It’s a question you might idly ask of friends, as part of a what-if game: “What if you were in prison for thirtysomething years, and got out. Where would you want to go first?”
For Joe, this isn’t a game, but his real life. After more than thirty years in prison, he had a ready answer to the question.
I want to go to the beach with my family, my wife, and a few close friends. When I was growing up, my mother used to take me to the beach with my siblings. My brother and my sister, Catherine. I mean, if they could both be there, that would be wonderful.
But it would be the beach because I have so many wonderful memories of my mom – may she rest in peace – and our family before all the years of trouble.
The beach is the complete opposite of prison. It’s wide open in all directions… And of course, the natural forces – the tides, the winds, the sun, and everything is in contrast to prison. Life in prison, which is structured so that it is bars, it’s unforgiving. So yeah, it would be the beach with friends and family.