|Credit: Grolsch Filmworks"Cool Hand |
Ever see this iconic Movie Classic about a misunderstood and mistreated prisoner of an old time Southern Chain Gang ? The title & written script for the movie could well have been
|Author Robert C. Cline (1935 - 2007)|
Uncle Bob actually wrote much of his book at our house and I think some in Arizona before he moved over. His niece Jeannette Cline encourage him to write down his experiences in writing as a form of therapy, but who ever thought it would read like a novel of intrigue and suspense in a real live film like that of the fictional character of Luke Jackson (played by Paul Newman) who experienced harsh treatment on a chain gang. I actually read the first rough script of the book in it's early but primitive form. It was a reading that was so captivating that you'd neglect other important responsibilities or business matters because you couldn't put it down. Lots of late night reading back then. Jeannette edited the rough draft with him. Bob said he didn't like watching the movie "Cool Hand Luke" because it reminded him of the hardship and mistreatment of the Texas Penitentiary System which was notorious for it's inhuman brutality. He especially didn't like the name of one of the characters in the film named Boss Kean because it sounded to much like "Boss King" for what they all had to call the Warden of the Prison he had been incarcerated. Here below is an interview with Jeannette Santino talking about her uncle Bob and the writing of the book.
One can only imagine what that place was like and you can vividly picture it while reading the book. Bob studied law and got himself out of prison and changed some of the way things were done. My son Jared is 23 years old and admits he's not much of a reader, but that this is the only book he says he has ever read through cover to cover. It should also be noted that Bob also wrote and published a book of poetry (the one about the Lesbian and the old Cowboy is my favourite) and attended Cowboy Poetry contests. He also wrote and sang country western songs, but so did many members of the Cline family. Here is a link to the website to find out more about this man's incredible life in a harsh prison environment and actual experience of the chain gang lifestyle.
The Huntsville Unit was established in 1849 and was the first state prison in Texas. It is the only state prison of over 100 in Texas that actually has a wall around it. The original wall was made of sand brick. The current red brick façade was completed in 1942. The bricks were made at the Jester Unit in Fort Bend County. The unit has 424 employees and 1,705 inmates.
|photo by Lawrence|
Fort Huachuca Sierra Vista Arizona
By all means I recommend getting and reading this book. This is the perfect time of year for reading with winter coming on. Or get it as a gift for someone you know who will be interested in such life true life experiences.