Sept. 23, 2011
by Henry West

Transcription

Hello,
My name is Henry West. I'm 55 years
old and single. I used to be married. I have
five full grown children, two boys and three girls
who I love very much even though I don't hear
from them. I am presently incarcerated but
hope to be free in the near future as I am
an innocent man. My address is Henry West
#97-B-2679, Elmira Correctional Facility, P.O. Box
500, Elmira, New York 14902-0500. I use to
drink and smoke, but don't do either anymore
and will never start again. I love living the old
country style life, farm, animals, horseback
riding, fishing, camping and country music. It
gets kind of lonely in here not hearing from
anyone in society. I sure could use some pen
pals to write to. Thanks for taking the time
to read my blog. Hope to hear from someone soon.

Henry

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Rita Posted 5 years, 4 months ago. ✓ Mailed 5 years, 3 months ago   Favorite
hi Henri,

I ran through these names and found yours among all the others.
I noticed you hadn't received letters and so I decided to write you. First of all I look to the writing that tells me a lot already of the person in question.

We can be pen pas, ok? Since twelve yrs I write already with inmates in a priosn.
Too bad you don't hear from your dear children.. How come?

I've lived seven yrs in the States and am Belgian, 67 yrs young. ;)
We lived 3 yrs in Utah and 4 in Ohio. My ex lives gtill in Argentina and we're still friends but we divorced.Together we lived in Buenos Aires for almost 6 yrs.
We've two daughters; 35 and 36 yrs young.
We left with a baby, Elke to Utah and Leslie was born there.
Later both girls studied for 4 yrs in Ohio in Amzrican schools.

Now leslie and her husband and two kids live in CA, San Diego and plan to stay there and are looking for a house.

I've a few things in common, as I enjoy the country life also and love animùals (I am a vegetarian, but do eat fish :) ), horse riding, and surely country music!!

I hope you get this message pretty soon! :))

kind greetings from Rita


.

Henry West Posted 5 years, 2 months ago.   Favorite
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Rita Posted 5 years, 2 months ago. ✓ Mailed 5 years, 2 months ago   Favorite
hi Henry,

Not many inmates answsr the letters...I felt very happy today to hear from you. We have a lot to tell!
Thanks for the honest way of telling me something about your life.Honesty goes the farest!
Friends do wish each other also Happy Valentine's.It was yesterday and so it isn't too late to do that.;)

I will write more later on,but now I've to leave my appartment to do babysitting at my oldest daughter,Elke. She just had her new born, Lars,a boy and has a little girl, Lynn of 2 yrs young.

Have a nice day!

kind greetings from Rita

Rita Posted 5 years, 2 months ago. ✓ Mailed 5 years, 1 month ago   Favorite
hello Henri,

I hope you get this message as well. I will know for sure if you answer them.This one you should get on Monday the 29th.

No Henri I am now in my country Belgium. I live in the port city Antwerp(en). I moved 9 yrs ago from Buenos Aires, Argentina towards this city.In lived in the past as well in Brussels, our capital.My mother of 90yrs still lives there in an apartment.She still travels!Lars, my grandchild,Lars was her 18th after grandchild!!:)

Today again I was babysitting on Lars and Lynn.After his birth my daughter Elke has 4 months of birth vacation.So, we had a nice time together.
Tell me of your days,Henri? Do you read books? Do you have a tv or a radio? I wonder if you do any sport?
I've done a lot of sports in the past; I still do sport activities nowadays.Riding on my bike, swimming, yoga and walking.

If I have some time extra, I'll write you a letter.

Take care and keep being positive, Henri!

Kind greetings from Rita

Rita Posted 5 years, 2 months ago. ✓ Mailed 5 years, 1 month ago   Favorite
hello Henry,

I wrote your name wrong;).

I feel so very sorry that you were wrongly accused... Yes, you should do everything in your power to fight this.

