Glazer: My Life of Crime & Cool Cats I Met in the Joint

I was surprised at some of the email I got over my prison Christmas story last week…

Including from guys I was in the joint with! Where was my name? they asked. Okay, I did leave out some interesting names and stories about the holidays, so…

On weekend nights, we dressed up like we were free and walked the yard at night. And holiday weekends were even bigger. Why? Because we were morons, but hope was always in the air.

So we’d put on our best pressed uniforms, do our hair up like we were going to the prom and shine our shoes (If you wore tennis shoes you cleaned them with a toothbrush, and no, not the one you brushed with).

Clean, tough, muscled up and ready to rock.

After the evening’s crappy meal, you and your best pal or two went outside and walked the track or the fence line area. Or maybe an indoor green space – each joint was different.

They move you around quite a bit, prison to prison. They’re supposed to try and keep you near family, but they don’t. I started in Terminal Island (Long Beach, Ca.) Then I was sent to a level 3/4, medium to upper security prison. Then to Lompoc a level 5, high security prison.

Finally, after much screaming and yelling about why was a seven year sentence, first time in prison guy at Lompoc, I got transferred to a level 2 in Safford, Arizona, on the border of the U.S. and Mexico. Level 2 meant lower security. And after about 18 months in, they sent me to camp, Boron, the Watergate camp in California.

I got in trouble there and was sent back to Terminal Island and finished at Lompoc in Level 1 – no walls, all dorms, decent. And finally to a halfway house in L.A. downtown – all that in 4 1/2 years. Nice tour.

Walking the yard was a big deal.

Who you walked it with, were you in top shape, what kinda stuff you wore and so on. You and your crew were always on the lookout for GIRLS. Of course there were none, except for the staff and it was very hard to get them.

I did land a teacher, but that’s another story.

One day we were walking and ran into a TV crew from ABC. A cute blonde wanted to interview Ivan Boesky and they had a pass to get in to set up for the interview. I told the 25 year-old reporter, "Hey, I’m president of toastmasters and the camp spokesperson."

I was kinda.

Boesky wouldn’t do the interview, so she set up a time to do a story about "camp life" in prison, on ME.

Wow, that was worth cleaning up for and it aired on the area ABC news a few weeks later. She had a crush on me, checked out my records and thought I was the greatest. She took my collect calls for about four months. We were gonna meet on my furlough in six months. I was out in about a year or so. We would date, move in together, get married, have a family. But after about 100 days she changed her mind, met a TV star and it was curtains for the King of Sting.

One guy I met and even took acting classes with was Seymour Cassel. He was the actor who played Robert Redford‘s driver in Indecent Proposal, the grey haired gentleman. Seymour was a major co star in the day, and even was in Coogan’s Bluff with Clint Eastwood – he played a smart-ass punk in the movie. He was in with John Cassavetes‘s and that crew and did tons of movies and TV before prison. 

Cassel’s career fizzled and he started sending ounces of blow to pals in the mail, a federal crime. He got a couple years and was next to me at Terminal Island. Even his friend, actor

Peter Falk

came to visit him in the big house. Cassel was a cool older guy. He got out before me and did a slew of movies, nice parts too. He made big money.

I ran into him at the screening of Indecent Proposal – my studio partner Dan York had taken me – and everyone was there, including Redford, Demi Moore and her husband Bruce Willis. Seymour was the co-star along with Woody Harrelson. I went up to congratulate Seymour and he said, "What the hell are you doing here?"

He’d been so kind and warm in prison, but now he was cold and kinda mean.

I told him I was at Universal now and he said, "For God’s sake don’t mention me to anyone here as a former inmate!"  I kinda figured people knew, but oh well. I ran into him a few times more and he was better but we never hung out again.

Then there was Jerry Newton, the banker, He was Wayne Newton‘s brother. Wayne even flew into the camp area in a helicopter to visit Jerry. That was back when Wayne was having some money issues and they say Jerry took the fall for some bad loans and ones that were not supposed to happen. I met Jerry where he and I worked, on the outdoor crew, cracking rocks. He was a good guy though. 

Maybe the most interesting man I met was Ron Semler. He owned Saddle Rock Ranch in Malibu. One of the richest men in prison. Ron and his brother Barry were in on some tax beef. Ron was maybe 10 years my senior, a nice looking guy, small and married to a Playboy Playmate. He owned a $100 million estate complete with a real Zoo (I kid you not) and garages with rare cars and wagons from films like "Gone With The Wind."

Ron and I became fast friends; we worked out together, ate together – we were pals. He even loaned me 25 G’s when I got out. He was in for nearly a year after I left. I went to his ranch to get the check, met his playmate wife, nice. He invited me to parties there a few times after he got out and it was a who’s who. His best pal was Noel Blanc of the cartoon voices family fame. He also was best pals with the Kirk Douglas family, who along with many other stars kept their horses at Saddle Rock Ranch.

I slowly paid off the loan – but I didn’t have the money in time – so that kinda killed out our friendship. I did pay it off finally, but he was just in too big a league for me when I got out. That changed eventually, but it took too long. Still Ron was a decent guy and he later partnered with Wolfgang Puck on his grocery pizza concept. I think that went south. Hey, but he helped me and I will always appreciate that of Ron.

There were others, and you do meet the most interesting people in prison. But it’s still not a great place to stay.

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19 Responses to Glazer: My Life of Crime & Cool Cats I Met in the Joint

  1. Radio Man says:

    You Need To Write A Book On Prison
    That was informative and entertaining. King of Sting did not go deep into your prison life, maybe you should write a book next on that part. The good side of prison. If that is the case.

