...in the bottom drawer
I knew I'd lose it so I put it in a safe place, and now I can't remember where it is.

currently stashed in: Cheshire Street, London
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September 22, 2004 || 3:48 am

We have several (black) men from the local prison who work for us at the Rural Studio, and in other charitable-type jobs around town. Their profitable sideline is that they have all learnt how to make belts and other leather goods embossed with patterns, people's names, and anything else you might want, which they make to order and sell. They are recognisable by their all-white attire, with a discreet 'Alabama Dept of Public COrrections' stencil on one trouser-leg.

Tyrone, one of these guys who has been working for some time in Newbern as the trusted handyman-gardener of the RS properties, had his parole hearing yesterday and it has been granted. I saw him today and his row of gold teeth shined with a big smile when I congratulated him.

Thirteen years, he told me it had been. He's not an old man, not much over 30 I would have thought. Like Johnny Parker, an older white ex-con who is now one of the RS's greatest staff members, it's very hard to imagine him doing anything violent. But every other person round here seems to have some brush with the law. I was talking outside G.B.'s to another young-ish black man yesterday. He'd been inside five times and had come back to Newbern from Selma to keep out of trouble and look after his ageing, diabetic father.

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