heaven forbid the prisoner should get some books

A few times over the decades we've gotten mail from prisoners, and it happened again about 4 months ago. He's a 64-year old guy in jail in Florida, and he's a rider, and I don't know what he's in for, but he's getting out in a few years. Meanwhile, he can't wait to ride, he likes to ride, an he wants to commute by bike when he gets out.

His first and last name and middle initial are the same exactly, same spelling and all, as a famous but deceased children's book illustrator. When I got the envelope, that's the first thing I noticed.

Three weeks ago he sent me a note saying (1) that he was reading WIRED and saw the thing I wrote in the Feb issue, and then he wrote back to me at Rivendell and said politely hey can I get a catalogue and I've tried before. (I did sent him stuff, he didn't get it.)

So this time I sent him more to make up for that. I sent these plus a copy of WONDER (not shown).

and they were all returned, minus the note but with some bent pages, with this form:

The last line is the explanation. It says (I've changed no punctuation)

8 Books Unauthorized Only 5 Books and 3 Magazines authorized

I didn't know exactly how to read that, but I think it means I sent eight unauthorized books, and the legal limit is 5 books and 3 magazines. There's nothing explaining "authorized," so I'm guessing it's a limit-thing, like anything under the quantities there are authorized.

There must be reasons and I'm sure at some point they were good ones, but to send back the whole package without giving him any of it seems unnecessary.

"Double Faced Polaroid Photos" ? (second to last row). What millennium is this and what planet are we on? It may be my faulty vocabulary--maybe "double-faced" means the cover still on them so the photo not revealed, and they don't want prisoners getting pornopix of their sweeties or something. This is all so out of my area, so the speculation just flows, but the main thing is---wouldn't you WANT a prison full of readers?


Somebody sent me a soap- gift from Amazon and no return address, so I can't send a thank you note. And Manny--thanks for the spoon, by the way. In the side pocket. Tell me who you are.


 We're making a single-speed bike for our Tokyo dealer. They're buying enough for us to do it from scratch. There's some tailoring to local preferences, but there's no selling out. We will have a few over here, too, but none for Larry Bird or Shaq O'Neill. We don't HAVE to get any here, but I think we'll bring in about eight or ten, and if your PBH is less than 87 and you can afford $1,200 or so for a lugged roadish single-speed frame with no provision for derailer and max tire of about 35 and no fendering that....then stay tuned, and when we get samples in we'll show. It will likely be the last fancy single-speeder we do.


OK, all for this Friday!





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