Stone and the GED

Stone was another convicted felon I tutored for the procurement of the elusive GED.  He actually graduated from high school but illegally managed to change his name and identity so he consequently had no record of receiving his diploma.  He was of high rank within a formidable gang and for whatever reason, wanted his GED.  Most likely it would simply serve as another form of identification which he could use down the road with one of his many identities.  He was also a very funny guy with a big heart and I loved spending time with him and hearing his stories.   His body was riddled with tattoos, most likely to obfuscate the important ones which delineated rank and meaning within the gang culture.  Despite having endured horrors as a child, his current estate was happy, fun loving and very respectful.

Stone told me about how he was in collusion with a jewelry store owner and Stone was to rob the owner’s store.  Stone would get the goods, the store owner would get the insurance money, then five years later, Stone would sell the jewelry back to the owner at a discount and the shop owner would resell the merchandise under the table.  Stone of course would get a commission.  The plan went off without a hitch except Stone was arrested on some unrelated and fake charge because the police knew they didn’t have any evidence regarding the jewelry store robbery but, they wanted him off the street at any cost, even if they had to arrest him on a fake charge with phony evidence planted on him.  He was sentenced to prison for ten years.  He chuckled and said that nobody believed him when he professed to be innocent.

After two years, he was granted parole but he suspected that it was because the police were hoping that he would lead them to the stolen merchandise. Stone said that he could patiently wait out the eight years of parole or have someone else retrieve the booty from its hiding spot.  He then jokingly asked me if I wanted to make twenty thousand.  I held my fingers up in a cross formation and said “Get behind me, Satan.”  Despite having millions of dollars at his disposal, he patiently took advantage of all the social services, shelters, welfare stamps and food pantries he could in order to keep up the appearance that he had no money.

A somewhat humorous story that Stone told me was about another big heist they made.  Their getaway van had the shocks removed so that the vehicle would ride low to the ground.  They also took out a small section of the floor.  They were being chased by the police when they stopped the van in the middle of the road.  The police surrounded the van and barked instructions through a bullhorn to give up and step out of the vehicle.  Little did the police know, the van was parked over a manhole and Stone’s gang removed the cover from inside the van and escaped through the sewers.  A few years later some mob type movie used the exact same scenario for the antagonist’s escape plot.  Taking full credit, Stone was ecstatic that his idea made it into a movie.  He bought out a movie theater and invited all his friends to attend a showing.  At the aforementioned escape scene, the theater erupted into thunderous applause.  The few people who were actual patrons to the showing were probably very confused.

Stone aced the GED on his first try.

-Malcolm Kogut

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