Category Archives: book

Evolution of my *&*&# Potato Chips

jackpotato_chip_aisle

My wife and I modernized our shopping strategy.  We purchased an Alexis unit that sits in our kitchen waiting for our daily directions, “Hey Alexis, add peanut butter to the shopping list.”  Alexis answers with a pleasant, “I’ve added peanut butter to your shopping list.”  We installed the app on our iphones which allows each of us to access the grocery list.  I go to the south end of the store while my wife heads north.  Place an item in your grocery cart and delete it from your app.  That’s the plan.

I’m in the south end of the store moving down the potato chip aisle looking for my favorite, “Cape Cod Whole Earth Collection 40% Reduced Fat Potato Chip.”  And then it strikes me, “Where in the hell are my potato chips?”  Standing in front of me is an entire aisle of different varieties of potato chips performing the “wave” as I walk by.  Standing beside me are two women who reside in my age bracket.  Okay, perhaps they’re younger than me.  “What is going on?”  I asked.  “There used to be plain and ruffle chips, and then we added Barbecue Chips.  This is insane.”  They added words of encouragement accompanied by an affirmative nod to support my frustration.  While they struggled to find their favorite chip, they finally grabbed a bag and moved on.  I waited for my wife to come south and pull our favorite Cape Cod chips from the shelf.

A couple of days passed and I’m still wrestling with my potato chip concerns.  Time to gain some perspective on this problem.  Google time.  Simply stated, a potato chip is a thin slice of potato deep fried or baked until crunchy.  The basic chip is cooked and salted.  Additional varieties are manufactured using various flavorings and ingredients including herbs, spices, cheeses, other natural and artificial flavors, and strange-sounding additives.

I remember when the early chips were challenged by the potato chips in a tube.  While I never cared for them, they did fit one at a time on the top of my tongue.  I admit it was a bit of an emotional rush to experience the disintegration of each chip as it dissolved in my mouth.  Still, they never measured up to the plain and ruffle chips.

According to taquitos.net there are 1698 types of potato chips classified into 312 categories.  We’ve got the Ruffles for the old folks like me, the Barbecue chips for anyone with a bounce in their step, and then we have so many flavors that I can never experience in my remaining lifetime.  Have you tried Archer’s Famous Macaroni and Cheese Thick-cut Potato Chip, Herr’s Chickie”s and Pete’s Famous Crabfries Seasoned Potato Chip With White Creamy Cheese Sauce, and we even have one called the Potato Chip.  If that’s not enough information, there were $7.5 billion spent on an assortment of potato chips in 2015.

Instead of protesting the evolution of my potato chips, I’ve decided to become a participant.  What the hell?  I’m retired.  I have nothing else to do.  It’s a known fact that I like to sip on an evening beer or two.  With that in mind, I pledge to buy a different bag of chips each week to accompany my evening beer/beers.  That’s 52 bags of chips each year with 52 to 104 evening beers in a year.  At that rate I will have eaten the 1698 bags of chips in about 32 1/2 years.  If modern medicine makes its anticipate strides I will accomplish my goal at age 106 1/2.  And then my wife added, “What if there are more potato chips added to the market over the next 32 1/2 years?”

 

 

 

 

 

Supermax Prison: Controlling the most dangerous criminals

supermax_prison (4).jpg

Several people have asked me about the release date for the printed version of “Supermax Prison:  Controlling the most dangerous criminals.”  The release date has been moved to November 2017.  I’m sorry for the delay, but it is what it is.  However, I do have several advanced copies of the book that I use for book signings, etc…  If interested,  contact me at 618-521-5041 or my email address llfranklin12@gmail.com, and we can make arrangements for you to have the paperback at a cost of $20.

Please check out the following link for information about a recent book celebration party.

http://www.annanews.com/news/new-book-about-supermax-prison-tamms-unveiled

 

 

 

 

Advanced Reviews for Supermax Prison: Controlling the most dangerous criminals

Larry L Franklin

supermax_prison (4).jpgScheduled for release — ebook on August 1, 2017, printed book seven weeks later. 

