8/23/14 –

PRISON INFO./ADVICE;- Finally, after more than a month of waiting for a response to my request to purchase new guitar strings, my request is approved. Since January I’ve gone through a total of 4 e-strings on my guitar. Here at Madison they don’t allow inmates to have steel strings in an attempt to cut down on inmates tattooing each other, I must say that it appears to be working, well not only that, but also the severe punishment of three months in cell isolation is a major deterrent as well. At Lebanon Correctional inmates were allowed to have steel guitar strings, many guards would care less about catching an inmate giving or receiving tattoos, even then the punishment was being sent down to the nurse and charged a fine for having to get tested for diseases and receiving shots for them. It seemed like in every other cell inmates were tattooing at Lebanon, but here it’s very rare, most inmates aren’t willing to take the risk. I personally have remained true to my promise to myself and to my family that I would not get any tattoos while in prison. I do have a couple tattoos on my shoulder from before getting locked up, they’re ugly and they certainly need to be fixed, but I’ll worry about that when I’m released, where I can have a trained professional fix my arm without the worry of disease or infection. Well I got way off the topic of guitar strings. Here at Madison, in order to purchase certain items like art supplies and/or music supplies we must first submit a kite to the recreation department with a list of specific desired items for approval before we’re able to order said items from an outside company. If any item is sent here that has not first been approved by staff, it is sent back and we will be issued a conduct ticket. So, after breaking my last e-string, I submitted a kite for permission to order more strings. My celly, Kurt was nice enough to let me have one of his e-strings in the meantime. Since then I’ve broken yet another e-string. Kurt tells me that the reason I’m breaking so many strings is because my guitar isn’t made to handle nylon strings like his, mine is meant for steel strings with a ball end, whereas nylon strings are meant to be wrapped at the ends. In order to fit the strings in my guitar I’ve been having to tie the end in a knot to form a ball and hold, which in return is causing too much stress on the strings, causing them to snap. Another guitar player with a guitar similar to mine told me that he found a set of nylon strings in a magazine with a ball end and they work quite well on his guitar, so I wrote down the order number for approval, turned it in patiently waiting for close to two months now. Since I broke the string Kurt was nice enough to give me, he suggested that I use a b-string and tune it to the key of e. So for the last couple of weeks I’ve been playing guitar this way, and since I have to tune a b-string to the key of e, this means I had to tune the b-string extra tight, much tighter then the b-string is supposed to be. So I’ve been playing my guitar as delicately as possible, waiting for the string to snap again, hoping I get some new strings soon.

STEVEN DYBVAD

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