I can see you love nature: farm, countryside, fishing, animals and country music, also horseback riding.Except of fishing I love those activities as well.
Do you like other types of music as well? I do!!
I do play piano.

How about people who do write letters to you?I hope you get some.

Henry, make the best of each day and we'll be in contact soon, ok?

Have a good day! Rita

Henry West Posted 5 years, 1 month ago.   Favorite
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Henry West Posted 5 years, 1 month ago.   Favorite
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Rita Posted 5 years, 1 month ago. ✓ Mailed 5 years ago   Favorite
Hi Henry,

You heard possibly about the attacks/explosions in our airport Zaventem? And in a Metro in Brussels? There were many dead people and serious wounded people!So cruel.. our country mourns.
They caught Salah Abdeslam, a terrorist, 4 days ago.. and feared perhaps he would speak! So they, IS terrorists, carried out their crime plan earlier,we think. Sooner or later they would do the attack anyway,against our democracy and our values and freedom....Their hate has no end...
They try to create fear among people. So ugly!!

Mom lives in Brussels,but she is safe.I had liked to go to Brussels to celebrate my B-Day at hers.But one's fears for one's safety.:(

I am so sad... greeting from Rita

Rita Posted 5 years ago. ✓ Mailed 5 years ago   Favorite
hello Henry,

Maybe you got my letter by now? I still have to answer on some questions you asked. A blog is about something personal you like to write to people.I am not on Facebook, Henry.You announce things to your friends and they can read you and you on your turn answer, write and show pictures. To me it's most of all superficial talk.I don't participate; I have too many other more interesting things to do in my daytime.
Each country, be it Belgium or America.. all have their pro's and contra's.But I know there is a lot of corruption in your many states... And putting people in prisons is a business. :(((
They don't care to rehabilitate them, nor look to their efforts they made along the way. And that is real sad. I can see the example of George jr, my fiancé prisoner in Illinois.
Just today my youngest daughter Leslie told me by e-mail they bought a house in San Diego CA!! I saw the pictures too. Nice house! Both kids can continue to go to their old schools, and the parents are close to their work.Also it's situated in a good neighborhood.

Have a great day, Henry! Take care.

friendly greetings from Rita :)

Henry West Posted 5 years ago.   Favorite
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Henry West Posted 4 years, 11 months ago.   Favorite
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Henry West Posted 4 years, 9 months ago.   Favorite
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Rita Posted 4 years, 9 months ago. ✓ Mailed 4 years, 9 months ago   Favorite
hello, while looking again through my blogs I saw that you got my letter.I waited for an answer, Henri. :)You yourself have to write anew you current address,as you said you moved now to an E- section.
I am glad to he

Rita Posted 4 years, 9 months ago. ✓ Mailed 4 years, 9 months ago   Favorite
... hear from you NOW!I reread all what you wrote on your blog.And so,I'm updated now. It's been a while.So you still work as a cook? I hear it's a hard job!
I wrote that another gay Kelly is a good friend of mine and he's a wicca too.He does practices yoga as well as I do.
My day somewhere is better, when I start my mornings with yoga practice on my mat. I've done yoga so many yrs with all kind of teachers!
I see here on the blog you should get this message on the 18th of July. So,tell me if it's correct.
How are you doing meanwhile? How is your daily life, Henri?I hope your letter will come any day soon.
I came home yesterday from Illinois, Mt Sterling.Landed in the airport of Milwaukee.I visited my fiance George.But after his dad and the conductor rode from WI to Illinois -many miles!-we were too late that particular day,June 23, to visit.One had to register already in the morning.:(
the worst was yet to come!George was in SEG!For having a socialistic activism newsletter;he got it all the time in the past!And why did they let it come in anyway!!:(
I had had the extended visits:6 hrs every day in June & 6 in July.there I was told I had ONLY two visits per month; and this for 1 hour!!I came that far and I've seen him only 4 hours... what a shame.He sat behind thick glass and was cuffed at his hands and one foot!:( So very sad!I didn't even touch him.
I was in an hotel near the prison; only to walk for ten minutes.But most of the times I had to be busy there.They have a swimming pool(I swam in the evening), walked to one of the 3 restaurants; at a quarter of an hr distance.It was hot!I drew art with markers; I will send you one of them.I wrote letters to friend/inmates, I read a good thriller: the Charm School, about Russian spies,Also as a guest in that hotel I could go to the YMCA,to work on the computer.I did some shopping,my groceries for lunch,etc.In spite of the situation, I stayed occupied.Also writing some letters to George.His dad(92) visited twice with me. I celebrated his 67th birthday on the 28th of June.It was not the same as other years though. :(
Leslie,our youngest daughter bought a house in San Diego,CA.
Next yr I'm going to visit both.It's quite costly!

