Dennis McGuire, August 20th, 2012, “Like Father, Like Son”

Dennis McGuire


Telford Unit

3899 State Highway 98

New Boston, Texas 75570

In this dorm, I am also surrounded by some of the most utterly spoiled, self-absorbed, selfish and thoroughly heartless human beings i have ever been around. (At this point, I am reminded of my old 11-building boss, Ms. Wayne, who would say to me when I complained about something of mine having been stolen or some other such injustice, “Mcguire, imagine that! Have you forgotten where you are?”). In fairness, I have some neighbors (not many, out of 79 others) who are decent enough to wake me up early in the morning when it’s time to exchange clothes and who do occasionally share coffee and food with me, but it’s the other ones, the ones who are blessed and privileged, who already have plenty, who are already living like kings in here, and are arrogant about it, that I have a really problem with. In an upcoming Journal entry, I’ll discuss in much greater detail what I’ve learned about prison life during the past 10 years. (Basically, this; the rich get richer, the lucky get luckier, the blessed get more and more blessed, the privileged get more and more privileged, and the “haves” share among the “haves”. They do not share with the “have-nots”. As a general rule. This is an observable fact. An it is diametrically opposite from the way things ought to be, as Rush might put it). I despise it. Watching these people day after day infuriates me. But as I have so often said; this is not my world; these are not my people; this is not my life. This is but a chapter of my life, a long chapter that I will survive and make it through, so that I can return to the real world that I came from.

Now– if my father were alive, and still strong and mentally and physically health as he was, say, 25 years ago when he was 71 (he died in 1996 at the age of 80, frail and ravaged by Alzheimer’s) and he came to see me in prison one lovely Saturday afternoon and I sat with him and griped about some of the things I gripe about now and some of the things I hear others gripe about, I know full well he’d say to me, with love, of course, something very much like this; “Son, have you forgotten where you are?” (Wait a minute!, What the…? Had he just been on the phone, talking about me with Ms. Wayne?). He’d say, “You’re in prison! You broke a State law. Your actions got a few people upset with you. No, I don’t agree with what they did to you, but you knew what you were doing was wrong when ya did it, and now here we are. Son, you’re not in the free world anymore. you’re not supposed to be petted and pampered and catered to. You don’t have the same rights and privileges as I do anymore. You’re not entitled to have them. you’re not living in a Hyatt Regency, or a Marriott, a Hilton, or a Renaissance. (I’ve stayed in all those hotels many, many times, and I will again). You’re not going to get the same level of sanitation and cleanliness in here that you got in those places. you’re not supposed to be living like a king! You’re supposed to be paying for your rotten, vicious, filthy, evil sins, and lives, and crimes against the State!”

Well, okay, that’s me talking. Maybe Dad wouldn’t have really been quite so forceful and hard-hitting as that last statement. He would have had enough sensitivity to my situation as to not say that to my face while I’m sitting in prison, spending these two hours with him and wishing I was going home with him. But it is what he would have thought. It is what he would have believed. And now that I’m in here and I’m watching others’ behavior and seeing the very characteristics in them that he so hated in me, it is exactly the way I feel. That little speech is exactly what I want to say to some of these people sometimes.

Isn’t it funny how the passage of time and the changing of life’s circumstances causes the son to become more like the father? I wouldn’t have thought so when I was younger. I miss my dad more and more every year that passes. He was the single greatest influence in my life. In another Journal entry later on, called “Influences,” I’ll talk more about him, and about another great influence on my life: a well-known radio evangelist who used to sign off his broadcasts like this: “Until next time, this is…(Dennis McGuire) saying; goodbye, friends.”