"...Perhaps I should just write notes here..." below began as a note to my wife and children. Now it is for you.

At the least; anothers' opinion.


When a California prisoner gets into trouble a guard writes him or her up. I typed my own CDC-115 once. Now this is my write-up. lol

Peace, Respect and Out of Bounds.

B, C, D numbers were my day. Maybe Mike had an A. Damn good man with a real smart plan.

Hope he got to play!

Perhaps I should just write notes here; tell all the things that are good in life so you won't focus on the not-so-good. It is an appealing thought; continually write to my wife and children here on one of my dotcoms. A journal to my children telling them who their daddy is, or sadly one day, was. To give them a journal so refined that they could go to the computer and get an answer to, “What would daddy do if…?”

Years have passed since mom and dad lay to rest. Sometimes a question arises that can only be answered by your parents. It’s where you relinquish all decision-making for a brief moment, thankful and trusting that an answer is forthcoming. And, it will be the truth.

As a little boy, “What about me?” was my main concern. Older brother got it, I wanted it. Younger brother got it, I wanted it. Quickly it became whoever had it, I wanted it. I was the child who learned early to do what ya gotta do to get something. (Family confirmed.)

Growing up, I sneaked because it worked. I lied because it worked. People would tell me how smart I was and I would prove that even more by self-indulging in whatever I wanted to do…in-between what the ruler-of-the-house said to do of course. I kept to myself usually, as I was self-absorbed in “being free” (from parenting), admiring what rebel children were doing rather than what the teacher in class was teaching. I believe I was 11 years old when reprimanded for stealing from a store. By fifteen, I gave the-grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side parent enough hassle from the law that I was sent to a group home. I stayed mostly two years and graduated from the program that they had set forth. The owner was a superb person and was no match for a liar and sneak. I moved into the extra room in his personal house upon graduation and within months snuck out late after returning home with bought Christmas presents; only to be reprimanded into custody days before Christmas for that nights attempted burglary. (I guess I wanted to do more shopping. – by this time my antics were plain boredom.) It was that New Years Eve that others and I tried to break out of juvenile hall. Tried. We used the portable bed (overcrowding brought an aluminum bed – much better than the concrete and thin mattress.) late in the evening to ram the square glass blocks and cover broken glass with a picture from a magazine using toothpaste as glue. Then we ran to our beds to fake asleep as the “guard” flashlights thru the door window. The third time he checked “that noise”, he entered our cell while we all snored and eventually I went to the hole that night.

My life until then was just trying to use my wits for no-good, though always a kind person. Meaning, I wasn’t violent and did things strictly for selfishness. It was in the group home that I discovered better drugs than marijuana. I chose to use various pills ever so often, speed now and again and finally heroin by age eighteen. The response to the first time use of heroin matters a lot. I have heard so many stories of how the person who got sick the first time never tried it again. I didn’t get sick and found my boredom answer. Lots of small jail terms for petty theft or under the influence came next.

By nineteen I went to prison. I got my first tattoo on my chest there. I lived in a hundred-man dorm where the most exciting thing would be a blanket party late at night or early in the morning. You’d be sleeping and all of the sudden you can hear scuffling. You awake and see across the way or down the hall that a blanket covering a person works well to hide all of the people beating the daylights out of him.

I had my share of fights, but never one so cowardly. My worst move was joining quite a few people who bought heroin with the intent not to pay. I joined that party once and it seemed everyone either transferred or paroled leaving a bill for me to pay. The seller came up to me and said I better roll-up. (Which means rat myself that I am a scared guy who needs to move into protective custody). Ah, that told me he was too scared to stab me and just wanted to save face by having me not around for his friends to say, “Isn’t that the guy who didn’t pay you for the dope?” Guards heard a phone call, brought me in to the office, and had me sign a waiver that said whatever they heard was bullshit and if I died on the yard they couldn’t be sued. Okay.

Tim is all I remember about that conclusion. After a month of each carrying shank material and watching out for us to Jump at any time, the hardest and most sleeved white convict came up to me and said, “That shit’s over”. To this day I don’t know what Tim did. And I never burned another. I still stole, as my lower security allowed me to leave prison each day to work at a park or other Cal-trans kind of place. I committed a burglary at the park where we were working because it had lots of beer and wine for the night’s activities all ready to go in storage. The fella’s and I got drunk then tried to bring booze on the van back to prison. I lost my security clearance that day.