Advanced Reader Reviews:

Supermax Prison is so vivid that readers will feel as if they can hear the cell doors closing behind them.  Larry L. Franklin and Dr. Rakesh Chandra have written a well-crafted and troubling book that raises important questions about the age old struggle between rehabilitation and retribution that a civil society faces when it encounters the so-called “worst of the worst.”  A brilliant portrait of hell.
Pete Earley, author of The Hot House:  Life Inside Leavenworth Prison

***

As a member of the FBI Swat Team that put down the Atlanta prison riot in 1987, I recognized the need to separate the average inmate from the violent prisoners quick to instigate a prison uprising as the killing of a fellow inmate.  Supermax Prison does a remarkable job of informing the reading public…

View original post 1,681 more words

I killed someone. Am I insane?

Larry L Franklin

DSC_0008.JPG
(Blog written three years ago.  Eddie Ray Routh was found guilty and sentence to life without parole.)

In a matter of days, we will know the fate of Eddie Ray Routh who is on trial for the murder of Chris Kyle, an American war hero, and his friend, Chad Littlefield. The twelve jury members of Erath County located in Central Texas, will decide one of four verdicts:  not guilty, guilty, guilty but mentally ill, not guilty by reason of insanity.  While Routh admits to having killed Kyle and Littlefield, the defense attorney claims that Routh was insane at the time he committed the crime, and should be found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Less than one percent of defendants in criminal cases plead insanity, and only one-fourth of them are successful. The majority of those acquitted by reason of insanity are schizophrenic or suffer from bipolar disorder. The insanity…

View original post 4,592 more words

An imaginary prison of the future

supermax_prison (4).jpg

The ebook for Supermax Prison:  Controlling the most dangerous criminals is available.  The paperback will be released in late September 2017.  Below is one of my favorite excerpts describing our imaginary prison of the future.
***
While science tells us how to operate the prison of the future, we still lack the will, the inner force that drives success.  Nevertheless, we have our imagination and dreams, the incubators where ideas are born.  Perhaps there is another chapter to our story; the birth, death, and resurrection of Tamms, our imaginary prison of the future.

    A handful of inmates, 2 correctional officers, and a farmer stand in the middle of 236 acres of bottomland in the heart of southern Illinois.  It’s mid-summer.  A 50-acre stand of toast-colored wheat is about to be cut in early July.  Some 150 acres of weed-free soybeans stretch across the horizon like waves of green swinging to and fro from the gentle push of a southernly breeze.  Inmates stand silently, marveling at the spiritual alliance between Mother Nature and men willing to work; taking stock of themselves, realizing who they have become.  Money from the bean and wheat harvests will be used to pay for inmate labor and equipment they might need.

     The farmer and inmates begin playing catch with what we call “farmer talk.”  One inmate picks up a clod of dirt and breaks it apart with his bare hand.  “Beans look good, but we could sure use a slow summer rain.”  Other inmates agree as they kick at the parched soil.  Someone asked if it is time to harvest the beans.  “Well, let’s take a look see” the farmer says.  “If the color is yellow to green the beans are asking for more time.”  He grabs a handful of beans and spits tobacco juice onto the ground.  “We’re looking for a tan to brown color, and beans that rattle in the pod.”  He pulls the pod apart and asks an inmate for his thoughts.

The inmate rolled the beans between his thumb and index finger.  “Seems a little damp to me.  Maybe need two or three more weeks.  I guess Mother Nature has a say.”

“I think you’re right.”  As they walk across the field, the farmer whispers to the correctional officer.  “This guy is going to make a good farmer.”  These inmates are gaining the skills and temperament to be real farmers.  When they join the outside world, they might be hired hands on a farm, or perhaps they will own a piece of land someday….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I ain’t no better than a dirty dime.

Larry L Franklin

IMG_2256.jpgsupermax_prison-45.jpg

I was reading a story from Rolling Stone about an old favorite of mine, Kris Kristofferson.  While I don’t listen to him often, I’m drawn by his lyrics like a bee to honey.  I sat at my computer and let his music help me write my imaginary song.

I ain’t no better than a dirty dime

I’ve got the writer’s itch,
when words flow from my mouth
like grease droppings on a dirty floor.

