NOTES FROM PRISON
me begin by giving my readers an update from the kitchen here
at Oakdale. Last week, I broke the big news that I had finally
been assigned a permanent job in the kitchen. Kitchen man.
you know what? It’s really not all that bad. And here
is the big news. I’m actually cooking. Not all the time,
but I’ve been working with the regular cooks (after I
finish my clean up duty) to spice things up a bit and pitch
in on food preparation.
big test came a few days ago when I offered to cook the main
course for our evening meal. Meat Loaf.
Loaf you ask? Is that the best I could do at my first foray
of feeding one hundred people? But remember this. I don’t
just fix any old meat loaf. The recipe I used came right out
of my cookbook, “Jim Brown’s World Famous Squirrel
Stew and Other Country Recipes.”
can I tell ya. The response from the inmates was unbelievable.
I’m trying to be modest here, but my meat loaf received
rave reviews from throughout the prison population. Once a dish
of disdain, meat loaf will be regular fare in the months to
what’s my secret you ask? Simple. I just spice it up more
and am a little more creative in blending different ingredients.
Here is my recipe, found on page 125 of my cookbook.
Brown’s Meat Loaf
pounds ground beef
cup finely chopped onion
cup fine corn flake crumbs
clove garlic, minced
T. chopped parsley
(3-in.) squares mozzarella cheese cut in half diagonally
cup tomato juice
all ingredients except cheese; mix well. Shape into round
about 7 inches in diameter. Place on lightly greased shallow
Bake in medium oven, 350 degrees until done, about 1 hour
15 minutes. Arrange cheese slices on top in a spiral with
overlapping at center top. Return to oven just until cheese
Cut into wedges to serve. Half again the recipe to serve 12.
The recipe should serve six easily. My cookbook should be available
for you to purchase on my website by the first of the year.
So keep your eye out.
One more question you might have. How do you prepare the same
recipe for one hundred or more? This obviously is more of a
challenge. Here is what I suggest you do. Go down to your local
FBI office, and tell them you want to make a statement. Tell
them the sky is blue, George Bush is President, and Edwin Edwards
is in jail. They will charge you with making a false statement,
you will get six months in jail, then you can come up here with
me and we can try all kinds of dishes from my cookbook.
have to keep a sense of humor and your sense of the ridiculous
in the face of injustice. At each meal, I tell my tablemates
1) I love my country, But I fear my government.
Non Carborundum Illigetimi
(Don’t let the bastards get you down.)
* * * * * * * * *
look at the stars a lot here at Oakdale Prison. The sky is significantly
clearer than at my hometown. Every time I fly into Baton Rouge
airport, I notice a haze that covers the city. But not up here.
have a favorite spot to watch the sky. Outside the back door
of my building overlooking the arena. In the daylight, I can
sometimes spot a four leaf clover in the grass where I sit and
read. At night, I think about the things I miss—mostly
my family—as I watch the stars. Knowing what a waste of
time to be here, but trying to make the best of it.
you see the Leonid meteor shower a few weeks back? Every year
at the time, when the Earth passes through a trail of debris
from the comet Tepel-Tuttle, trails of meteors blaze across
the late night and predawn sky. The swarm of shooting stars
was exceptionally dense and bright this year, and we won’t
see such illumination for nearly another century. Bursts of
different colored lights that lasted for several hours.
generally watch the stars a while each night, just before going
to bed. You can see a lot in the sky. The ancient Greeks regarded
the stars as the eyes of God. Plato particularly linked the
stars to the creator. Flaubert writes about his dancing bear
stars in Madamme Bovary. My mother used to tell me
when I was young that we become stars when we die.
Greek playwright Aratus, in a famous passage from Phainomena,
tells the story (a logos) of how Zeus has a star watching out
For close at hand amoung men there are immortals taking
note of all those who afflict each other with crooked
judgements. And there is the Maiden Right, daughter of
Zeus, esteemed and respected by the Gods of Olympus;
and whenever someone does her down with crooked abuse,
at once she sits by Zeus and reports the men’s unrightous
so that the people may pay for the crimes of their lords who
balefully divert justice from its course by pronouncing it
that’s strong. Those people “who balefully divert
justice from its course” will be dealt with by Zeus. I
hope he will take a close look at how justice was diverted from
its course in my case. The prosecutors hid the evidence from
me that they knew would prove me innocent. They kept the handwritten
notes of the FBI agent from me that would show I was telling
the truth. What they did to me was a perversion of justice and
that’s why I look at the stars. Perhaps Zeus will step
in, see the wrong that’s been done, and make amends. But
whatever happens, if you want to know what I’m doing each
night around 11:00 p.m., for the next four months, just look
up at the stars.
* * * * * * * * *
Leadership, by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani
is the number one seller in non-fiction on most of the nation’s
book lists. At it should be no surprise. He has been America’s
Mayor and our country’s hero since September 11.
becoming Mayor, Giuliani was New York City’s U.S. Attorney.
I thought then he was a grandstander, trying to take a sledgehammer
to Wall Street, and handcuffing even minor white-collar suspects
before the television cameras. Many of his criminal charges
whatever his earlier shortcomings, he was a super Mayor for
New York City. As Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner,
I’ve needed to go to New York almost monthly. I observed
first hand how he cleaned up the city, brought 42nd Street back
alive, and significantly dropped the crime rate.
came 9/11. You can’t say enough about the class and confidence
he displayed and the devotion he gave to the families in mourning.
He showed magnificent leadership in the process of putting life
in the city back together.
book is his story of all he went through. These are some comments
on his personal life; his prostate cancer and anecdotes about
his childhood. He lists numerous traits that make up the quality
of leadership. However, most of his ideas and suggestions can
be found in business motivational books.
important reason for this book is to hear first hand how the
successful New York Mayor rose to the occasion on September
11th, and became one of America’s current heros. Leadership
will be on the best selling charts for a number of months to
thanks to so many of you who have e-mailed me. I post many of
your responses, and I greatly appreciate your thoughts, your
concerns, and your prayers. I close this week by re-printing
a moving message from Florida.
next week, peace and justice to you and your family.
Dear Commissioner Brown:
I am a native of Louisiana (Lake Charles) and recently retired
years of service in the U.S. Air Force. I now reside in Panama
Florida. I have been aware of your political career since I
was a very
young man, and have followed closely the events surrounding
incarceration, and am a regular visitor to your website.
I will not be long with my comments, but I wanted to add my
to the thousands you have received. It is both amazing and tragic
the very fundamental principles upon which our legal system
were so systematically ignored in your case. It is even more
that the appeals process has not rectified this injustice.
I am sure you will grow as a person during this experience,
and this will,
no doubt, allow you to cross paths with some very interesting
Oakdale. But the fact remains that it is an experience you and
family should not have to go through. As a father and husband,
I realize too that this is time away from your family that cannot
I pray that you continue to stand up tall in the face of this
I hope you have a faith in God that will allow you to overcome
obstacle. You have every right to be bitter, but you seem to
your bitterness into something positive. Your accusers will
have to answer to
a higher power at some point, and hopefully you can take some
consolation in that fact.
I would like to see you return to elected office after your
been served. I think the majority of voters in Louisiana understand
type of man you are, and would like you to continue serving
also think it would be an excellent way to show your prosecutors
they have not achieved what they so vigorously sought—an
end to your
political career. Thanks for your time, and I hope you continue
the best of this most unfortunate situation.
B. from Florida