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A Prisoner's Story by Roger Burdge

Thursday, March 21, 2013 | 5:03 PM

Home to the blues, the Mississippi Delta is also home to a harsh prison called Parchman. From prison came bluesmen like “Bukka” White. But it also produced some of the nation’s most feared inmate bosses. One such boss was Chester Johnston.

Although convicted of crimes he denied to his death, Chester fought the system for a release that never came. Riding in the Wind is not just his story; it’s a look inside one of our nation’s most feared institutions. The book’s greatest revelation is how God changed Chester Johnson, granting him the freedom the system never would.

Chester came from a dysfunctional family and served in Vietnam before rising through the biker gang ranks to end up running Parchman. But after fighting his way to the undisputed position of “shot caller” of the farm population, his “rep” and hatred of officials and guards eventually caught up to him. Chester began reflecting on the God his grandmother had once taught him about and his journey to true freedom began with the Bible. 


About the Author: Chaplain Roger Burdge was formerly a clinical chaplain at Parchman, where he met Chester Johnson while working in the drug recovery unit. Having left prison service behind, the author is now the director of a community corporation. When he is not working or writing he enjoys genealogy, researching the history of his local Alabama county, and spoiling his grandchildren.

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