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"The Forest Martin story is a story of achieving success against great odds. Imprisoned at an early age for a crime committed by others and in which he had no involvement, he spent his time in prison improving his brain and his body by study and exercise. He was released and rather than rail against injustice and society he furthered his education and now devotes his life to improving his community and discharging his obligation to his family and his God. He has earned and deserves great respect for the way he ...
"The Forest Martin story is a story of achieving success against great odds. Imprisoned at an early age for a crime committed by others and in which he had no involvement, he spent his time in prison improving his brain and his body by study and exercise. He was released and rather than rail against injustice and society he furthered his education and now devotes his life to improving his community and discharging his obligation to his family and his God. He has earned and deserves great respect for the way he has lived his life."
Most guests who entered the Louisiana Governor's Mansion in the 1970s had no inkling the building's staff were convicted murderers. The governor's butlers, among other workers, came from Angola Penitentiary, one of the most violent prisons in the United States, to refill crystal glasses and pull out chairs for the elite members of society. Forest "Saint" Hammond was one of them. This autobiography of a teenage athlete turned prison inmate tells his story of a corrupt justice system and its attempt to keep one man in prison for a crime he did not commit.
Here, Saint tells that despite the prejudice with which he was treated, it was Divine guidance that fueled him to move on and learn to survive in every situation. It takes great sacrifices to get a second chance at freedom, but the tenacity with which Saint approached his tasks parallels the prowess he practiced as light heavyweight boxing champion of the prison.
Saint is now known as Forest C. Hammond-Martin, Sr., a proud father of six who dedicates his life to being a role model and educating at-risk youth. He is a boxing instructor who previously fought matches for Sugar Ray Leonard's Boxing Gym. Saint has also worked for the Baton Rouge Public Defender's Office. He lives with his wife in Alexandria, Louisiana.
Tom Aswell is an award-winning journalist who worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for twenty-five years. He is the author of Louisiana Rocks! The True Genesis of Rock and Roll, published by Pelican. Aswell lives Denham Springs, Louisiana.
1 Krewe of da Mansion 17
2 Run, Forest, Run! 27
3 The Middleton Drug Store Shootout 59
4 The Baton Rouge Criminal Justice System 83
5 The Plea 121
6 Louisiana State Peniversity at Angola 135
7 The Fighting Inmate Lawyer 153
8 Round One: Saint vs. the Criminal Justice System 181
9 Round Two: Short and Sweet 191
10 Leaving That Place, Angola 197
11 Voices and Echoes at the Mansion 203
12 Louisiana's Slavery Not Abolished-Just Hidden 219
13 Convict Chefs and Butlers-Louisiana's Best 225
14 The Setup 239
15 The Amazing Ball Runner 253
16 Boxing, Tea Parties, Chess, and Football 259
17 Serious Underlying Ramifications 271
18 The First Couple on Trial 279
19 Fifteen Months of Building Pressure 285
20 Listening to a Still Small Voice 295
Posted June 9, 2012
Forest(SAINT) Martin-I have finished your book and I cried on chapter 4 and through out the book esp. at the end at how the creator had you all the way and you didn't know him, but you were made to hear and obey him, even though you tried to work it out on your own.I now have seen in my day what Habakkuk says"HE WILL WORK A WORK IN YOUR DAY THAT YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE, EVEN THOUGH IT BE TOLD TO YOU.He must be me to believe.When you hear someone else's troubles, you will keep you own and be satisfied. Halleluyah!!!
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Posted July 5, 2012
This is a great book that bring to light the history of Louisiana prison system. It Constantly kept my attention, as it took me on a roller coarse ride of highs and lows. Knowing this was someone's life is even more amazing. This is a most read, I recommend book to everyone!!
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Posted February 6, 2013
When you begin to read With Edwards in the Governor's Mansion, the first chapter is fascinating, but it is not the one where the tears begin.
It's in the second chapter that you start to cry.
The first chapter introduces the author first as a young teenager, and his incredible story begins, a story which moves backwards and forwards, seamlessly, in time.
The first sentence reveals a van, white --- white like forces behind "the new Jim Crow" of the mass incarceration of black men? -- and parked at a gate,
a gate leading to inmate barracks, in Louisiana.
As the white van is brought to the fore of our mind's eye, materializing out of a miasma of exhaust and fog and early morning, the story starts materializing,
and we are introduced to some of the men who are selected and brought from the prison barracks to work at the Louisiana governor's mansion,
men who become known to us in sharp, pithy descriptions.
But we are introduced to the protagonist, Saint, more slowly, gradually. First we hear that he is missing from the van. I found myself wondering about that --
why are we introduced to him in this way? Because he is missing from the life he was supposed to be living? Because he is missing inside in ways
we don't know about yet?
Then we find him waking up from a sleep, kind-of materializing into the story the way the van did. He is wearing an old, faded pair of his high school gym shorts --
a jolting image of how young he is, in contrast to where he now finds himself. His bed is strewn with legal papers, evidence of the intelligence and
determination we sense already somehow.
Saint is carried forcefully yet caringly by four men to the van, as he is too exhausted and groggy to get up and walk. The men lay his body down on the
pavement, but the van leaves before he jumps up.
The chapter ends with Saint standing, staring up at stars, questioning -- trying to find answers within questions. Barefoot in the freezing cold, watching
as the white van -- the only transport to his hope of a pardon -- is driving away without him.
We don't find out if he gets to the governor's mansion that day, but we are promised, at the end of the chapter, to share in a phantasmagoria of his life
that is appearing to Saint, a lifetime of warm memory as he stands in the cold, one foot bleeding, cut by a white seashell off of the prison driveway,
feeling reprobated by the world, and yet... and yet... we feel there is so much deeply more to this young man, than we have yet seen.
Posted October 3, 2012
No text was provided for this review.
Posted October 22, 2012
No text was provided for this review.