— John Prine, Christmas in Prison
Old home week in west Texas ...
LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO — "Wilmaaa!"
This is Bedrock.
I've already had a few "I can't believe I'm here" moments on this trip. Yesterday was another.
It looks pretty much like I remembered from 1986. It's a big, white adobe with a Spanish mission design. I don't know what La Tuna means.
I came there from the Omaha county jail, and the high-rise federal prison in downtown Chicago. We took a white prison bus from Chicago to Leavenworth for an overnight, then to the federal prison in El Reno, Oklahoma, then on to extreme west Texas.
I was there for a few months. The whole thing was a nightmare, but when I dream of La Tuna it's more like remembering a fond old neighborhood. It was warm there. I eventually started to settle in and sometimes it wasn't so bad. The Sunday morning Mexican brunch was really good.
It was so far from Nebraska that I really had trouble imagining that the moon I saw at night was the same that Ruth was seeing.
The Mexican Mafia was in La Tuna, and Italian guys, mob guys? I suppose.
It was a misdemeanor. Try telling your prison buddies you are in on a misdemeanor.