Featured Story, Prison Stories

Uncle Fridge’s Pulpit

fridgeThe Exodus

This whole nightmare has been running since July 17th, 1994 for me. I started this bid off with two years flat for a controlled buy. Eight months before I was set to be released the Feds stepped in. After trial I had 46 years, 9 months. April 1999 I beat the conspiracy charge on appeal; my sentence was reduced to 27 years. Sal Dominquez, that punk bitch, was lead prosecutor on my case. He felt as though that wasn’t enough time for me. So he pulled a string, having me indicted on state charges for the same stuff I’d just beat in the Feds. Judge Karen Nelson tossed the charges out, even citing “Torture”. She has been the only person to offer me real justice in my entire 18 years and 5 months of being imprisoned. But the Ohio State Supreme Court made me hear the charges, overturning Judge Nelson’s ruling. One of the judges on that Court was caught drunk driving a few years back. She tried to throw her weight around and get off. The officers, however, were having none of it. The Supreme Court Judge simply couldn’t understand why the officers were arresting her because she “always ruled in” their favor according to The Columbus Dispatch. I was indicted (again). All this came five years and eleven months before the statute of limitations ran out. Wasn’t like they didn’t know where I was at all that time. My witnesses to the crime were dead my then, I come from a violent time and place. So I had to plea out to three years. This year I was granted the crack reduction. Now, Dec 19, 2012, I have to return back to the state of Ohio the three. Never seems to end for a real muthafucka.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I’m a good man. I always make it my business to give some sort of moral lesson for my people to follow. So it’s not for naught. I have lost my entire twenties to prison, and after this state bid they will have all of my thirties and eight months of my forties. I don’t even have a body on this case. It’s a wicked system. One that runs off the blood of the African and any other poor ignorant bastard that has the misfortune to be born in the 95 percentile.

I didn’t waste the time. I’ve learned things that most men never have the time nor opportunity to delve into. So as your brother I’d like to just ramble a bit and demonstrate some of the lessons I’ve had a chance to dissect, enjoy and reflect upon.

Let’s see…

I got the chance to really know myself. It’s one of the most ancient of sciences. “Man know thyself”. Most men live to be a hundred plus, know all sorts of things about the world and life, but never get to know themselves. Once a man KNOWS who and WHAT he really is, he pretty much becomes bullshit proof. You can see things coming from a mile and a half away. You learn to accept people and things for what they are and not WHAT YOU’D LIKE THEM TO BE.

I’ve learned that long stints in prison turn the conscious man into a master psychologist. Once a man has confronted his darkest demons he comes to understand that all the evil in the world lies inside of each and every person. When a man really understands himself that’s when all the books (Bible, Koran, Torah, etc.) open up. You come to understand the depths of misery, forgiveness, when to apply the penalty of death and why; how to judge and evaluate self so no one else has to judge you, etc.

I’ve learned to find love within. Most people spit maxims as such, but it doesn’t mean anything because all they’re really looking for is a Band-Aide to put on the gushing artery that is their lives. Some things require surgery. You have to be free from the trappings of wealth and materialism for an extended period of time to truly understand the lessons that the prophetic men brought to us all. When all you have is YOU, in a four cornered room, and no love is in sight for months, maybe years, you are put in the valley of decision. You have to choose love for self, or self-hate. Many times I’ve seen men choose hate. Two hung themselves. The others chose insanity. I chose to lay my hatred down and embrace love. It doesn’t free us from the struggle of misery. We’ll forever struggle against it as long as we live because we’re bound to the earth by flesh. Knowledge gives us the power to access the brightest parts of our minds and find joy in the simplicity of breathing, being alive. Being thankful that you were given the gift of life and are allowed to suffer as opposed to never knowing life at all. Sounds stupid? Keep reading this thing, it gets worse.

I’ve learned who and what God really is. But most importantly I know what God ISN’T! I won’t run you off with that one; you’ll have to write to me personally to get that. It ain’t for everyone to read, you dig.

I’ve learned who really loves me. A big blessing. But I also learned that the lessons my Grandfather, the Great Ed NeeDum (R.I.P), taught me about friends and friendship might have seemed cruel, but he wasn’t wrong. And because of his teachings I believe I haven’t flipped my wig in here. Not to mention I came in a little nuts to begin with.

I’ve learned that governing with love is infinitely more effective and productive that ruling with malice.

