The Boys From El Cerrity (Part 2)

We arrived in Stockton in my car of the moment, a ’58 Plymouth Fury, a cool car in its day, a sporty two-door hardtop with outsized Cadillac-style rear fins. It had two big 4-barrel carburetors sitting opposite each other on a ram-induction fuel system feeding a huge “hemi” V-8 engine and a speedometer that registered up to 160 miles per hour.

The Boys From El Cerrity

High school hit me right between the eyes. Where does a freshman fit in? At the bottom of the ladder, of course. Within a student body of well over a thousand individuals, I ran smack into a social class mentality that seemed to pervade the entire experience, the elite spending their time looking down their noses at those beneath them, each class assuming a position of authority over the underclasses.

The Journey Of The White Bird

Max and Maureen sailed White Bird, a sleek 42-foot trimaran, across the Pacific from Lahaina to the San Francisco Bay, where Max would oversee some refurbishing, purchase new sails and rigging, and get the vessel shipshape. Afterward, we planned to voyage down the coast into Mexico. Max and Maureen would sail home to Maui from […]

Irrevocable Momentum

Tony Serra was a fascinating individual and I liked him right away. He was highly principled and his repu­tation as a fierce opponent in the courtroom was widely held. He was eager to defend the underdog and those subject to racial injustice.

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.