Friday, May 11, 2007

A new member of the family & part 3 of "Inside the Hanoi Hilton" and my youngest, "the Spitfire" turns 16 today

Once again I am out. I have 4 more days to go till "wheels up" & "Feet Wet" as the military says. The last couple of days inside the Hanoi Hilton have been hot, as evidenced by the number of people who have suffered heat exhaustion and the guys that have used the cold drinking water to soak their towels to wear over their heads. So far, I haven't found the experience that unbearable, although not desirable. I will be glad to go wheels up on Tuesday I am hoping and that part of my penance for my indiscretion will have passed.

I managed to get out a Ladmo bag, intact and took some pictures. That wasn't such a big deal, I simply opened it and took the contents and filled the pocket of my sports "work coat" that I always wear to the station and
walked out. Contrary to what some malcontents will say, the bread is not moldy, it is sealed in a plastic container. The meat in this particular package was turkey, though I didn't have the stomach to try it out. I spent the last 3 days subsisting on candy bars and sunkist soda, and then water for the most part. The last 3 days were the toughest as I went in at 1:30 am Monday night and didn't get out until 1:30 pm on Thursday. I am about 15 lbs overweight going in and now I have lost about 10 lbs, so I am down 150 which is 5 lbs from my normal weight. I was going to sneak out a 'dinner' but it was so rank and I kept it for 2 days and then decided that after sitting in the heat for a couple of days, it would start smelling even worse than it did when it was fresh. In the ladmo bag, you also get some 'cheese nips' and an orange, which didn't seem too happy. I refused to partake of the "Hanoi Hilton" cuisine as I figured, I could wait until I got out. As for the 'dinner', you know the pigeons there know when it's feeding time for the inmates. They swoop down like WWII german stuka bombers and plant themselves on the top of the tents, waiting for the scraps and leftover that many of the 'inmates' throw out for them. I have seen rats, or rather mice, darting through the tents, though many of the 'old timers' say that they don't really bother humans.

The guards, once they get used to knowing what your M.O. is, get friendlier. Some of them still exhibit the 'Barney Fife' syndrome and try to intimidate you. I have been refused my medication at least 5 times, being told at various times that I was too late, or we were on lockdown and to come back later only to be told that again, I was too late. There was one female D.O. who actually apologised all over herself for me not getting my medication and allowed me to get it at 2am. There is also a couple of nightside D.O.'s that if you are square with them and show them respect, they are nice guys. I have actually talked to them about what is going on in the news and tried to treat them as I would anyone, with respect. I do have to remember, the amount of people they see in any given time, the responsibility they have and what people that are contentious to them are like. They are just trying to do their job.

All things being equal, I am willing to bet, they don't want to see the worst of what humanity has to offer. Luckily, the work release and for the most part, work furlough guys are all just normal people that made a mistake. I have talked to a few that seem to think it's somehow glamorous to be in "the tents". I think however, they are really wracked with fear and don't know another life other than breaking the law and have contempt for any kind of authority and 'normal people' that are doing their sentences and then are released. Obviously, since the male and female populations are separated, I haven't got any stories from any of the women in there, though some I have seen, seem to make a life of bouncing in and out of jail for various offenses.


I am thankful however, that God has allowed me this experience with the patience and humility he has bestowed on me. I am just a simple guy that enjoys my life and truly am wanting to make amends for my mistake. I refuse however, to accept that it makes me a bad person. I do those judgmental comments and looks from people and just accept what they say and drive on. I am also thankful that I wasn't involved in a more serious incident which caused me to end up there. Without the support of my friends and family, I know it could be harder, and I feel empathy for the ones in there that have no one on the outside to support them as I have. I try to respect and be nice to everyone and there are some in there that regard me with suspicion as many have said, "I shouldn't be there" or "I don't look like the kind of guy that did anything wrong." Well, what does one have to look like to get charged with a DUI anyway.

I have tried to reach out to a few in there, trying to steer them or entice them to seek help after they leave for drug and alcohol problems as I usually make my way to the TV tent before I go sleep at night. I find some of the guys there that have regarded AA or NA or whatever as some kind of 'cult' and I have to explain that so far, AA and it's affiliates have done more to turn people's lives around. Addiction is not a good thing and it's often fatal in whatever form it takes. I talked to one young guy, about 25, who has his 3rd DUI and because it wasn't in the amount of time to amount to a felony, he has 90 days to do. I told him that he's lucky as normally 3 gets you prison time and is a felony. He said that he didn't think he had a 'drinking problem' and gave me all the usual excuses for drinking, i.e., his job was tough, he broke up with his girlfriend, he got evicted, etc. I told him, "did you ever think that maybe drinking might have caused these problems? and maybe you do have a problem?" he seemed to take what I said and recognize it but then again told me in the next breath that once he got out, him and a new girl he knew, were going to Vegas and that the first thing he was going to do was drink a cold beer. Well, I guess, once he ends up in Clark County jail in Vegas, God Forbid, maybe what we talked about might come to light. I am hoping that he will think about what we talked about and he will have a change of heart. But I nor anyone else can get a person sober or clean and my years in TV, radio and playing rock n roll have shown me how prevalent addiction is and how easy it is to stay trapped. Rock n Roll is a vicious game baby, rock n roll is a vicious game. Once I go wheels up, I will relate some of the things I saw and heard in the Hanoi Hilton from the journal I have been keeping in there. I am looking so forward to getting out and being able to start working on the new CD and moving on.

