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The life I chose put a label on me, it didn't make me a bigger man or a better person but the life I chose showed me My Struggle. I’m not a complicated person, just a realist and a leader. You're not better than me, you're no different than me, in my eyes were equal. It doesn't mean anything because I'm locked up, my tattoos never defined me, I'm happy where I'm at, at this point in my life. I'm just on a little vacation right now. I'm not going to change for you or the next person and you should feel the same way.
We all have a lot to figure out even when we think we know it all. If someone can't tell you how they feel, then what's the point in trying? Yes, we don't know the half of what someone else has been through until we've lived that exact experience they've been through, so why judge when we don't even know that person?
Why, because we feel we're better than them, because we're in a better position than them, or just because we're too blind to see that we're stuck in our own ways. We might not be the same gender, the same race, might not be as wealthy as the next person, but My Struggle made me who I am.
Lonnie LaBonte #01003685
Peace be upon you,
Thank you for reading this blog. I’m posting a new photo of myself with a beard (which was taken last month). As you can see I’ve got quite a bit of grey hair in my beard, but that’s okay because I pray that with age comes wisdom, God willing. Additionally, I’ve enclosed some photos of my craft projects. I’ve been in the unit craft shop for over 10 years.
First I worked as an Artist painting anything I thought others would enjoy…especially for friends and family. Eventually, I broadened my artistic abilities and started “commercial art”, which, allowed me to airbrush clock plaques, helmets, mini-blinds…almost anything.
After my Father passed from Cancer, I began working as a metal smith. Initially, I made small objects: Dog-tags, name-tags, pendants, earrings and bracelets. As I got better, I began making: Buckles, Colt 1911 pistol grips, prayer-beads, rings and spurs. Again, anything I thought others would enjoy…especially for friends and family.
I currently find myself working more on law enforcement and fire department projects making badges, but I also donate items towards non-profit organizations to help others.
I pray you’ll appreciate seeing some of the items I’ve spent so much of my time crafting through the years of wrongful incarceration.
Mahdi Ali #236437
I’m currently incarcerated for a crime I didn’t commit. All it takes to prove my innocence is DNA testing. Unfortunately, Minnesota isn’t interested in innocent or guilt which is why I’m reaching out for help. Please read my profile to get better understanding on my story and unlawful conviction. In the meantime, this is my dream.
Goals & Aspirations
My goal is becoming one of the best authors and songwriters in my generation. Shedding light to what matters the most in society brings me joy. The thoughts of knowing I can affect the world in so many ways with my words alone are amazing and indescribable feelings. Imagine inspiring people and knowing that you impacted their lives with your craft. Music and books are a part of our daily lives regardless of our environments. I chose these hobbies obviously because of my talent, but also knowing that I can possibly help and save lives. I’m a product of a corrupt environment. My surroundings lack of positive enlightenment inspired me to develop a strong sense of self-awareness, and opened my eyes to hardships and struggles consuming our youth. If I can inspire one individual with my words to keep them from traveling down this road I have paved, it would fulfill my desire of being helpful. My personal aspiration is to share my experiences, to help guide troubled youth that might be starting on the path I went, to divert them onto a more positive path with my creative writing.
The Minnesota Correctional Facility Stillwater is a very old prison. Built in the late 1800’s, much of it still remains the same. That being said, it’s “hot”. The walls of our cells actually sweat during peak summer days and though we have fairly good access to showers, you are never actually dry!
But I am focused, working on my appeal(s) that I may get my freedom back and care for my daughter. Who, incidentally, is moving to Arizona to be closer to aging family. It does break my heart a bit as visits will become much less frequent leaving my mind to wander more that I like it too…
Despite the heat, I am working out hard, and though I do not appear to be shedding the pounds I want to, I am looking and feeling better. So, I believe my focus and perseverance will balance out sooner rather than later. I keep telling myself “No Pain, No Pain”.
Thank you for your time, felt like I just needed to vent a bit. #Staying focused and pursuing better things in the belly of the beast…
Here's a little about myself. I was born on the Army base of Colorado Springs; so I'm slightly an Army brat. LOL My family migrated to California and raised me in southern cities of the state.
Growing up I was athletic, but I never pursued one sport as a profession, so me and sports grew apart. Track and field are my favorite, so I'm a fan of the Olympics because I can track growing up.
I'm a vegetarian with no beef with those who choose to eat meat (smile). For entertainment my categories in movies: suspense, comedy, romance. Music: Jazz, Rhythm & Blues, Contemporary Country, Pop, Alternative Rock. As for TV I have no set shows, but I like PBS World News and dating shows.
I work out on a daily to maintain good health not as a competition. I'm currently taking up self taught Spanish lessons in audio to become fully bilingual. I'm not fluent yet but I'm almost there. I'm a man of faith and was raised in a Bible reading household, however, I have to admit I'm not religious. Of course, this is a small portion of who I am. If you like to know more you know what to do!
Aeron Mitchell Williams
Do you know what you want?
