When I ran into a recent Truthout article by Nadia Prupis, “Cash-Strapped States Resurrect “Debtors’ Prisons,” I had a sharp pain in the center of my chest. It made me catch my breath.
I was flooded with visions from when I was a young man (22) serving hard labor on a rock-quarry chain-gang. Arguably, the most brutal one then in the Old South.
The day I was released, September 17th, 1965, I was literally dragged out of the hole, an underground, dungeon-like cell. I didn’t really have an out-date; I was a “debtor” prisoner working out court costs.
I wasn’t in the best of shape. They only served one meal every third day in the hole, and I was still recovering from an operation at Nashville General Hospital to remove a spoon handle from my stomach. more…