photo of jail cell
Photo courtesy of Ryan McGrady/Navajo Times

When we were last with Gerald on the streets of New Orleans, he was catching up with his long-time friend, Greg, who was fresh out of prison for the first time in a while.

After Greg come out of prison he got busted for a simple robbery charge. I asked his momma where he was at. She said he be locked up. So I’m like, “Man…”. Greg had laid back in the jail. 

Capital offenses went to OPP, Orleans Parish Prison. When you got a lesser offense, you might go to Templeman I, Templeman II, Templeman III. They got four or five Feds. It’s a jail, but you got lesser charges. You might catch a Federal flow up in there where the rats be at, the polices. The polices, and rats who ratted on big cases.

Greg was back up in there. Greg had sent the word through his sister to me. He say he had run into my man, Minew.

He say he see Minew on the dock where they go to court at. It’s where they take you up and put you in the cell, and you wait till they call your name to come into the court. 

When he was across from Minew, the celly was telling him, “That’s Third Ward man, Minew, right there.”

So they was chattin’ from across the bars to each other, like baller baller. 

Greg kicked it to him, “What’s up, brah? You got a cigarette over there?”

And Minew shared a cigarette with him.

Greg said, “Man, that’s my may-ane.” Talking about me.

Minew said, “Man, I’m hoping I beat the charge. Go in front of that judge and get the discharge.”

Right now today I can’t really tell you if he get the discharge or not. But that’s what they were chattin’ about.

One day, Greg called by his mother’s house on the phone, collect. And it so happened I’m in the area and she tell me Greg on the phone. They get nothin’ but 15 minutes on the phone, but I got to chat with him a minute.

He said, “Man, Third Ward, guess what. I met Minew, man. Dude, it was funny. He gave me a few Camel cigarettes to smoke.”

But I’m hoping, I’m like, “Man, what happen on your charge?”

He say, “I’m supposed to come back home in about a month or two, I’m about to get dismissed. Cause ain’t nobody showin’ up. No witness, no victim, nobody.”

I told him, I say, “I wish you luck, bro.”

He say, “Yeah. A few months we be kickin’.”

Come a few months later, he back on the street. 

We chat. I say, “Man, where you was at?” 

He say, “Downtown Bourbon Street.” That’s our favorite cut, Bourbon Street.

I say, “Man, Minew funny, huh?”

He say, “Man, you heard anything about him?”

I say, “Man, he supposed to be trying to go to trial, but I’m trying to tell him to take what they want to give him, the 10.”

I wouldn’t want to tell him to take the 10, but you gotta run from it when you see it carry 21. That’s a lot to carry, 21 to 49 years. 

I say, “With Minew record, he might lose.”

A few months passed, it’s gettin’ around Christmas time, he go to trial. God was with him because he beat the charge. He beat the charge!

He back on the street. Me, him and Greg runnin’ together in the city.

To be continued. Anderson’s first book, “Still Standing: How an Ex-Con Found Salvation in the Floodwaters of Katrina,” is available on Amazon.com.