Thinking about days gone by
as they skip out the door.
Hey little buddy of mine,
you’re ain’t nothing but my little whore.

All my writing, singing, and therapy stuff,
don’t change you a little bit.
I own you, he whispered that night.
You ain’t no better than a dirty dime.

Hey, Kris Kristofferson,
you old buddy of mine.
I’m turning you off,
‘fore the dark fog moves in.
Best you go away,
before I begin…

View original post 28 more words

Fish heads in an open bag — listening to the mentally ill.

Larry L Franklin

Mcherryblossom_cover_smThese  are excerpts taken from my second book, “Cherry Blossoms & Barren Plains:  A woman’s journey from mental illness to a prison cell.”  I have drawn from the chapter called Fish heads in an open bag. Becca, the subject of my book was serving sixty years for allegedly killing her five-year-old stepdaughter.
***
I have listened to Becca for hours upon hours.  In every season of each passing year, I have sat across from her in the visit room looking at her drawn and tired face, listening to her struggle to find ways of expressing her mental and emotional realities.  What she says is not always cohesive, or narratively coherent, but over time, I have learned to piece together the fragments of her mental processes, and the images that she sees, in ways that blend with my imagination.  If Becca hears “voices” or “racing thoughts,” it might now be…

View original post 772 more words

Investigative journalism — why this, why that, why not, why?

Larry L Franklin

images.jpg
(Most likely a photo of group therapy in a supermax setting.)

Investigative journalism is to discover the unknown, the information that escapes the public eye.  As adults, we seem to have lost the inquisitive nature of childhood — why this, why that, why not, why?  Instead, we engage in the comforts of social media where like-minded individuals support our stationary beliefs.  Perhaps we need to rediscover our scientific nature where we question, probe, and examine the meaning of “whatever.”

In the pursuit of my most recent book, “Supermax Prison:  Controlling the most dangerous criminals,” the available literature is focused on the negativity of the supermax prison.  While there are stories of unimaginable violence, sadness, and injustice, there are hues of happiness and hope.  But any piece of investigative journalism moves past the obvious and seeks the information hidden within the unfamiliar.

One cannot explore the history of the supermax without…

View original post 201 more words

Prologue to “Supermax Prison: Controlling the most dangerous criminals

Larry L Franklin

supermax_prison (4).jpgThe ebook will be released on August 1, 2017, followed by the paperback a couple of weeks later.  I am sharing the prologue to the book at this time.

***

Prologue

Few residents can tell you that Illinois was granted statehood on December 3, 1818, or that the state animal is the white-tailed deer. Fewer still know that the bluegill is the state fish or that the monarch butterfly, painted turtle and pumpkin pie gained similar state recognition. But most people know about the place called Tamms.

In the mid 1990s, Governor James Edgar and the Illinois Legislature signed off on the construction of the Tamms supermax prison, built just a stone’s throw from the village of the same name. Small towns were sprinkled across the countryside with room for seasonal crops and native wildflowers that graced the picturesque bottomland of southern Illinois. Herds of cattle steadied themselves as they…

View original post 640 more words

Ode to Billy Joe and the faceless manikins

I loved writing this post in 2015. Hopefully you will enjoy it as well.

Larry L Franklin

Tallahatchie_bridge-Hwy_7_MississippiIt was the other day, June 3, 2015 to be precise, when Paul Morris, a fellow MFA Goucher graduate, reminded me of Bobby Gentry’s “Ode to Billy Joe.”  Forty-eight years ago, on June 3, 1967, Gentry penned her masterpiece.  How could I allow decades to pass before revisiting the rhythmic, haunting lyrics depicting the day when Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the 220px-OdetobillyjoeTallahatchie Bridge?  Gentry and I had a reunion of sorts.  I began listening to a YouTube performance of her “Ode to Billy Joe;” over and over, perhaps twenty to thirty times.  It was as addictive as my Oxycodone pain-poppin’ pills that kept my back from breaking apart in the hills of southern Illinois, some five-hundred miles north of the Tallahatchie Bridge.  Maybe the passage of time has blessed me with a deeper understanding of Gentry’s lyrical gem.  Or perhaps years of therapy has graced my psychic with insights…

View original post 796 more words