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Oprah crusader Ray Goode returns from Chicago

click to enlarge SCOTT ELMQUIST

Aspiring author Raymond Goode, 32, recently packed up all of his belongings and drove to Chicago to find his dream: being discovered by Oprah Winfrey. He's recently returned. This is part two of his story.

Boom. Well, on the way to Chicago my car broke down in Indiana. The motor blew. Remember that movie "Rudy?" It was some place called, maybe, South Bend? I'd just paid $2,800 to get the motor fixed. So, I was assed out with that. I partied in Pittsburgh. I stepped on a nail ... on a rusty nail, because I was trying to shoot one of my documentaries. Cuz I tried to climb over a baseball fence on New Year's Eve. ... You know, it was kinda funny. I was drunk. And the nail went in my shoe like "Boom!" I had to go to the VA hospital for like two days. But, yeah, that was a lot.

In Chicago I stayed in a self-storage unit about five minutes away from Harpo Studios. The thing is, they opened up at 9 o'clock. And they closed at 6. So, every morning I was out and about by 8 o'clock. And I wouldn't come in till 9:30. I was out hustling. I made up a sign. I stood outside of Harpo Studios everyday with that sign, you know, just trying to get some sort of recognition. I met a couple of connects — couple of electricians and a plumber. I told them what I was doing, and hope my name is circulating in there somehow. I was out there all day. Hustlin'. Need to show kids there's a better way than selling drugs and prostituting.

It's freezing in Chicago in January. I believe I almost caught hypothermia like three times. [The storage unit] said heat-controlled, but I believe around 2 a.m. they cut everything off. Ain't nobody supposed to be in there anyway. It get cold, yo.

Boom: I had the 24-hour gym right across the street. So, I would go down there first thing in the morning, work out a little while, than head down to Harpo Studios. Food: For about $3 you can get about four slices of meat from the deli. For $2, you can get two slices of cheese. Get a loaf of bread, that's two meals a day right there. I go in Panera Bread and they got the free packets of mayonnaise and mustard. So, boom, I grab them. I survived really well, you know. I pretty much stayed in the gym. I lost about a good 35 pounds.

I met a lot of cool interesting people. I started on my second book. My goal is to write four books in one year. And I'm writing all three of them at the same time. By March 26 of next year, I want to have four books under my belt. The second one is called "Road to Oprah."

Job? This is it right here. This book is the truth right here. I got my first shipment last Friday. I sold out in four days. Yesterday, I sat on the corner of Belvidere and Franklin, selling my book. I go into beauty salons. I got into barber shops. I go into schools. I'll stop you on the street. I could care less.

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