Guts and Glory.
October 7, 2002 1:12 PM   Subscribe

Guts and Glory. While the rest of south Louisiana recovered from hurricane Lili, we decided to check out a Louisiana tradition. Angola is the nation's largest maximum security prison, it has held many men, including famous, controversial, and their death row boasts a pro wrassler as a guard. The Angola Prison Rodeo is held every Sunday in October. Convict Poker says it all. Check out their newspaper, museum, music and films.
posted by puddsharp (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sorry about the 2nd link.
posted by puddsharp at 1:15 PM on October 7, 2002

I went to this several times when I was a kid. I was with my cub scout troop. It was the most brutal thing I've ever seen. Angola is a horrible, horrible place with a long history of corruption and carnage. I never felt at ease when we'd go out there.

A man's back was broken right in front of us when a horse tipped over on him. Maybe he died, I don't know.
posted by ColdChef at 1:23 PM on October 7, 2002

Excellent post, puddsharp.
posted by rocketman at 1:24 PM on October 7, 2002

Great Angola stuff in Bragg's book

One of my favorite passages: "I go to sleep and I dream about Angola. I guess I'll dream about it till the day I die."
-- Hayes Williams, who served 30 years at the Louisiana State Penitentary at Angola for a murder he did not commit.
posted by matteo at 1:29 PM on October 7, 2002

Also an extraordinary read is "Life Sentences: Rage and Survival Behind Bars" by Wilbert Rideau, Ron Wikberg. It's a collection of essays from the Angolite - the uncensored Angola prison newspaper.
posted by fluffy1984 at 2:00 PM on October 7, 2002

Great stuff, puddsharp. (My instant association with Angola is "Junco Partner.")
posted by languagehat at 2:19 PM on October 7, 2002

Participation in this event is... voluntary... right?

posted by cadastral at 2:20 PM on October 7, 2002

great post. thank you.
posted by fishfucker at 2:24 PM on October 7, 2002

Thanks for the links. If we had a "recommend this post" button, I'd click it.
posted by timeistight at 2:30 PM on October 7, 2002

Just like in real life, I headed straight for the museum, and then the gift shop. Christmas gifts ahoy!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:00 PM on October 7, 2002

also: i've spent most of the day at the site that was linked. really good travel reading.
posted by fishfucker at 4:52 PM on October 7, 2002

Burl Cain,
posted by stbalbach at 6:05 PM on October 7, 2002

Great post puddsharp. Apparently the institution has more than one famous musical alum - Charles Neville also spent some time there and has returned to play with the Angola Prison Band.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:42 PM on October 7, 2002

Angola is a bad, bad place.
posted by rushmc at 8:11 PM on October 7, 2002

Thanks for all the nice posts. Anyone who wants to go this sunday should book a ticket into Baton Rouge. From there it's about 50 miles to Angola. Here's a great place to stay that is about 25 miles outside of the prison.

Participation in this event is... voluntary... right?


Oh course it is cadastral.

I didn't mention the the prisoner's arts & crafts sale- lots of leather, woodwork and painting. I bought a board game ($20) called "Serving time on the River" from an inmate named Roscoe Jones, Jr. who makes them all by hand and colors the boads with crayons. It's a harsh look at what it's like to be on the inside with little hope of getting out.
posted by puddsharp at 7:37 AM on October 8, 2002

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