Before that first prison term the jail terms were divided by drug counselors and drug programs. Aquarian Effort in Sacramento was a good place. I could have abused the system yet only learned from the information provided and stayed for over a year. There were lots of group meetings in the group home, counselor meets and drug programs, all with the same concept of suppressed inner emotions being brought to the front and dealt with. Mine weren’t suppressed. They were on my sleeve. I did what I did because I wanted to. It is that simple. I was finally let go from Aquarian Effort because I had ‘acquired all the information they were providing yet failed to use the information’. (Their words.) What they were unaware of was the years of previous groups already filled my head with ideas of self-analyzing that I wanted only to tell them what they wanted to hear. And Lonna will never be forgotten. Her road to success I am unaware, as last I heard her daughter Corvette passed away and Lonna probably went back to whatever reasons brought her there. She was indeed a beautiful person.

I received two hundred dollars and told to parole. (California Rehabilitation Center) I did, and then continued with my heroin/cocaine addiction. After eight months of drugs and crime I was charged with robbery and sentenced to another prison term of four years.

A little more than two years served, starting with Vacaville, then Solano, then Susanville (Level-III for the most part yet early days of Susanville was Level-II, until I got into trouble). I don’t remember much about Susanville except that the doors would open early and I was allowed to jog in the cold at some very early hour. Ice would form on my mustache but it was very cool to jog in the morning, as I had never been so inclined. I received a Harley Davidson shirt saying, “Born to ride” for my parole clothes from my aunt. I threw it away when the bus from Susanville took us to Reno for parole and bought a nice collar shirt. (Yes, they take you out of State, which normally is against the law but they didn’t want to parole convicts in their town.) {I later in life bought a Harley Davidson. Beautiful!}

After paroling yet a second time, I decided I would just use a little bit of hard drugs. I lived with a girlfriend in Oakdale and traveled many times to obtain dope. After what seemed like forever, yet was only a year and a half, I became wanted for burglary once again. I didn’t do the burglary as I pulled over to fix my muffler where my “Dawg” said he was going around the corner to do a burglary. I fixed my muffler then got tired of waiting for him. I drove around the block and sure enough he was in a house. I parked and read my road map thinking anyone who looked upon me would think I was just lost and not really waiting for my crime partner. As I looked across the street in my mirror I noticed a lady in her front window on a phone. Luckily my partner came out soon (with a vcr by the way) and I waited until he got in to tell him, “We’re busted”. So, I drove fast away and passed the cops coming the other way. I parked behind a store and we both went inside. He got caught in the store. I walked the surrounding streets with plenty of police cars looking for my sweatshirt that was already removed off of my back. I finally hid directly behind the store on a neighbors side yard. I fell asleep their too. When I awoke, I grabbed some firewood and walked out of their side front gate like I was just getting some firewood for the fire. I looked across the street and all the police cars were gone; including my car. So that confirmed I wasn’t just paranoid and called a brother to come get me out of the neighborhood. Thanks bro!

I visited with the Family that same day then asked another brother to take me to the outskirts of town. He did and my dope and I hitchhiked back to Oakdale. I worked for a couple of days at my previous construction job (Thanks Mark) and decided I should try to get my car. I borrowed my girlfriend’s car, walked into the police station saying someone stole my car. They said bullshit and ultimately the courts gave me fourteen years. Four years for the burglary and ten years for two prior prison terms. (Three-Strikes law came right after.) All keepsakes I might have had were then lost to my existing residence, thus abandoned.

After several years leading up to this third prison term, I finally cried a little in the ‘meat-wagon’ on my way to county jail, knowing my bullshit story didn’t work. I have not cried since that day and wonder if that is normal. Whatever. From day one of this prison term and actually making it to the yard after all the legal stuff they do before they “let you out of your cage”, I began to lift weights. My reasoning was I wanted someone to feel it when I got in a fight. Though I still admit to not being violent, I sure was ready to be violent. I figured to have a long haul ahead and I wanted only to make my time easy.

