Ball and Chain

It was the summer of ‘76 and my pimp and I were in Atlanta, Georgia. There were all sorts of things going on at that time up and down the strip. Before I hit the street, the two of us went to the bails bondsmen and my man paid him $500 just in case anything happened to me. This money was supposed to get me out right away. This was on a Friday and I actually ended up getting arrested the next night on Saturday. The whole scene was horrendous. They threw me in a van with a couple of the girls. And we got out at the jailhouse and they take us out. There are three of us and I’m on the end. They were chaining our legs together and that was fine. And then they put a ball and chain on my right leg and I thought to myself, “this is what you see on popeye”.

This cant be real. This is 1976. But that shit was real. It was real.

So I dragged the ball for quite a ways and then I get inside the jail and they’re processing me and doing my paperwork. I tried to call the bails bondsmen because I didn’t know anyone else in the city and I didn’t have my man’s number. After I made the call and got no answer, they put me in a cage that had showers. The stuff coming down from the showers was like disinfectant. I later found out it was to kill the lice in case I had lice. And then a guy came in with this additional can. This enormous can that reminded me of a huge watering can they used to spray flowers. They sprayed me again and again. All over my head and my face and my hair. I had to keep it there for five minutes before I could rinse it off. It was burning my eyes and my skin. It was one of the most horrible experiences I had. Finally, I rinsed off and that was that. Then, they took me to my room. My cell. It was a long walk there with my ball and chain attached to me. There were bunk-beds in my cell. There are two girls. One on the top bunk and one on the bottom bunk and a girl on the floor. And so there was no room for me. They gave me the mat and I had to put my mat under the bed and I slept under the bunk bed on the mat. I couldn’t believe it.

The whole thing was so backwards. The prison system down south is insane. I was like oh my god get me out of here. I was there for three days and finally my man got in touch with the bails bondsman and got me out of there. He didn’t get a refund but he did get me out of jail. We ended up going to New Orleans after that because I said I’m not putting myself in a position to go back to jail in that kind of environment for all the money in the world. It was crazy. It was really, really crazy.


I got in a lot of cars. Before I got in, I checked out the whole situation and arrangement of the car. Obviously if I got in a car and the gentleman hits the knob for the button (lock) to go down, I would carefully and sneakily put the button back up with my hand and be very aware of what was going on. I was super paranoid of people who pressed the lock so I wouldn’t take them far. I took them nearby under a shady tree and that was that. So if the guy was a nutcase I could get out and run and get help or whatever. That was one of my things that kept me safe.

Another thing I did to prevent arguments was to get the money first. You explain what you’re going to do. What he wants. There are things I would never say. I would never say, “What are you going to spend?”. I would never say “It’s 20 for a blow job”. You could get a nut in the car who would spend 80 for a hand-job or a quickie or whatever. That was another way for me to double hustle.

If a guy gave me trouble, I would walk back to where I worked or home, but usually I didn’t have any problems. I was pretty lucky with that. I did a lot of things to keep myself safe because I knew there were a lot of drunk wackos out there especially after 2. Even today, I don’t want the lock in my car down. I always tell people I’m in the car with not to lock my door. I know it’s just stupid stuff from 1976, but I can’t allow myself to be locked in a car. Ill put a seatbelt on but don’t put my lock down. It’s like it all got mixed up in my brain.


I remember one evening. It was rainy. Pouring actually. And I got in this car. The gentleman had a sort of windbreaker on. I couldn’t really see what he was wearing. Dark clothes. I told him to pull up the house we were going to and he pulls out his gun and he shows me his badge and says he is the police. He says he is going to shoot me if I don’t give him a blowjob for free. He was flipping out. He didn’t know what to do. And then finally he unlocked his car and I got out of his car and that was the end of that. But isn’t that insane? He wanted a freebee, whips out his badge, pulls his gun like he’s going to shoot me. I say I ain’t afraid of guns. Shoot me! I ain’t giving you nothing for free. Isn’t that crazy? ​