I saw that you search your daughter?Well,one can look her up through internet.I found George's daughter too.:o

Henri, all the best with what you're busy with!
regards from Rita

Rita Posted 4 years, 7 months ago. ✓ Mailed 4 years, 6 months ago   Favorite
hello Henry,
I got your latest letter. I will write back any day now; we're the 22 th of September today. i had to write to Rubi first, Mexican om DR, in Texas.
I will try to locate your daughter, Henry.
How is everything going right now?I wondered, are you in a State prison or a Federal one?
You are still doing yoga? I read you're working in the kitchen as a cook. Hard working for sure!!
I read your family also is estranged... too bad. At least one sister writes to you.Couldn't she make the other siblings write you too?

As soon as I can now, I'll search for your daughter, ok?

Take care, Henry and be blessed! Kind regards from Rita!

Henry West Posted 4 years, 4 months ago.   Favorite
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Rita Posted 4 years, 3 months ago. ✓ Mailed 4 years, 3 months ago   Favorite
hello Henri,

You will have this message only on the 9th of January. This I can read here.I sent you a letter from Indonesia. I hope you got it?
I had a wonderful voyage in group in that marvelous country! How nice people are here. They greet you with their hands folded across their heart.Always smile too. Just everybody greets you. We saw 3 islands of the 33,000!!Sumatra,(very poor!),Java the ex-colony of the Netherlands, and Bali.In the latter are many tourists. Well, we thought that the population is not that pure in manners as the 2 other islands, because of that.We had a very busy shedule visiting various and interesting areas of this society!So many miles in the small bus. 2 Dutch speaking very good guides also.I took lots of pictures. Precious landscapes: rice fields,plantations, temples,the jungle with the reddish uran utans, makaks, these are other monkey species etc...
We stayed at most two days in yet a different hotel, also in lodges.We had a group of 8 people, but my friends (Veerle, read 'Varle', and her fiancé, Scott, an American chiropractor) who invited me to go to Indonesia, parted after 1 day in Bali and took 7 days more on that precious island.They took a surfing course there.Both are 53.They live in Holland, she is a Belgian.Now I listen to my Bali cds. Such lovely sounds! :))I gave 3 neighbors of my apartment, batik textiles; these are typical for this country.Also I bought a batik painting, abstract. It has 20 colors!Clothing for Lynn and Lars, the 2 youngest grandchildren.And a dress and a sarong for me as well.
I loved their massages and one scrub with chocolate and milk afterwards.:))

Maybe this note comes first? Before the letter? So,tell me.

Henri, hope all goes well with you. Take care and receive warm greetings from me, Rita

Rita Posted 4 years, 2 months ago. ✓ Mailed 4 years, 2 months ago   Favorite
hello Henri,