  2. Pissed Off says:

    Come On Violence Had To Happen
    What no rape stories glazer. Must of been some. Tell those.

  3. Jason says:

    My Brother Did Ten Years
    Tommy told me some stories somewhat like those. He did 8 years in Leavenworth prison, then went to the camp. Said the camp was a piece of cake. He got out in 2005, and has been a good citizen since. Went down on a drug bust, like most guys in there. Said there was some bad violence in the pen, but not in the camp too much. Mostly Tommy said, you fight boredom and just being away from the real world, a waste of time, doing time.

  4. Big bob says:

    WOW that was entertaining
    bullshit. Yawn. So lets see what i learned. Wayne Newton was having money problems but flew in on a helicopter. Makes sense? And the other thing to deduce is that Craig has seen the commercials about the movie with Matt Damon where he buys a zoo….so Craig incorporates it into his story. Way to be orginal with your “stories” Craig.

    If you want to really read about prison life read Pete Early’s Hot House Inside a Leavenworth Prison. Or a book called The Hate Factory about the 1980 New Mexico riot that is written by an inmate. A real inmate. Not a hollywood verision of one.

  5. Craig Glazer says:

    Moron Big Boob, I Mean Bob
    Semler had a zoo with camels, and even kangaroo’s very unique, I was there. Had Ostrich as well, in fact one of the first in the US to have a baby, egg? ever. Died though a few weeks after birth. Where in the hell did you come up with I got an idea from a movie? This is all real dork. P.S. I wrote a book its likely to be a movie, it did include some prison stories, but I will likely do another one on that subject. I didn’t go for the violence as for you all to see that there is some kinda normal life inside as well. Sorry about that. Boy you just can’t please some people, huh booby.

  6. Harlow says:

    Keep Those Stories Coming Craig
    I get a kick out of these stories Craig, so at least I like them. More sex though.

  7. Honky Tonk Man says:

    You Do Prison, Hearne Does Jardines
    You guys love those two stories. Damn.

  8. chuck says:

    Glaze
    I still don’t understand why there were so many transfers.

    I would think it would be a pain in the ass for the Penal (I said Penal.) system.

    If a guy is just sitting there, not causing trouble, you could forget about him and work on other problems.

    Did Noel Blanc do any voices for ya?

    I wanna slug a couple brews with Noel and have him do Yosemite Sam. God that would be hilarious.

  9. chuck says:

    Find the hidden joke.
    🙂

    By the way Glaze, I am glad none of you guys got T Rexed in the butthole, ala “Shawshank Redemption.”

    God that movie was depressing.

  10. Mid Town Man says:

    Chuck How Do You Know
    Buddy you weren’t there so how do you know what happened. Shawshank was one of my favorite movies.

  11. chuck says:

    @ mid town man
    I have no idea what you are trying to say. Sorry.

    What can I tell ya? The movie was depressing to me.

    No big deal, its just my opinion.

  12. Karl says:

    Married My Jailor
    Yes, I was doing six months, DUI number three, met a deputy that was a female jailer. We had an affair while I was in the jail. Married her, had two kids, get this, she got a couple of charges and ended up losing her job, going to the womens’ side of the same jail house. Divorced now, I got the kids, and don’t drink anymore. Yeah, you meet some nutty people in the joint.

  13. Doormat says:

    Wasn’t WallStreet Composed Around Michael Milken
    What a wide ranging group of men you met in prison Craig. Hey I thought Wall Street the movie was maybe based on Michael Milken? You sure it was Boesky?

  14. Craig Glazer says:

    No Wall Street Came Out Before Milken Got To Prison
    No it was based on Boesky and Oliver Stones experiences and his father, who I believe was a broker on Wall Street…Ivan was just the concept of Gordon Gecko, not suppose to really be Gordon. Boesky and Milken were junk bond guys, Gecko was a big mover of blue chip and corp. stocks…not the same….and Mike Douglas played it as a well dressed playboy type, not anything like Ivan, ore like Milken….Milken came into my prison at Lompoc Camp right after I left at the end of 1989, I think he only did a year…but Wall Street was already out the year before. I saw the movie on my first furlough from prison, a one day out trip, liked it alot.

  15. balbonis moleskine says:

    glaze is right on Wall Street, it was a collection of people
    I agree, I dont think Gordon Gecko was just one guy. One guy who it was probably based heavily on that hasn’t yet been mentioned is Karl Icahn. Karl’s plans were always to buy the stock of an underperforming company and finangle a seat on the board, eventually gaining control of the company, which is then eventually sold out for a profit a few years later.

  16. chuck says:

    Boesky was nailed for insider trading.
    Tips from within a company, that would give him an unfair advantage through knowledge inappropriately gained.

    Just like the movie.

    Boesky and Milken are plankton in the economic ocean, compared to Lloyd Carcharodon Carcharias Blankfein.

    Goldman Sachs is infested with crooks, thieves and con men that would embarrass Gordon Gekko into a Carpathian Monestary.

    I still can’t believe, that at this point, there is NO ONE in jail for the mortgage backed security economic meltdown that has wrecked this country’s economy for the last 4 years.

    The fuckers must have Klingon Cloaking devices.

  17. Timberland says:

    Do They Have Organized Sports In Prison?
    Craig did they have any teams or organized sports in the prisons? You mentioned dorms, are you in cells or dorms or both? How is that determined? Was the food that bad? What was it like? Interested.

  18. balbonis moleskine says:

    Goldman is toast
    chuck, the goldman CEO and other top officials have all be indicted. They await trial.

  19. chuck says:

    Oh…
    Ok.

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