The Fortunate Son Redux

Big Dog came by the house on a Friday afternoon, late in the day. Watching his arrival from the front room I could tell by the deliberate walk to the porch and the concern on his face that it wasn’t a social call. As I was about to learn, he was a man on a […]

A Memoir: The Fortunate Son, Part 17

My attorney finally showed up and filled me in on what was going on. The feds had convened a grand jury to hammer my old friend, BL. The rat in this instance was “Cricket,” a guy who’d worked for BL doing menial tasks and who I had met once. Cricket had been “reborn” and was […]

A Memoir: The Fortunate Son, Part 16

“When we’re gone, long gone, the only thing that will have mattered,  Is the love that we shared, and the way that we cared,  When we’re gone, long gone…” — Jamie O’Hara & Kieran Kane, “When We’re Gone, Long Gone”  A prison furlough is technically an “unsupervised release” of a prisoner for a specific period of […]

A Memoir: The Fortunate Son, Part 15

Again to immeasurable delight, baseball was a serious undertaking at Camp Fed. Slow-pitch softball rather than the purist form of hardball, but there was an adequate field with a backstop, a moderate bleacher section and lots of high spirited competition between the teams. And leave us not forget: we’re supposed to be in prison here. […]

A Memoir: The Fortunate Son, Part 14

I arrived at the camp and waltzed into a private room with my brother and roommates, Artie and Lance. We were on the third floor of B-unit, overlooking the ball field and groves of pine and eucalyptus. Robbin had everything set up for me. He showed up in the middle of my check-in and immediately started harassing the guard (aka “hack”) in the good natured manner at which he excels.

A Memoir: The Fortunate Son, Part 13

A concrete stairwell provided an interesting place for me to play my guitar, an old Martin that belonged to a good friend, Harry Jackson, who generously loaned it to me the whole time I was down. As a substitute, I gave Harry my Gibson Dove, to my thinking a vastly inferior instrument; it was a […]

A Memoir: The Fortunate Son, Part 12

I had gone to bed secure in the knowledge that tomorrow would be Saturday and the prison would be on its free and easy weekend schedule. A light breakfast wouldn’t be served until 7:00 AM and if you wanted to sleep in, there would be a brunch at 10:30. I was rudely awakened at 3:30 AM with a firm shake of my foot by a black, female duty-guard.

A Memoir: The Fortunate Son, Part 11

The months following my discharge from John’s employ were hard ones, on me and those around me. I was living with an engaging and bright woman in San Francisco, estranged from my wife and family, and I was floundering.

A Memoir: The Fortunate Son, Part 8

Memphis: We were fishing in a Mississippi river backwater with Tony Joe, Duck and the band. Jim Marshall was along to document the day with his cameras. We had rented several aluminum skiffs, about 12 feet in length with flat front ends that swept up as a whole, “bull-nosed” rather than coming to a point. […]