Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Prison Pete Update

As promised, I’m giving you an update on Prison Pete.  But first, I’ll need to give some you some background story.  I started blogging in May of 2004.  At that time, I didn’t have a lot of other blogs I read and very few people commented on mine.  I found that by reading other blogs and commenting, I would draw readers to my blog.  Blogger at one point had a way you could go to random blogs with a click of a button and so when I was bored, I’d click through and find different blogs to read.  I’d also check out the blogs of note from time to time, though most of them were not very interesting as they typically dealt with technology or something.

So through some kind of randomness, I found a blog called “Prison Pete.”  It was written by a guy named Pete (not his real name) who was actually in prison.  Now, he didn’t have internet access, but he had a friend on the outside who would post his letters to a blog for him.  I found the reading quite interesting as I had no clue of what prison life is like, but I also noticed that he was very literate.  I sent a message through his blog that his editor would forward on to Pete and he responded.  At the time, I didn’t know what he was in prison for, and had wondered what he might have done since he seemed rather intelligent.  I was amazed at the regularity of posts for someone that was in prison.  It turns out that Pete would write lengthy letters to his friend (the editor of the blog) and the editor would post parts of it daily.  I found it quite fascinating and out of the blue one day, I sent a message to blogger recommending it as a blog of note.  Amazing, it became a blog of note within a week or so.  And then things took off.  I won’t recap the details, but you can read my post on it at the time. 

It was through this blog that I found my longtime blog friends Andrew and Summer that I cherish.  So, Pete’s blog took off and it became a big deal for a while.  I ended up striking a friendship with Pete’s editor because of all of this.  He didn’t expect the explosion that happened from becoming a blog of note.  I eventually got Pete’s real address and corresponded with him a few times.  At that point, I was made aware of what he was in prison for and I will not share that information here.  I certainly do not condone any of his actions, but I remember that he is human and writing him never caused me any unease.  Since then, his blog has had some erratic moments where nothing would be posted for a long while and then it would start up again.  I have not written to him directly in a few years now, but I would still read posts when they happened. 

So out of the blue a few months ago, I got a strange instant message.  It was from a girl named Shawna asking me if I could tell her how to contact Pete.  She said she didn’t know him, but wanted to get in touch with him because she dreamed about him.  I told her that I didn’t have the right to give out his mailing address to someone I didn’t know, but that I would get in touch with his editor and have him contact her.  At that point, I realized his blog had been set to private and I couldn’t read the posts.  I emailed his editor and it took him a while to reply.  The editor and Pete have been friends for a long time (since high school I believe) and he has been one of the few friends that hasn’t abandoned Pete altogether.  His family wants nothing to do with him.  The editor’s wife, however, has not been keen on their correspondence.  She ended up giving him an ultimatum to stop writing Pete or she would leave him.  There’s no real cause for this as Pete hasn’t done anything force this, but he had to oblige.  So since May, Pete has had no contact with his editor, and thus no more posts to the blog.  His editor feels very bad for him because Pete really doesn’t have anyone and prison is a very lonely existence for him.  When he first began posting, he was going to be eligible for parole in 2009, but that didn’t happen.  His next eligibility date is 2015.  I’m going to try to make the effort to write him at some point.  So that’s the update on Pete.  Not sure if any of my readers other than Summer and Andrew have been around long enough to remember him, but that’s as much as I know at this point.


Diana said...

I found Pete's blog through Andrews, the same way I found yours, BTW. It became very few posts and I finally deleted his blog from my reader...he didn't know me anyway. I just think it's funny you mentioned him and I "knew" who you were talking about.
Small World!

Leann said...

It sounds like it would have been an interesting blog to read. I'm sorry to hear it has since been set to private. I am even sadder still to hear that Pete lost his good friend and contact outside.

Annabel said...

The editor opened up the blog again, so you can read it if you're interested.

VonnEinstein said...

Speaking of updates. 4thavenueblues is down. I hope everything is ok. Do you mind finding out if he's alright. Don't need to tell us anything too personal but would be nice to know.

Hap Joy Free said...

Hi Anabel,

It does seem that Andrew (Jonathon) had terminated his blog, twitter and FB page. Im very worried, this may indicate he hs taken a turn for the worse in his mental illness. Please post if you get in contact with him, let us know how he is...thank you and also for the info on Pete.


Patti said...

Huh. Very interesting.