Sometime within the next year I'll be transferred to another one of the other fine federal penitentiaries scattered across this magnificent country of ours. It's a crap shoot as to which one I'll end up in. There are a few in Pennsylvania which are prime candidates. Also a couple in central Florida. Florence, Colorado wouldn't be bad in the summer. Victorville, California would undoubtedly have great weather all year 'round, but I've heard that that prison is seriously messed up. Rumor has it that the feds even have a prison on one of the Hawaiian islands. Surely there's no private swimming beach for inmates, but compared with Terre Haute, it's gotta be paradise. I have a vision of being dropped from a low-flying helicopter onto a deserted shore wearing nothing but a loin cloth and equipped with only a shovel and Bic lighter, forced to fend for myself by foraging coconuts and hunting spider monkeys. Paradise.
In a way, I'll be sorry to leave my current locale. I've been here for more than 3 years and have encountered quite a few interesting characters. Puerto Rican freedom fighters, Italian mobsters, an Irish bomb maker and more backwoods meth kingpins than you can shake a stick at. I am sorry to report that 90% of the people I've met are complete pieces of garbage. Interesting, yes. Enigmatic, some of them. But all of them shrewd villains at heart. There is a small portion of that remaining 10%, however, whom I just might, under the right circumstances, call my friends.
After I was taken to the hole back in January '08, these comrades of mine managed to finally all be in the same place at the same time (a feat never before performed) and had a series of pictures taken, one of which you see here (you can click on the image to enlarge it)...
Starting in the back row left, I'm unable for various reasons to mention the name of the individual in the stocking cap.
Standing next to stocking cap is Jamie. In the early 90's, when Jamie was 20 years old, his brothers killed a couple of guys during a drug dispute. The feds made him an offer he couldn't refuse - testify against his brothers or else be charged as a conspirator and possibly get the death penalty. Apparently it was an offer he could refuse, because Jamie kept his mouth shut and at 21 years old was sentenced to 3 life sentences. In spite of and because of these hardships, Jamie is a man I esteem more than most I've met.
To the right of Jamie is my DUDE, Tiny, a.k.a. Big Fat Delicious. At around 500 pounds (he claims 450) it might surprise you to learn that at one point Tiny was only the third heaviest man in Terre Haute. I say "was" because not long after this picture was taken, Tiny's security level was reduced, resulting in him being shipped to a medium-security institution. One day B.F.D. made the mistake of showing me his court transcripts. In them, the teller at the bank he robbed testified that, in addition to all the money in her cash drawer, my friend also demanded that she relinquish to him her lunch (which was a bag of Arby's if I remember correctly). Tiny, of course, denies making any such demands. But c'mon, look at the picture. Who are you going to believe? I think he actually went in for just the Arby's at first and then decided to grab the money only as an afterthought.
Next to B.F.D. is Wes. In actuality, Wes' only friend is Jamie, whom he's been doing time with for over a decade, ever since they met each other in the infamous Leavenworth penitentiary, which has since been shut down. Unlike most convicts, Wes has only one tattoo: a depiction of Dr. Suess' The Grinch on his right arm. I like Wes a lot, and laugh at some of his delusions. Despite having two life sentences for some hit-man related incidents, every year since I've known him Wes has been thoroughly convinced that he will be released by Christmas. You gotta hope for the best I suppose.
Kneeling at right is Brad... you know a little about him already.
And last but certainly not least ... can I get a drum roll? .... it's the Vroomster in all of his glory. Behold before you the, according to him, best looking white man in Terre Haute. It is a claim which is hard to dispute.
So that's the gang. No doubt I'll find a new crew wherever I go next, even if it's just those damn spider monkeys. But I'll certainly miss these fellows here.