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Nuthin’ Comin’ But It’s Free

Dear AVA,

I was just about to write you to see if you knew whether the documentary “Rivers of a Lost Coast,” featured at the Anderson Valley Film Festival is available to the public or not. Then I found an article on the film in the January 2010 issue of Salmon and Trout Steelheader magazine. The article explained how the two young filmmakers and steelhead flyfishers, Justin Coupe and Palmer Taylor, created their very successful documentary. Their film is endorsed by several pro fishing conservation groups and has been made available for conservation fundraisers. The DVD comes with a 42-page booklet containing original articles, historical photographs, interviews, biographies, production photographs, and original drawings by Bill Schaat. Hopefully by the time I get out of prison I will be able to rent this video. Their DVD is available for $29.99 at

My associates and I here at South Soledad Prison have all really enjoyed your book “Mendocino Noir.” We're hoping that you are working on book number two. My heart goes out to Jody Lesiur your (“Killed Without Dying”), Skye Nickel (“Tree Rustling, Fort Bragg Style”), the Orr Sisters and family (“The Great Fort Bragg Which Hunt”), James Denoyer’s poor starving horses (“Where Are They, Jimmy?”) And especially to Russell Rexrode (”The Hunter As Prey”). Russell Rexrode’s life got turned upside down for doing the right thing. Rexrode handed a month-old mountain lion cub to a Fish and Game warden and was rewarded with a search warrant being served on his home. The end result for Rexrode’s efforts to do the right thing was the cost of thousands of dollars in legal fees and his right to hunt being taken away for ever.

My mother has sent me several newspaper articles on “Lil’ Smokey,” the bear cub that was rescued from the Moon Fire in Trinity County by CDF Forester Adam Deem. Deem didn't get in any trouble for turning “Lil’ Smokey” into the Fish and Game Department. In fact, Deem is known as a hero for “rescuing” the bear cub. Deem and his wife also made a children's book called “Saving Lil’ Smokey,” a true story that tells the story of Lil’ Smokey.

After talking to friends and loved ones living in the real world outside prison about how hard it is surviving, raising children, finding employment in this bad economy out there, I keep telling myself, “It doesn't get much better than this.” But I still want to get out, of course. Where else can one live rent and bill free? Where else can one get free medical and dental work done and not have to pay for medications? Where else can one be supplied with clothing and have their laundry done weekly for free? Where else can one sleep as much as one wants with no responsibilities? Where is the value of the dollar worth more?

When I say to myself, “It doesn't get much better than this,” I am only trying to make myself feel better about being stuck in this prison.

Lance Scott


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