"The Convicted" - R.H. Ring's and John S. Long - Arizona Daily Star
It's no surprise I wound up in prison. Like many of us, in this nation founded by outlaws, I have committed crimes. I have felt alienation. I have needed money. I have hated the system, its sometimes oppressive laws and the men who make them. In a wilder period, about 10 years ago, I even did a little time - a few days in a county jail, and almost a week in a Canadian penitentiary. Vietnam-era stuff. What kept me out on the streets for the rest of my 32 years was mainly luck, and a leg up from having white skin and middle-class parentage. Simply, I got away with what others did not. But what did I care if I was caught? In a strange way, I wanted to go to prison.
Peggy and I headed down a palm-lined Tahitian road to the tiny Moorea airport. It was Saturday, June 20, and we were ending our honeymoon in paradise. On the flight from Papeete to Los Angeles, we drank French beer, ate smoked salmon and watched a Francois Truffaut Movie. I awoke abruptly from my reverie the next day. Nervous. I moved about strangely in a starched khaki uniform I had never worn before. I was leaving Tucson for a two-week newspaper assignment as a guard at the state prison at Fort Grant.