Eight years later I was paroled. There is a war story after war story and so many can be told. After being in a box for those last eight years I can tell you they are surely war stories. My jobs were always the “juice” jobs in which I had juice to do many things that most basic prisoner’s couldn’t. I attribute that to always being myself and not putting up a front. Spending years with thousands of convicts that want to be tough, yet don’t know exactly how to be tough because they are acting like others, has shown me more and more how easy it is to be yourself. I don’t think to have ever been tough yet I know how to not act. I acted for many years and I watched many act for more years. Needless to say my “covers” were never exposed because I did not have any. Sometimes a hardcore convict would casually imply that I must be a rat to work for ‘the man’. They never actually said it, as I would have had no choice but to stab, or try to stab, them. (That’s prison life.) The hardcore convicts usually became my friends because they were smart enough to realize I had juice jobs for my fellow convicts and not to kiss anyone’s ass. I taught myself to type using the correct fingers and kept the juice jobs my entire last eight years. I lost a good job wrestling a fellow convict, trying to get into the bathroom – which I did get in to use the facilities but the Loo (lieutenant) didn’t like that I returned with my shirt all shredded. I told him it ripped on the door. All fifteen rips. Duh!

1 Hometown fella's. Thanks brothers!

That was my early years of third prison term. I soon received five thousand eighty six dollars for being part of a class action lawsuit that someone filed against Federated because I wasn’t supposed to take a lie detector test for a job years earlier. I told every drug pusher on The Yard that I have the money, get me the dope. They did and I spent that year doing a lot of dope and having more friends than I cared for. Being stand-up, certain guards informed me that the “gooners” (Special guards that rush in and put ya down) were in my cell and that I might not want to go to my cell right at that moment. I quickly did an about face and casually laid on the yard only to do the dope in my pocket before they called me to the office. I did my dope in the middle of the yard, they called me to the office and then I went to the hole. Coming out of the hole a month or two later they shipped me to Old Folsom. My security level had increased to level IIII and I never went back to lower security as the prisoners were more like inmates and not seasoned convicts. I served only about a year at Old Folsom, which by the way was the best prison (oxymoron?) for the convicts because lame inmates could be dealt with behind hidden corners. That soon changed as officials thought it to be too lax and made Old Folsom a Level II prison. They offered me another prison South or North. Knowing all one can do in a box that is real hot is to strip and keep wet towels over you to keep cool, I figured North was the answer.

2 C, you made lots of laughs!

I lived at Pelican Bay State Prison for the next five years. Two yards and some hole time. I hear folks talk as if it is a tough place. I think tough is incorrect. It is a control unit. Most hidden corners have been removed and very few guards control the prisoners. By ‘control’ I am referring that the guards do not have to come into contact with prisoners to subdue them. Rubber or real bullets do the trick well. The ‘main’ lines are interesting in that most incidents that occur are recognized by the guards due to surrounding inmates getting to the ground before a guard actually yells, “Get Down!” Those who drop early, for whatever scared reason they have, understood that yells and shots were coming next.

3 P, thanks for tv!

Every type of person (Okay, mostly) in our free world also exists in prison. A world-within-our-world is true, except that prison is not fully self contained. It should be. Control units have proven to work in keeping violence to a minimum. Only trouble is the free world costs us all the billions on convicts. Everybody spent a lot when it came to me. Seems you would want your money’s worth. And there is that tiny thing we call job security. I know, to help cure the misfortunate one in prison is our biggest goal…not! Put all the convicts on an island and let them sort it out. There are too many hands on too big an industry which clearly can’t go back to what used to work. Every tough guy (or girl) in prison does indeed appreciate their ass wiped by another. My twelve total prison years have certainly earned me the knowledge to know what works. Prison didn’t work. So, I paroled.

4 M, Thanks for your tv too!

Just before leaving Old Folsom, I quit being bad. (Thanks Dawg.) I already did that very well my entire life and I practiced for the remaining five years of my term being as real a person as I could be. I was already a little hardened by so many years of authority that I wasn’t ashamed of my upbringing and just accepted it. By the time of parole I was hooked on just living life. I received a Dodge Ramcharger from my dad and was off and running. Thanks bro’s for the pager which ultimately lead to the multiple phone services I use today.