On somewhat of a lighter note. I know I can never replace Buddy. For those of you who haven't read much of this, Buddy was my Siamese kitty cat that my son dropped on me about 8 years ago and died of liver disease in March. Tonight, my sister Pepita came over with a gift. I was elated. The picture here is him hiding under a blanket on my mom's bed. Speaking of which, she just fell in love with him as did I. We have a long standing tradition in our family of having a chow dog and a Siamese cat. He is just adorable. So after I am released, we have 2 new additons to the family. We have a little grey kitty, female, named "Shammy" or Chamois, since my other sister Pam, visiting from Colorado, rescued her from a car wash where she was abandoned. She went over to an animal rescue person and has been nursing from a mother whom also is the mother of the new Siamese. So, Molly and Takai and Tessie the dog, are going to have to get used to 2 kittens once they are weaned. When I saw the little Siamese, I just fell in love with him and he does have the "Buddy" voice that Siamese' are noted for. But he just had that aura around him, so I decided that I am going to adopt him and once he reveals the name he wants, I will let you know. I sure am not going to call him Buddy, but he will answer to a name he loves. So, if anything, as bad a health as my mom is in, I bought her a new violin, which she just loves and started playing when I gave it to her and she now has 2 kittens to keep her mind of the health problems. She just lit up when she saw the siamese and she was playing the violin. My mom gave me the gift of music and since she lost her violin some years ago, she really wanted another. And I told her not to hog it as I may need it when I start working on "An Act of Bob" for Bobslayur. I am hoping that this second CD will be more focused that "A clean mind is the sign of a sick car." My friend Lee says I should write for Weird Al Yankovich with some of the crazy ideas I come up with, LOL. Touche!


So, at this point, I am justing in a holding pattern and waiting for the time to go Wheels up. I am just glad that the next couple of days, I will be out working and it's going to be a busy weekend programming wise at the station. Also, I received an email from Claire Massey. She is the songwriter that I love that was part of the 80's band "The Tami Show" and has "Suncat Muse", one of my favorite albums out. She said that she will be sending me her 3 song EP real soon and I am anxious to hear it, as I love her and her band's work. I promise to let you know how it is and if Claire doesn't mind, I might post partial takes on the songs. I also am waiting to get hold of her new album when she has it competed. You can find her site at http://www.planetclaire.com/.
She has a newly designed website and some of her music there and ordering information. As I have said, if you want some good old fashion rock n roll that really kicks and is good, give her a listen. I just love her music and maybe one of these days I might get to meet her and maybe do some work with her, LOL.

Anyway, a big thank you to my friends, family and most certainly God, for helping me endure what I have endured so far. It's starting to heat up here in Phoenix and another summer is upon us. I will get back to my assault on the pinheads about "Blowhard Smarming" though a good friend of mine wants to have a discussion, LOL. And I love her, we have been friends for about 3 years and she now lives in Washington and her brother is some kind of pointy headed biologist. But we can argue and still be friends. Anyway, I close with the best thoughts and thanks to everyone and I will be back with another installment from the "Hanoi Hilton" as time permits.

And finally, my youngest daughter, Kayleigh Marie, ( I love that name, always have) turns 16 today. I tried calling her but she must be busy tearing up the streets of Greeley, Colorado with her new license and I suppose my other wonderful and brilliant daughter Megan, who is 18 and graduating with honors from high school, is busy keeping the "Spitfire" as I call her in line. My daughters are my love and their mom is really a very good mother, as is their stepfather, they have done a great job with them. In fact all my kids make me realize just how precious life is. My kids are the most wonderful thing in the world. I have often said that there are only 3 real works of Art in the world and that's my kids, a good guitar and a good woman. Happy Birthday, Kayleigh Marie. Kayleigh's band, Sin!Clair has a link on the right side of the page and I am going to try and see if I can get hold of some of their tracks and mix them for them and maybe even do some producing. My kids are all so talented, they are all wonderful human beings, God bless them. So, Kayleigh, I love you and stay out of trouble please and keep on rocking, cos I am listening!

Til we meet again,

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