I haven't heard from you for quite a time.You got my letter from Indonesia?I hope so.How are you doing?Here this blog says you'll receive my notes on February 13.Tell me next time if this date was correct,okay?Friends wish each other also Happy Valentine and so Henri, that's what I am wishing you!:))Have a nice day anyway.When I flew from Singapore, coming from Bali, I met on the plane Joséphine (she prefers the name Josée)and she is French; she lives in Nice.We talked in the plane French and became friends.We are no emailing to each other.She, her son and his friend had been in Bali as well.They had a good guide to visit the interior of the island.Bali is so beautiful!We were not too long with our group in Bali; that was the 3rd island we visited.Because of all the tourists, they had a better economy then Sumatra and Java.Especially in Sumatra people were very poor!There are restaurants where people eat cat and dog!:o I also booked my flight for April 21st to George. On May 8 I will be back.I will visit him in his new prison, Menard.He was there before years ago.After his segregation of 6 months!!he was moved there.He prefers that place;as he has some friends there.Well,he came out healthy.Mainly he studied,read and wrote.Now he is back to population since December 15.His lawyer might do a mental check up of his mental situation.He leaves it to her decision.I was without letters from him for about a month and a half!Two letters never arrived...;as he puts numbers on it and I checked.:((I will tell his dad at the phone.What happened with those letters? Was it done on purpose!?Henri, give me again the name of your daughter and all the dates you know from her; hospital, town, etc
Then I will try to make work of it.I've a busy life.But I will do my best.
Lots of warm greetings from your friend Rita!A big hug! Stay well, Henri.

Henry West Posted 4 years, 2 months ago.   Favorite
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Rita Posted 4 years, 2 months ago. ✓ Mailed 4 years, 1 month ago   Favorite
hello dear Henry,

It says here you'll receive the mail on February,27th.Tell me if so.I haven't yet read your blogs, but I surely will do so.It's a matter of time.:)I am also curious what I will read!So to hear it is not pleasant...The harsh life of a prisoner!In America they keep people so very long in jails;it's just a big shame!!They don't prepare them to leave.Horrible.Look how long they left my fiancé George in prison; this year it's 50 yrs!!Tragic :(.He is in fact a true survivor.He keeps strong because of his dad,92 and me.We help each other through those tough times,Henry.What more can we do?
Henry,it made me sad to read your news, but you're right,take up life and prove your innocence,dear friend.
Talking about something else.I hope you have some friends at your place.Maybe cooking helps you cooperate with life?I guess you like it?
Are you in a federal prison? There the food at least is better, I heard?In a state prison,it is bad. George tried to speak to a person to let it change.I don't really know if it will? He only can try.George is an activist and works at changes; but they receive hardship too...Like the 6 months of segregation!It was not because of a certain fact; only pure retaliation!He came out on December 15th with his head up. His lawyer Jessica would consider if he needs mental help?He says not, but leaves the decision to her.
I've a good cough!But still did this past weekend two marches of each 20 kilometers!I had hiked a long time ago with the group called Sippels.
A friend Veerle (say 'Varle') with whom I went to Indonesia,asked if I was willing to do this?It was truly hard!We had a backpack on our back.We slept in a modern gîte.It was done in a protected area,elevated high up.Very down and up.Sometimes there were long walks mounting, climbing through obstacles like tree roots, mud spaces, etc A very irregular area so to say.Sometimes we had water, ice spaces, and even snow here and there.It was rather cold too.The group was rather large, but they mostly had a better training to walk then me. I was the second oldest as well.But I was amazed to see how good I did!After a long long time of not doing any hiking at all!After the walk I did feel stiff in my waist, but my legs felt fine.Maybe because of doing my yoga?This always is good for your condition. :)
One should train the body and the spirit.I wondered if a good book would please you, Henry?Can we send books through Amazon?
What kind of music you like to hear? Some special singers perhaps?So, tell me!
I am curious to see your picture.Thanks for thinking of it!;)

Stay strong,stay healthy and take the best of just everyday, Henry.
Friendship and blessings go your way.

A big hug from Rita!