When you lose any type of relationship you either get real mad at that person about it or mad at yourself for the loss. Then after that comes the doubt and the weight of pros and cons from your performance within the relationship. Wondering, "was I to busy", or "was I to self-centered and selfish", bashing yourself!
Consider all your neglections but refrain from making yourself feel bad, if it was needed to happen.
Because you have to think, why were you making yourself easily distracted? How knowingly was your naiveness towards the temptation? Why was it not your business to want to be more interested and their interests?
There's a reason for every reason and clearly, they weren't one of them…
When someone emotionally conspires to a person's existence of needs and wants, they make a way to involve their day. That person's thoughts, aspirations, and business becomes your business. "The heart wants what the heart wants." That's why I make it my mission to establish my barrier in the beginning with no time wasted. "You'll know you're king from the first zing" with me.
I've been watching over my shoulder and peeping around corners to look out for myself for so long that I almost didn't notice that you're right here with me.
I need your strength and your concern for me and for my well-being. When I have them, I feel even safer.
My Dinner of Mud with Rocks
My Dinner of Mud with Rocks
In prison we have this delightful concoction known as dried beans. (It is the “healthy”alternative to dried potatoes.) With the kosher variety, they are in flakes with red pepper. The refried ones are desiccated and compressed into tubules, awaiting what I have been swilling for twenty years in large quantities, tap water, to bring them back to life. But is it life, or is it living death, because no matter how much habanero blood or powdered whatever you pour into them, they are still tasteless mud.
Then my Bunkie gave me some compressed cooked potato chip burritos, which I ate the guts out of with added salt, because flour tortillas in prison are not great. Break them up in the beans to soak and voila! You have mud with white rocks. And I have dinner for tomorrow as well, as I can’t eat this stuff anymore.
Time for denatured tea, sweetened with powdered Gatorade. It’s giving me hiccups. I have no juice (or toilet paper) (or a life). And people in the world are throwing themselves off bridges?!? Why? You are in the world, you morons! You could be in prison! Stop killing yourselves! Don’t you know about near death experiences? You will have no excuse!
By the way, my other go-to staple in “la prison” is instant mashed potatoes layered over a very thin gruel of oatmeal. This is an attempt to wrest some kind of nutritional value from our devitalized diet in prison. Twice a year, at Thanksgiving and Christmas, we get one small orange and one (always) small, mealy apple. This is the only fresh fruit we get all year. I haven’t had any other fruit in twenty years! Almost no raw vegetables. I tried to pick weeds, hoping to get some vitamins but I can’t do this at some facilities.
We are trying to stay alive and y’all are trying to kill yourselves with opioids. What up? America is wallowing in materialistic plenty and you want to die? I can relate, but...
Jose Moreno #01860646
I’d like to introduce myself, share a little background. I was born and raised in Dallas. I’m seeking to meet some simply like-minded, down to earth FRIENDS. I enjoy drawing, coloring and playing sports. We all make mistakes and I have learned from mine. I like meeting new people. I would like to explore life, friendship is our way of life. It’s getting closer to each other by getting to know one another. It’s finding something new in every adventure. It’s knowing that some treasures fit in your hand while others fill your heart.
I’m a book wanting to be opened. I know life out there can be lonely although you’re surrounded by lots of people. Don’t be shy, I know writing is an unconventional way to meet someone who seeks positive things out of life despite falling short from our mistakes.
I have a new passion, working on cars. I hope to pursue this upon release. I already know how to do paint jobs and very little body work. Hopefully I’ll learn with each experience. I’m family oriented, lucky to have loved ones that are loyal. I’m here with high hopes to build a friendship but the ball is in your hands so it starts with you. By the way I’m a fan of Curry, Go Warriors.
Thomas Collier #22104-084
My name is Thomas but everyone calls me “Eazy”. I’m 5’8” tall and weigh between 200-205 pounds. I’m 33 years old and one of the things I cherish most in this world is good conversation. Are you seeking the same? I am looking for a woman who knows herself, one who values friendship and loyalty. I’m not specifically looking for someone to be intimate with on a relationship level, but my mind and heart are more than open to that “right one”. It was said that behind every great man stood a greater woman. I am a man who strongly believes this.
I am a hilarious individual who always keeps those around me laughing. I’ve had a tough life and one of the things that has always given me happiness is providing humor for those around me. Even at my own expense. I would love to hear from a positive, strong willed woman. Life is too short to focus on what we don’t have. Life instead should be focused on cherishing what you do have and continuing to better yourself. I am a tattoo artist and am passionate about my work. I enjoy the process and the satisfaction on a customer’s face.
I am looking for a partner, someone to care for me as I will for them. I believe that a good, healthy relationship is about what you can offer and put in it, instead of what you can receive or get out of it. I make mistakes and will never be perfect, but a smile on your face means more to me than a smile on mine. I am from Martinsville, Virginia but spent a lot of time in Roanoke, Virginia. I am in prison for participating in a drug conspiracy. Everyone makes mistakes but they don’t have to define who you are. It’s how you grow and get better that defines you.
There is a special someone in this world for all of us. If you are a woman who enjoys the smaller meaningful things in life and loves to laugh. Can we be friends? Or more?