W.V. Penitentiary by Rev Al Paquette

When Sharon and I are on the road we seldom miss an opportunity to visit a  prison. Especially one that has great history to it.

We found out from one of the chaplains that this prison, which was built in 1866 and was closed in 1995, was open to the public for tours. So we just had to go and check it out. There has been some movies filmed in this place like  “Fools Parade” which stared Jimmy Stewart. The tour guide was very informative and  knowledgeable about the prison.

But as many of you know me I am not one to follow the crowd so I went off to places that was not on the tour. The funny part, there were two boys that were just as curious as me and they started to follow me. I guess they found an adult that was as mischievous as they were.

The creepy part was seeing the gallo where they used to hang  people.  The people from the local town would witness the hanging until one day they had a hanging and the guys head popped off.

Their claim to fame is that Charles  Manson’s mom was  incarcerated there for armed robbery. I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree.

The tour guide told us the story of how an inmate walked into anther inmates cell and stabbing him 32 times and then he sat down and played his harmonica. They say at night you can hear the   harmonica   playing. They were getting ready for the Halloween tour.

I can’t imagine being in this place at night. We had a blast and I will say it was well worth the visit.

W.V. Penitentiary

By Rev. Al

Cruisin’ For St. Jude Run by Rev Al Paquette

Cruisin’ For St. Jude Run in Lake County is always a good time.

Today 250 plus bikers showed up to support the St Jude’s Children’s hospital. The ride had 7 stops with 125 miles total .  It ended at Gator HD in Leesburg.

Great food, bands ,bike show and bike games. Everyone was enjoying the awesome weather and the fantastic bands. I would say they really stepped it up a notch this year. The total was not in yet but by what I’m hearing it’s going to be between 15 and 20 K for the kids.

It was great seeing all the different patches hanging and laughing and enjoying the day. Can’t wait until next year.

Rev Al Paquette

Thoughts from Prison by Rev Al Paquette

As I write this Sharon and I are in Pennsylvania going into the prisons. So far we have been in 4 in the past four days, with one more tomorrow. It has been a whirlwind trip. We didn’t even bring the ‘Doin Time’ bike up.

Tonight we were in the Muncy women’s prison that holds around 1500 inmates.  I have been preaching the message all week. Jesus is the way,the truth, and the life. I’ve been telling the inmates to not live their lives unproductive. Don’t waste your life being wasted. All I do is tell them that I stay productive and in turn I am Blessed.   

This is the ninth year of coming into Pa for prison ministry. Most of the prisons know us and we get right in. Sunday, our first prison was a little setback because Sharon failed a swab test.

They said she tested positive for synthetic marijuana.

If you know Sharon at all,you know that’s further from the truth than anything.  She sat in the parking lot for 3 hours until I got finished.

We could have complained, got mad, pitched a fit, but if we had, all prisons would have banned us. I did what I came here for and all the rest has been smooth.  

Be productive and don’t just hang in there, press on.  

Rev. Al

Good Times By Rev. Al Paquette

Back in the 1980’s every Labor Day weekend

we packed up our camping equipment in the Ford econ van with the gold colored bubble windows poking out from the sides and the carpeted walls . Sharon drove the van and I would ride my bike. We met at the Longwood rest stop and the pack would ride up to Mayo, Fl .to our favorite campsite on the Suwanee River. There we would spend the whole weekend laughing, swimming and well I can’t remember the rest. Sharon will have to tell you.

There was this high bank with springs and a rope swing. Some of our best laughs were watching a bunch of crazy drunk men doing flips off that rope swing.  Bigfoot brought his boat and pulled us up and down the river on inner tubes. Bubba needed a steel cable to be pulled by after trying the ropes too many times.  Laughter was the main thing we did. One night I was getting bit up by Mosquitos so I grabbed a can and sprayed myself. Sharon found me passed out later with a can of Pam next to me. I couldn’t figure out why everyone was calling me Slick the next morning.  One night these divers in glowing masks came up out of the springs and about freaked all of us out. Just good old stupid stuff would give us many good times.  We took over that campsite and I’m sure all of us bikers kept the norm away. Lots of great almost memories. Like I said, you’ll have to ask Sharon. I haven’t drank or done drugs in 30 years but I still get to see some of the old crowd.  Bigfoot, Castro, Santa, Wayne, and Curtis I will always remember our special times in Mayo R.I.P.

By Rev. Al Paquette