23 Jul 08
Two Tonys and Warrior at Rec (by Two Tonys Part 1)
Two Tonys - A whacker of men and Mafia associate serving multiple life sentences for murders and violent crimes. Left bodies from Tucson to Alaska, but claims all his victims "had it coming."
When I first got to this yard, I’d done 90 days in the hole in Tucson. They took me out of the hole and shipped me to Buckeye.
I’d never been to this unit before, but I know a lot of these guys from the old days and other yards. One guy I knew for 28 years, I and hadn’t seen him for 23. He was a half-ass shot-caller back in his younger days, and was very close to that dude, T, I had to snuff in Phoenix.
So I’m put in Building 2, but after 3-4 weeks they move me down to Building 1 where Shotcaller lives, and there are 4-5 friends of T I felt I should be careful around.
Now Shotcaller and I had seen each other through the rec field fence going and coming to chow.
In Building 1, Shotcaller’s cell is right above mine. He’s in my vent, so we can talk but there’s also 2 other cells in our vent, so it’s light talk. "How ya been? You seen so and so?" Yaddy yaddy ya bullshit.
We agree to talk at rec, take some laps around the track.
Now I’m old. 66. He’s 62. Gray headed. Great shape. Prison does that to a guy.
We meet. We hug. We start lapping. Just the 2 of us.
So I start it off. I tell him, “Look, I know T was your guy and you had love for him, and so did I at one time. But he got out. He got full of that fucking speed and he got real disrespectful and real ignorant. You know how he was. He was dangerous. I couldn’t wait for him to whack me. I did what I did. It’s a shame, but it’s over. It was a me or him thing. You would have acted as I acted.”
Shotcaller agreed with everything I had to say. I ain’t no fool. I’ve been to a few tea parties, but I got sense in certain situations.
I check out the yard. It’s not like the old days. This is a modern 21st Century prison. Gun towers. CO’s walking around. No cliques running things. This is a let-me-do-my-time-and-go-home yard. Or a let-me-do-what-I-can-of-my-life-sentence-and-die-in-peace yard.
Shotcaller assures me he understands. While he loved the guy T, he knew T was a whacko, and if he were in my shoes he would have probably done the same.
So I grill him a little bit about others on the yard.
One in particular had a nasty rep. He was big back in the day. Mean, crazy and tough. I knew him 25-26 years ago and stayed away from him. They called him Mekong Mike. He was a vet who had seen a lot of shit over there and did a lot of shit. He was for real, I knew that much. But he was also close to T and he was in my building. We had passed each other maybe 10 times. But no eye contact. No swagger. No good vibes. I felt the vibe Mekong Mike put on me so I asked Shotcaller about him.
He tells me, "Mekong Mike's a Jesus freak now. He's hung up all his spurs. He walks with God.
The T shit is over. No need to get paranoid. Relax. Enjoy the yard. It’s mellow. It’s our fucking retirement home.”
I tell him, “Right on. That sounds good to me.”
So we go on. He takes me over and introduces me to a few guys. Young guys. All buffed up. Tatted down. You know the type.
Now look, I don’t want to sound vain or nothing but I got a rep that precedes me also. So some of these kids heard of me and I’m picking up good vibes. A lot of respect. I’m old. Shotcaller’s old. But we got respect. We’re not rape-os. Or chomos. Or rats. We’re a couple of OG’s. Old Gangsters.
We earned our spurs back on Florence prison yard. Where white guys always had to go 2-3 deep to the showers. Always on full tilt in case the Mexicans or blacks jumped off. It was like that back then. Most of these kids were shitting yellow while guys such as me, Shotcaller, T, Mekong Mike were representing the white man.
The other races had theirs, we had ours. Respect ours, we’ll respect yours. Otherwise fuck it. Back in those days if a new arrival showed heart he was not alone. We’d stand with him. If he broke weak, then he did his time as a weakling. So that’s how it was.
The man let it go on, it made his job safer and easier. We all would do our best to keep the lid on. And most of the time we did. It would blow at times, but afterwards it would settle down.
So now here we are in the 21st Century prison. It’s the man’s system now. He’s got 30 prisons to break up gangs and tough guys. He’s got holes that are deep and dark and insane. You get scared just going to them.
I realize it’s an adapt or suffer world, so the smart ones adapt. Go to rec. Read. Watch TV. Enjoy this time drama free. You don’t have to check your balls at the warden’s office, but try to use your head.
But keep in mind there are still motherfuckers up in here whose brains are still locked into that old shit. And if you hit the button, you can get killed. But you stay away from those guys. Don’t borrow. Don’t lend. Just a “Hi!” or “Right on!” and keep your distance.
I’ve been in both time frames. This is better. Less stress. The old days were fun at times. But lots of stress.
So Shotcaller introduces me to this Warrior kid. He’s got the face of a choirboy. The build of a young Mike Tyson. And polite as hell. I pick up good vibes from him. He’s real respectful in his manner. We talk for a little while about Tucson.
Then this lame they call Skids comes up to me. “Hey, Two Tonys. You remember me back in ’84 South Unit.” Yaddy yaddy da. So he wants to lap a couple with me.
So I say, “Sure. Why not.”
Shotcaller hangs out kicking it with Warrior and some others.
So we start taking laps.
Now as we’re lapping we go by 4 young Mexican eses. I notice them. I don’t stare or make eye contact. They have an air about them that radiates, “We’re all that and a bag of M&M’s.” They got tats. Mexican war eagles. Aztec chieftain stuff. Real political stuff. They’re young. In shape. And think their shit has no odor to it.
I hear one of them call out my name.
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