48) What's up Doc?

The feds returned Doc back to Lompoc today. 

Doc is in his late 50's, but could pass for his early 40's. He's got wavy hair, cut short with just a splash of grey. He's about 5 foot 10 with a muscular build. (Good black don't crack.) Doc was convicted of 5 counts of bank robbery in the 70's and was released to the outside world late 1995 after serving close to 25 years. (I'll say it again, 10 years ain't looking too bad to a nigga now!) Doc knocked on my cell early this morning to cop a carton of smokes. He said Killer Boom sent him. I introduced myself and asked if he wanted a shot of coffee. I made two cups of Joe and Doc and I chopped it up for about a hour. I found out some things about Doc that kind of put in perspective how long he has been incarcerated. 

The last movie Doc
saw before his arrest was, "Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song." One of the hottest songs of the year was, The Jackson 5's "Never Can Say Goodbye." (Doc even sung a little bit of it out loud.)  The must have car of the year for ballers was the Cadillac Coupe DeVille, Nixon was President and Idi Amin took control of Uganda. The fact that this man remembers all of this amazed me. When he saw me taking notes of our conversation he kinda tripped a little. When I explained to him that I was keeping a journal he really opened up to me. I asked him if there was a reason why he didn't make it on the outside. He told me he tried, but there was not much a person can do earning $5.15 an hour. After paying rent, bills and buying food there was nothing left over to put away in savings. He said his felony conviction held him back from all the decent paying jobs and he felt depressed all the time. I felt bad for Doc. 50 something years old and fresh in on an 8 year bid. I've promised myself that I would rather be free, broke, hungry and homeless, than to sit my black ass up in here with a million dollars.


  1. Wow. This made me think about "these days". Computers, cell phone, autos, food, EVERYTHING changes so quickly now - even tv will have to be HD here pretty soon. I wonder if someone went in today if they would lose their minds when they were released in 25 years... by then we'll probably be FLYING to work.

    It could really mess someone up...

    Hi Mike.

  2. I think that the US might look seriously at the term limits that Europe uses. Unless you violently kill/maim/rape someone, the long sentences only serve to destroy lives where we should seriously be focused on rehabilitation.

    Thought provoking, well written entry.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

  3. I concur, whole heartedly, vaughn. There is a lot of talent / skill / ability on the "inside"; it's time to allow prisoners to finish their sentence while incarcerated, to not prolong it from here to eternity.

    I further agree with sentences - they are FAR TOO LONG in MOST cases.

  4. Hi, I just read your whole blog, great stories, great writing. Thanks for sharing, hope to see more entries up soon.