• By Don Dwiggins
  • Posted Friday, March 6, 2009

Book Discussion at Central

On March 8th, Jim Albright will present a book discussion of his recent book, The Last Guard Out. He will discuss his career as a guard at California’s Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, which closed in 1963. During its run, Alcatraz housed some of the most notorious criminals in American history including, Al Capone, Robert Stroud (The famous Birdman of Alcatraz) and George “Machine Gun” Kelly. Starting work at Alcatraz represented a major lifestyle change for the author as he describes below in an excerpt from his book.

I was newly assigned to the infamous island penitentiary of Alcatraz. Reporting to Alcatraz required me to uproot my wife Cathy and young son Kenny from Colorado to California. As we approached San Francisco via the Oakland Bay Bridge, we got our first foreboding glance of Alcatraz Island with a dense circle of fog surrounding it. A strange sense of dread came over me. I looked at our young son asleep in the back seat, then turned to my wife next to me and I whispered "What The Hell Did We Do". After moving on to Alcatraz, our thought on island life quickly changed and we decided not to apply for a transfer out, which consequently left us there until the Island closed in March of 1963. Because of our newly born daughter's foot problem, they left us there until June of 1963 making me The Last Guard Out.

This program is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. For more information call 703-3052. Sunday, March 8th at 2:30 pm. Central Library Auditorium.

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