Meet Jolene

This lady, who is also the little girl on right with the hat on, is Jolene Babyak.

Jolene grew up on Alcatraz and was signing books when we were there a few days ago.

Her father was the assistant warden, and was the acting warden the night Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers may or may not have managed the great escape. No one knows for sure and the story became a movie starring Clint Eastwood.

Jolene said that she was eating dinner with her father when the telephone rang, which was unusual, and she remembers the look on her dad’s face. He had just been told there had been an escape.

And what was it like to grow up on Alcatraz, I asked? Like living at a military base, she said. She and her friends took the boat to school every morning in San Francisco and they lived what they thought was a fairly normal life. And she was never in contact with any of the prisoners, except she recalled one night when she heard them making a commotion and she asked her mom what it was. “Oh, it’s just the prisoners letting off steam,” answered mom.

She asked me where I was from and when I told her Canada, she said that 23 convicts at Alcatraz had been Canadian, and Alvin “Creepy” Karpis, who spent the longest time there, 26 years, was Canadian. This made me proud, of course, and ranks right up there with the discovery of insulin, the invention of basketball and 5 pin bowling, and the world’s largest beaver dam in northern Alberta.


4 thoughts on “Meet Jolene”

  1. Hey Dennis,Interesting story,this lady sounds like she could probably write a book on the place with a little help from you.I understand the pride you must have shown when told of the Canadian prisoners there,the same pride we all show when we speak of Harper, Beiber and Marchand.

  2. did she mention how scott gomez got away with smiling on his mug shot? ……….oh, excuse me, scotty is canadien not canadian.

  3. “just a Bruin letting off steam”, wasn’t that how Bettman and Campbell justified Chara’s attempt to disconnect Pacioretty’s head from his body when the Bums where being completely outplayed?

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