Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July In Prison: Somebody Get Me Out of Here!

Dateline: July 5, 2009

4th of July In Prison: Somebody Get Me Out of Here!

Yesterday marked the 233rd anniversary of the Declaration of Independence (notwithstanding the fact that the Continental Congress actually voted on July 2nd). My friend, Libby, and I spent my thirty-first Fourth in prison in the visiting park at Tomoka C.I. Down the street at the speedway, the expensive sports cars raced, thousands of sun worshippers crowded Daytona Beach a few miles away, and I reflected on my 11,414 days of continuous captivity. Does that number sound as long as it feels?

I was in a dark cell when the Islamist radicals stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held the American hostages 400-plus days—an eternity it seemed at the time. 479 days seems like a blip on the screen to me now.

I remember watching Congressman Leo Ryan (was it?) and the reporter get shot at Jim Jones’ Guyana mass suicide. Was that 1978? They even had TV’s in the cells. Then John Hinckley shot President Reagan on TV in 1981. He’s been in a posh nuthouse ever since and recently got approved for a driver’s license, so he can drive himself on his weekend furloughs. That would be nice.

Joe Montana was still in college, and Emmitt Smith was in elementary school. They’ve been retired for years. Jimmy Carter was still President. I shook hands with him in South Miami in the summer of ’76 while he and Hamilton Jordan were campaigning. When was the last time you heard that name?

Barack Obama was barely a teenager, hanging out in Hawaii. Hasn’t he come a long way?

Times have changed. Most of the prisoners I knew then are dead, though some of us graybeards are hanging on. Yesterday, while we visited, a young man on psych drugs died in lockup. He wasn’t even born when I came into the system. Another tried to hang himself, but was unsuccessful. Couldn’t take it.

The upcoming year will be crucial to my fate. Get out or die, quite a choice. With the economy and our society so screwed up, some prisoners feel they’re better off inside. “What ‘chu wanna go out there for?” To be free, I say, just like those folks 233 years ago, who signed that paper and fought an unjust system.

Let freedom ring!

Thanks for your help.


1 comment:

Vox Populi said...

Glad you are well, charlie. Things are cooking out here. I won't disclose it here but things are going to start turning up soon, I believe. These folks, not the same ones as your case but others related, are committing so many murders; they're working from a list. People are finally waking up. Mothers are demanding justice for their murdered children LOUD AND IN THE STREETS at times. Other mothers are serving as self-made detectives because we haven't ANY in Florida. Still others are looking for ways to get justice served again. And finding them. Go forward hard and fight hard for your freedom. No matter how bad it is out here, it AIN'T THERE. If you have not studied sun tzu do your best to get your hands on it. I get the feeling you know what you mean. What your enemy has done to you is what they would fear the most. Time to turn the tables.
DO so.