, learning how to do the subway and the train and the buses …

MB: Did you spend much time in Boston before this?
Before this? No. We did the train run yesterday and uh — I got it right down.

MB: Have you been to movies and stuff like that?
No, because I still have the ten o’clock curfew. So, I get real nervous about it. I’ve been shopping, of course. I have to do some shopping. When you come out after 22 years, they let you wear the clothes on your back and that’s it. So I went shopping, and uh, on Friday we all went and celebrated at King Fisher’s and that was kind of nice, in Market Square down here. People came that I’ve known for years, and Dennis Mayer was there who was also at the treatment center and who was an innocent man who got his case overturned. You know we worked together. So, him and his wife were there, and that was really nice.

CT: What did you eat?
Um, I had um, steak with scallops, that’s what I had.

MB: Better than prison food, huh?
Well, you know, I made my own food — ’cause I worked in the staff quarter, so I had it better.

CT: When did you start working in the kitchen?
Oh, about — probably four or five years ago. Dennis [Maher] helped get me the job and uh, I went in as the baker. Then I became the head cook. Then I became — they gave me the best job there, which was the kitchen coordinator’s job. So I had like … See, it’s different from a prison job. Prison jobs — nobody, no other inmate tells you what to do. The guard tells you what to do and that’s it. But in this job, it was like a real-life job. So I became, like, four other inmates’ supervisor. And they had to drop that prison mentality when they came and they grilled, which was sometimes difficult.

MB: When you came out, what did you think of how people dress now?
Yeah, it was different. It isn’t as wild. (laughter) It’s more basic. Everybody got away from the loud, crazy colors that were going on in the ’80’s. (more laughter)

CT: The Boy George look.
(laughing) Right.

MB: So does the world seem really different?
Things were odd to me, like I’d never seen the ocean. So when we left this office, you know, there’s an open gateway here where you can see the water. We were all walking, moving at a pace, and I just kind of — stopped. And realized, you know — it’s my time, you know, I wanted to enjoy that moment. So I stopped and let everybody go ahead of me, and I stood there and just looked at the boats and the water.

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