I’ve learned that women really enjoy kicking you when you’re down, so don’t give them a reason too, ha-ha!

I’ve learned that doing mental gymnastics is much more tiring than actual physical labor.

But the most disturbing thing I’ve come to learn is that good men and women are so rare that convicts and cops of the same ilk have secret pacts. It’s still cat and mouse. It’s still an exchange of hate. No-snitching still applies. And therein lies the problem. Almost everyone is a rat now. People are snitching because they’re bored. Sad. And it’s on both sides. Backstabbing is embedded in Amerikkkan society. Children are encouraged to tell the business of their household on the net. Not realizing its data mining and all sort of nefarious things are happening with that information. So when two people find themselves in a situation where they prove they can be trusted, the lines blur. That’s all I’ll say about that, or I’LL be dry-snitching.

This football season I was the coach of the White/Mexican football team, and like I said before in a previous writing, I caught the bizz-ness-for-it! Brother’s was maaaad at me. But I did it for several reasons. One, they are good men. That’s the most important reason. Second, my demonstration of love and fairness and justice for everyone regardless of race and creed is what gave the guys the balls to even ask me. Because I look like the worst character in OZ, in real life! I also did it to promote race relations in the joint and raise the level of football, I know X’s and O’s real well. My name isn’t Fridge simply because I’m a fat guy. I’ve won, I know HOW to win and make others winners. See, the brother’s got a little complacent in my opinion. So the whole league practiced much harder just to beat us. What they didn’t realize  was that they were making themselves better. The best team on the yard got dethroned in the first round of the playoffs and suffered a string of defeats due to hatred for my squad. Go Vikings! Whatever it takes to raise the bar… I’ve learned to lead by showing a person that even he can exceed his own expectations. I think that’s true leadership.

I’ve learned about the depths of depression and that it’s not a rich white girl affliction. It’s real and while us old school “Black Folk” don’t do quacks, we have to walk our way out of it by communicating with SOMEONE that can help, ’cause if it had happened to me on the streets, I’d have just drank more.

I learned how much I miss my children…

And I’ve learned that I’m a better man than I ever thought possible, because I was able to discover that I was a much darker human than I’d imagined.

Short Side BluesCheck out Fridge’s new book The Short Side Blues.

The Short Side Blues Book II of The Short North Trilogy is a story that deals with change, which is easier said than done. A wise person once said that there are two ways out of the dope game: Death or Prison…

In Straight Savage Book One of The Short North Trilogy, Rollo, Damen and Brian Scott paid their dues as they learned to navigate the streets of Short North, Columbus (OH), Baltimore (MD) and Richmond (VA) in the late 80’s and early 90’s crack era, one of the bloodiest in street history. With a little luck and a lot of bullets the brothers survived. But when a family friend turns informant all three head off to the feds. That was 1993.

The new millennium poses new challenges for the Scott brothers. Damen, the patriarch of the three has a plan to assure that prison never happens to the Scott family again. Rollo, has one foot in the street and can’t come to grips with adulthood, while Brian, the youngest is just coming home from his bid and could go either way. There are many elements to the lives of street guys. Relationships, race, children. All of these unfold under the watchful eye of the F.B.I. and the Columbus Police Department as the Scott brothers attempt to put the pieces of their lives back together.




  • Cobra Caine says:

    Fridge, Greetings from DC. I just got put on to this site last night, and your article is the first one I read from start to finish. I took away a lot from it. Like a lot of brothers, depression runs through my bloodline like Hussein Bolt, and as you said, since I have never experienced incarceration, I handled it with years of alcoholism. Anyway, later for all that, just keep writing dude. Props on the football too. That’s hot.

  • Chris says:

    I normally wouldn’t take time out if my day to respond, but your words rang so true I had to take a second and tell you that its really unfortunate that you had to end up in prison to find your calling. Ive never been caught up in the system. But as a youngster I was def affected by the whole drug/thug culture. But my whole point is how to teach other young black men how to avoid the pitfalls of prison, when the entertainment industry quietly says without words that blacks and Mexicans are supposed to be. thugs and if your not a thug, then your a punk. If you look at what we’re up against it gets deep. And I would like for you to explain to me your take on what God isnt. Im pretty sure we’re close to the same page

  • Cliff BeBless Battle says:

    I need to get your books family i miss you, we all got are story to tell i just been staying out the way and from this fuck up system.

  • Cliff BeBless Battle says:

    You tell the straight trulth

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