Chuck Gall – Speaker
Chuck Gall’s qualifications will be presented as a narrative. I got off hard drugs of my own volition after thirteen years of living antisocially and illegally by my wits. I was fortunate to have been arrested during that time only once and for a petty crime of little consequence (Denver Colorado, 1961), however I did spend 79 days in Denver County Prison.
During the stretch from 1958 to 1971 I enjoyed an unusual social mobility that kept me in the company of the offspring of high government officials, well known and even internationally famous artists and performers as well as street hustlers and such.
Once clean I set myself to living a legal and productive life. I began work as a day laborer with a construction company building I95 in Kittery Maine and within two weeks had been elevated to assistant grades foreman. In fall when the job ended I moved back to
Washington DC and worked as an engineer’s assistant building the DC Metro. In 1973 I founded the first Narcotics Anonymous program in DC, and was invited by Lorton Prison to conduct meetings in the prison. I soon began bringing those meetings into Anacostia to a Rehab center, driving the men in and back to prison once a week.
After a scattering of various positions including Job Developer for the DC Bureau of Rehabilitation, I became the accountant for Federal funds for drug abuse for the Div of Drug Rehabilitation (DMH) Massachusetts and a year later moved back to DC to join System Development Corporation (SDC) as a Human Factors Analyst on their contract to run the National Drug Abuse Training Center in Rosslyn Va., across the river from Georgetown DC. When that contract was outbid in 1979, SDC kept me with them; I was sent to Research Triangle Park, arabesquing to a Senior Systems Analyst/Programmer. I began getting in involved with the design and creation of enormous data bases for the US Environmental Protection Agency. During that time SDC joined Univac and Burroughs and became the company now known as Unisys. I got back into the arts at this time and performed often in community theatres. In 1982, a small group of Central Prison inmates asked if they could have a “drama class,” and I was contacted and asked if I would get involved. Over the next five years we produced eight plays, including “The Caine Mutiny Court Martial,” “Ceremonies in Dark Old Men,” “Twelve Angry Men,” “A Soldier’s Story,” before audiences of civilians numbering in the couple of hundreds
Many of those men, murderers, rapists, dealers, a kidnapper eventually earned their ways out prison, and I remain in
contact with some of them. None who earned their way have returned to prison.
I was loaned to the Unisys unit in Somerville, MA 1989 to be the guru for their contract to design and build the data base for the Commonwealth’s computerized Medicare system, returning when the initial load of 98, 873,642 average 684 byte records were loaded, at the time one of the largest single mass record loads ever. Unisys was outbid for the contract with EPA and the next site I went to, DOT in DC, was outbid also. I now had eighteen years working nine to five and took advantage of their proffered buy-out to retire at that time. I then
devoted my time (along with being the sole-caregiver to my fast deteriorating parents) to theatre and writing, playing many roles on stage, in independent movies and TV commercials in the New Hampshire and Boston area, and also directed a large number of plays. I continued doing volunteer work in prisons, dealing with inmates who had drug and alcohol problems. I returned to Raleigh in 2012; my partner and I are drama reviewers for Triangle Reviews, and I am a Community Volunteer for both Wake Corrections Center and Central Prison, and also volunteer with the Community Success Initiative assisting recent releasees from the correctional world find jobs, places to live, further training and emotional support.