Georgia Bound 8 – Love Letter

The handprints of Hall in front of Hollywood H...

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Joseph Graham was desperately in love with his wife and he adored his daughter. He talked about them constantly and they were what kept him going. Jo was the life of the party. His high spirits were contagious. His smile was refreshing. His kindness was admirable. How could such a great fellow be in a place like this?

Fourteen years prior, Joseph was seeing a girl in Texas. They went their separate ways and he moved to Georgia. Little did he know that the girl in Texas was soon to be the mother of his child. She didn’t share the good news with him. Instead, she found another guy whom she married and let the poor sap believe that Joseph’s daughter was his very own. 14 years later, they split up and a test showed that Joseph Graham was the real dad, which was news to Jo. Now Mr. Graham sat in Bartow County jail because he was not able to come up with the back child support for a thirteen-year stretch. Nevertheless, he was always looking at the bright side which mostly consisted of his wife and five-year-old daughter at home.

One day, Jo asked me a question. He asked me if I could draw. Well, it just so happens that I can. I drew what he asked: a gothic-style cross amidst hibiscus blooms. It was the design for a tattoo he planned to get. He was very impressed and grateful and promised me some food from his supply.

You see, Jo was the guy who could get anything that could be got in jail. He was popular with everyone and could make a deal better than Monty Hall. He and I had never made any deals. He gave me things and I gave him things. This time, however, I was quick to ask for something. I told him that I didn’t want the food but that I would prefer something else. I wanted something that only he could get. I wanted the coveted “stamped envelope.”

I had no money and no means whereby I could get any of the extras that others were privy to. There was no one on the outside who was sending me some cash to purchase socks, underwear, snacks or anything else. I was therefore out of the trading game because I had nothing to trade. This was my chance to finally get the one thing I wanted most. This was my chance to obtain the means whereby I may contact my wife and tell her just how much I missed her and how much I truly loved her. I wanted this one thing, this envelope, more than anything. I was even prepared to give him a whole meal each day for a week or anything he wanted.

A stamped envelope was never part of any deal. Those who were fortunate enough to have them did not surrender them at all. Writing home was just as valuable as receiving a letter from home and that was nothing anyone could give you in lockup. So, when I asked him for the prized possession, I held my breath. I did not expect such treasure to come easily to me, if it even came at all. Upon hearing my request, Joseph went directly to another guy and started to deal. In less than two minutes, I had the envelope in my hand.

Thank God for Joseph Graham!

Georgia Bound Saga: More to Come!

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