Lucky to have this pic... Helping a brother over the wall. Confiscated, then returned.

Skipping right to the end, I’ve been home eight years and quit dope thirteen years ago. I’ll be darned that I got married to a beautiful wife with a daughter age six. We did a long cruise, saw and captured a high resolution picture of the twin towers one month prior to their demise, made a baby girl and then made another baby girl seventeen months later. We bought our second home property four years ago. The children are being raised as tiny little sponges absorbing all the information around them. They are very happy children that do not have the misfortunes of any yelling or arguing in the home.

I still practice being good. I do not feel I am trying to make up for lost time too much but rather have just disposed of any badness that I used to have. I adore my wife and children and just recently decided to not manage my construction business because I know that I am not the correct person for the job. I build and repair very well but my history does not allow me the pleasure to ever want to know business. There are too many lies within business. I became a builder to build, not do business.

So, now that my construction goals have obtained private and city officials to hire me to build and repair for them, and having the tallest office in the city, I want to do more. I have hired many people that still have history to get past, as I don’t judge anyone, er, I catch myself when I do and say don’t. People are very cool and I know how to organize us into building a home, town or even a theme park. I also want to create a one-rate contractor service that everyone needs. Why? Because I know I can and I want to.

Best regards to all and hope you have a fine day.

The above words were written in December, 2005. Since then, a couple of homes were bought, sold, lost all due to living from Peter to pay Paul. Chased/caught-up with a bad guy for a few days and when I called wife to say I am coming home she said don't bother. ('07) Four years of wondering what happened and three more years living only blocks away from her and our children. They saw honesty throughout marriage as well as divorce. Now dad spoils our children every other weekend and when vactioning from school. Excellent relationship with their mother, as we don't need to speak. And, am with joy our children lead very productive lives of normalcy with "Leave it to Beaver" common sense. Yes, very thankful I am. Our children are honest, play a lot and do several activities.

And, being a part-time dad to children who are my world is very weird, but I know it could be much worse. So, now I wonder what else can be accomlished. Hey convicts, let's get to work. Shout out if you have an idea. Hey guards, all that making a buck with Prison Industry Authority... Go Big or stay at home. License plates, glasses, meats, laundry and other PIA earn a buck. Why not build a town named, "Fun"?


As I do the things I do out here in the free world, and I have been home now for over twenty years, constant awareness of where I came and how out-right fortunate I am to just be alive remains. Such keeps me humble and also a take-charge aggressive person. Hence, living simple and doing what I want because what I want is to live simple. :-) Having a home, food, truck, car, music and play joined with those who matter most to me is my simple life. Meanwhile, large dreams for building challenging projects remain. How cool it would be to build with convict labor rather than the current chase-the-money labor.

Learn to play with dirt and rocks before you play with human-made products. :-)


fyi: I know the assembly of the fella's could manage a prison very well.

Making more than thirty two pennies per hour these days so I better get back to work. Thank you for your time and the reading of my life.

I believe being put in a box for so many years gave me clear realization of what is important. We live. We die. How we roll between that time should matter most. How we choose to live our life, not how we choose to control other's lives, matters most. Perfecting my own practice to understand reason gives prudence towards future decisions. In manners for which I know not, I will learn from you and be thankful you were there.

Sincerest gratitude to all who gave so I can be here now.

Consider me John Doe. Just a blade of grass in a big field.


Updated: December 29th, 2019

Reread October 28th, 2020. Only Covid-19 has us yet am firm we as people will do what we have to do...like we always do. Peace.

Peace drawn by a lifer friend..... Some of many juice jobs...... And, note from a guard.

Clover from the grounds of a prison.

California Contractor for seventeen years now, I have always been a handyman. (inside and out). Many years of helping mansion owners with their projects simultaneously being hired by private folks to build restaurants or homes. Physically fit and mentally unchallenged (I laugh as I type... smile), while continually thankful. I like to build and want to do more. Sincerely, Tony

Badass pic showing what we are...nothing but a shape. Then we use our brains and kick ass! Peace. Out.