Henry West Posted 4 years, 1 month ago.   Favorite
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Rita Posted 4 years ago. ✓ Mailed 4 years ago   Favorite
hello dear Henry,

Would you know that I looked up your daughter Loretta West, but until now I didn't find her. There are SO MANY! with her name,but not your 23 yr old daughter.I'll do my best to find her, ok?
Yes I got your letter with the photo.I had imagined you totally different.But I can see you are a kind person. I showed my friend Kathleen, and she saw it too. :)I will send a copy of a very recent photo; one where I was in a park with Kathleen, celebrating my birthday: 69. Well, I don't feel my age... plus, I have a good health.Mom and me look years younger than our age; so, it must be something in our genes. :)
I celebrated my B-Day several times. On the 29th with my neighbors; we were ten people.In my living room. With different pies, coffee and tea.On their plate I always put 3 Easter eggs; as I was born on a Good Friday.Only on the coming G.F. I will feel my real age. -smile
On March 24 I was in Brussels, our capital, where mom lives.We went out dining and she had a desert home.Yesterday, March 30th I was at our coast, in Oostende.A new friend Nenita, a Filippine woman, 53 had bought a house in O. and they're renovating it. I went to see it.We went eating and the weather was gorgeous!She has 3 children: a 25yr old daughter, a son of 23 and one of 20.The 2 sons are still single and they help her with the cleaning up of the house.In that house lived two families before.N. divorced, and met an Irish man. He works in Antwerp, where I live.
I don't recall if you know with how many pen pals I write? In the year 2007 I started writing with George jr(my fiancé)and Robert, a Mexican on D/R.Lately he wrote me a letter that was very nasty, regarding George!I considered stopping writing.I' ll see what I'll intend to do next?He's an artist like myself.Then I've a very nice and kind personality, Kelly; he is gay.He feels a woman inside. He does yoga and is a wicca. I am so glad he finally found somebody special in his prison.In his previous prison he was assaulted by a man!All because he was gay.:( Then we've Robert P. with who I write on his blog. He is a very compassionate man.An Italian-American.
Rubi is in the prison of Robert R, in Texas, on D/R.He suffers a lot! He has cancer and was bitten bu a spider! Rubi is an emotional person, but very gentle.Also a Mexican.Agnes from Inside-Outside, where I got the 2 first pen pals, visits her 4 inmates on D/R twice a year!So, Rubi has a voice outside.She took care of him whole she w

Rita Posted 4 years ago. ✓ Mailed 4 years ago   Favorite
while she was there! Got to talk with his lawyer, with a nurse, perhaps a doctor by now?Just to see he was taken care of.They don't treat men on D/R... So very sad.:((( Agnes started people in BE to write in the past for his B-Day as he never got any mail.Nowadays he gets a LOT of mail!:))He drew for me; so did George, and so did Robert R.
And there is also Joshua, a great artist!George and he were like brothers in the previous prison.They sent me a watercolor they both made of the wedding picture of my parents.I was so surprised!It was for my past B-Day. They made it together.As G. had this picture in his posession.He knew how I always missed my father, who died at 36 when I was only 3 and a half years old.Later J. sent me 8 paintings! They are very special and really original.I still intend to send him some money for it.I couldn't by J-Pay.Well, I'll see for it another way.
I will see for the book, you mentioned, Henry.:) Now I make the preparations for the voyage to my fiancé.My last babysit on Elke's children is on April 2 and 3rd.Then I will focus on George.He was 6 months in seg! But he's doing alright.He's very happy to see me.It's been so long!
I do like to listen to country music as well, Henry!:) I bought a long player, to play records. for myself.A present for me. :)G. has bought recently an MP3- player too.He typed the words of OUR song in a letter.As the razzia in his cell had taken his art work, he had made for my B-Day. :(( It frustrated him to not to give me anythings this year...
Well Henry, I hope you enjoy this letter,and know that I care.:))
Make the best of every day. I wish you success in your study to get out.:o I read all your articles by now.And they give me the information which I can share with George jr. Be careful though.

Receive a warm hug from me, Rita! x

Henry West Posted 3 years, 11 months ago.   Favorite
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