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19 April 2019


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David Solomon

Hello Richard

I read this piece a couple of times. I am not sure that I understand it at all. Unless, perhaps it is meant as a kind of round about way of commenting on our current political nightmare. But then again, maybe not. Would you care to explain further. I am not trying to be critical or saying anything sly. I just don't understand.


PS: It has been a long time since you last posted. I have always enjoyed your posts, but this one leaves me at a loss.


I don’t know if it has a political meaning— I could probably assign it one— but I enjoyed the story.


Clearly, this post is a first-hand comment on how corrupt the US penal system has become, and why it must be reformed--from the "ground up," as folks say.

Why is it so many of you fail to recognize that?

Why, also, are there so few comments on this forthright testimonial--from a man we all have come to respect?

Is the silence because he is not backed by some vociferously promoted media channel?

For my part, his message is clear, and unambiguous--

English Outsider

Great. Where have you been, Mr Sale, to know these things?


Richard sent the following note: "I haven’t posted much because on Feb.10, I had an accident that made me a cripple. I can walk only a walker.
As to the story, Ben Falls is no bully. He loves the convicts he cares for. Malphree, the Death Row inmate, is a man without pity or principles. He has killed two people shooting them from a safe distance.
When he threatens Ben’s life, “Some day you’ll get it crossing the Yard,” Ben knows that Tim deals in fear. But Ben doesn’t take the bait. He says only “Ouch.”
He retails his story of being trained in hand to hand to combat to let Tim know he can handle himself. It is an indirect threat to Malphree.
He exposes the murderer’s lack of courage by calling in an officer and asking hat Malphree to repeat his threat to him. The convict demurs. As Malphree leaves, Ben says, “Remember.” He wants the convict to think of Ben’s combat skills, the emptiness of the convict’s threats, and the man’s cowardice. Malphree has been spiritually destroyed by the encounter. He would he reluctant to threaten his clerk or anybody else."

(My printer is out, so please he patient.)


I think it's an excellent story. I've never been associated with prison, on ether side, but the dialogue sounds realistic, reminds me of film noire and Hammet. Well done, Mr. Sale.


Thank you so much. And thank you David Solomon1
The story takes place in May of 1970 a week after Kent State..
There are many different layers in the story, but we watch a convict who has shot two people who threatens to cut another up another convict and who officialen a prison iofficial with his life.

By the end of the story, the murderer is seen merely pitiable.


John Solomon

"Dear David,

I was so deeply moved by your note. I grieve to think of the suffering you have endured.

Are things better for you now?

When you are badly injured, you are immediately stripped of your sovereignty. You became a deponent who helplessness is resented.

I wish you well in every sense. I thank you for your thoughtful reading of my posts. Be well, my friend.

As to my posting, it is fiction set in May of 1970 just after Kent State. I intended it as a slice of life and should have said so.’

Richard Sale"

David Solomon

Hello Richard,

I manage day to day and I think you will find that you can manage better than you expect. Nevertheless, we are all getting older and contrary to popular belief, I do not believe that anything is very golden about the "golden ages". Thanks also for the note about Kent State. I see now that as a post Kent State slice of fiction, it is very effective.


David Solomon

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