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Life With The Lifers


This is Tony B., still at San Quentin Hotel, Resort and Spa (SQHRS), live with the lifers, still having a great time. I am so glad I'm here. It's Friday night and I still haven't recieved a single copy of your great paper. So I'm a little bit depressed. I know it's not your fault, but I just wonder how they can justify slowing the mail the way they do.

Anyway, the lifers don't understand my missing your paper and they get a kick out of my sorrow. They have taught me so much in the few days I've been here. To them slow mail is normal. I guess they're right. I'll get to find out how you guys are doing eventually. I miss you guys.

I thought I'd let you in on my Enlightenment of the Day. First off, let me explain my environment. I'm in a big box with a smaller box inside. That box consists of five floors of two-man cells (designed for one man, of course). There are 100 cells per floor or a 1,000 person capacity. This is where we live. Small rooms, 5' x 10', one toilet, one sink, community showers downstairs. Pretty cozy by jail and prison standards. Community living, SQHRS — they aim to please.

Oh, my Enlightenment of the Day. Not surprisingly, SQHRS has its very own mill (the rumor mill) and today's product is that the new warden is pushing for desegregation of inmate cells. I know what a lot of you are thinking: segregation is bad, racist. If you think that, grow up. This is America. We are a free country. We are allowed to be racist if we want to be. Most of us in here are not racist. Everybody gets along pretty well in my opinion. They just feel more comfortable sleeping with their own race. Nobody wants desegregation forced on them. But the California Department of Correction knows this would create problems so it's possible they might pull something like that. The lifers' fears are justified. Anyway, that's Today's Rumor.

People in Mendoland know that the state has the press in their pocket. I know how Department of Corrections thinks. They think that they can create a ruckus and the press will make them heroes for stifling said ruckus and showing the public how dangerous their jobs are. In reality, Department of Corrections jobs are as dangerous as the Department of Corrections makes them. I'm not saying we are all angels. But come on, these guys are professional correctional officers. All they have do all day and night is sit around and observe us. They get paid well and maybe they feel guilty. After all, the state is broke. But their jobs mainly involve observing us and keeping with peace. It's an easy job. But it's a job and they do it well — generally anyway. So that Today's Fear. I thought I'd share it with you.

One other thing. Our congressman, Mike Thompson. I wrote to his office explaining how my rights have been violated and he has not even given me the courtesy of a return letter, let alone any type of help. If you catch the scent of that slippery little guy, let him know I'm really having a great time here so keep up the good work. How many trillion? I wrote him at his Fort Bragg office. I haven't tried his Napa office or his Washington DC office. They only give me five free letters per week. I guess he's busy with all those offices. Does he have any more? Maybe he needs help. I think I wrote the right person. Isn't our congressmen supposed to represent us? It's been so long since I studied civics. I sometimes forget what the words mean, let alone who is going to stand up for our rights. Maybe I should ask the next junior high schooler I see. That's when I studied civics. Maybe they teach civics in elementary school now; the kids these days are much smarter.

Somehow I get the feeling our public schools forgot to teach the kids how the real world operates.

Somehow I still have the feeling I'm wasting my time complaining to my congressman. I'm probably better off taking a nap.

Well, boys and girls, cock-a-doodle-doo. It's Sunday morning. I'm well rested and SQHRS is great. It's 4:20 in the morning and all I have is peanut butter and Kool-aid. I guess that will teach me to never under any circumstances operate the copy machine under the influence of alcohol. At least not while on parole. I've learned my lesson. Christ — I don't even have any jelly. This is torture. Oh well, at least I have the Kool-aid, the good kind too, black cherry. They usually give us lemon. SQHRS really looks out for me.

I had a beautiful Saturday. The weather was perfect, cool breezes off the Bay with lots of sunshine. We had some nice visitors on the yard playing basketball, baseball, a few church groups — and that's just what I saw. That is really nice of them to spend time with the lifers here. Now I know why they love SQHRS. The other prisons are in the middle of no man's land and I doubt the people have such easy access to help their fellow man in their times of sorrow. Yes, it is pleasant here. It makes a difference to these guys. Keep up the good work, San Francisco. Maybe if I get lucky I can stay on parole and come back next year. I think Hawaii is way overrated and flying these days really sucks. They don't let you bring anything on the plane. Those damn terrorists. Yes, SQHRS has much better security than the airport. They also have free shuttle service anywhere in California. Hell, what am I thinking? I bet they'd pick me up anywhere in the world! Thanks Jerry and SQHRS. How many billion?

This concludes another fun-filled dispatch from the fabulous San Quinton Hotel Resort and Spa. It's now Sunday afternoon and everybody is winding down. I spent the day playing chess, exercising and listening to the musicians play. SQHRS has many talented people, artists, musicians of every shape and color. This is a diversified community located conveniently close to San Rafael. So anytime you're in the area stop by the information booth — it's always open.

This has been another installment of Life with the Lifers. Stay tuned. Next we'll have H-Unit with many special guests.

Signing off,

Anthony 'Tony B' Boyles

San Quentin


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