Tony Walker by Juan Montoya-Pego
In prison people are always trying to come up with some type of money making tactic. Whether it is legal or illegal. I changed my life around and I am fortunate enough to have resources. It allows me to pursue things legal like Paralegal Courses ($1,000) and personal trainer Certification Courses ($934). Guitar lessons, Wall Street Journal ($755 a year) and Barron’s Subscription, trading stocks online, etc.
Some guys sell drugs, clean cells, do laundry, cook really good meals, clean dishes, work various jobs around the prison for money. They run stores, sports gambling tickets, they tattoo, cut hair, make birthday cards and do portraits, art. Some guys even sell their body parts. It is a cold world we live in and as brutal as it can be I think it is better to deal in reality. I see most of us are in here for drugs or trying to get money. I prayed to God and asked him to teach me to “hustle legally” or to make it legitimate. I see most drug dealers’ runs don’t last long and don’t offer a promising future. I have friends in here with long sentences for those same offences I just wrote about. There are some big fish in here. I thought, “There has got to be a way to do it from here without crime”.
It took a while, but as I continued my walk with the Most High I dropped in security points and went from the Penitentiary to the F.C.I. (lower custody points). I was no longer on a yard with homicides and viscous stabbings and beatdowns with people with ridiculous amounts of time or even active gangs. Now I am at a yard where people are less violent and are going home. Basically I am doing time with more people who have something to lose and short sentences.
I am a capitalist to a certain degree and believe in making a good life for myself and others with risks, free markets, hard work, education and creativity. I took the Residential Drug Treatment in here. RDAP. I’ve seen some guys talking about being in a stock class. I never took them seriously. I thought the guy teaching the class was just selling dreams. There are a lot of people like that in prison.
I found a gold jewelry connection from a guy from Los Angeles. His mom actually stuck her neck out there for me with her connection at Happy Jewelry in downtown L.A. It was legit and I learned a lot about gold. I also learned trying to run something like that from in here requires you to have trustworthy people out there. I got burned a few times and quit. I still have a lot of my products at home. Gold is rare compared to other minerals in the world and has lasting value. Well honest people with “hearts of gold” are even more rare and valuable. Your day to day transactions, no matter how small, still matter. They tell who you are in time.
A white dude named “Country” who I was cool with had jarred jalapenos, peanut butter packs, and other stuff like peppers and onions he would “get out” of the kitchen for a discount, lol. I paid for a lot of his products. He saw how I was always trying to hone my entrepreneurial spirit. He really, strongly, and persistently recommended the stock class. I was reluctant, but one of the guy’s underlings from the class I knew approached me about paying for and taking the class. I didn’t even ask or approach the guy who taught the class yet. Country is pretty insistent, lol. To make a long story short I will say that that was probably the best investment I made while in prison besides changing my life around and walking with the Most High. You get what you put in the class. I later learned Tony doesn’t just take anyone. I learned to look for and qualify a stock to see if it’s moving, chart it and read it for the best entry and exit points. I have acquired financial literacy because of this man’s class. Trading stocks isn’t easy, but I can say my investments are up so far. I will continue to learn. Tony Walker has been in prison for 29 years. He got convicted of a string of bank robberies and given 180 years in federal prison. He is 59 years old. He stayed solid and didn’t tell, but he did get a lot of time for some things he did as a kid. The man is older but has the ripped body of a 30 year old. He plays drums in a band. He runs a fitness class in prison because he is a Certified Personal Trainor and Paralegal. This gives me motivation to do better.
Tony is a personal inspiration and friend to me because of his good attitude. If you talk to him you wouldn’t know that he is doing that much time. He is such an upbeat dude. I want to be like him to a degree. He married a wonderful women named Sherry that sends us bible scriptures daily to our e-mails. She was a big woman when they met. Tony helped her drop weight. Now she runs her own fitness classes. She is like a mom to all of us in the stock class. Tony, from trading stocks pays for a lot of things for his family in the outside world. I estimate he is worth close to a million. Not bad for someone doing time that society has counted out. When I said I wanted to be like him everyone in the class looked at me crazy. I don’t want to be exactly like him. I am my own man and I am trying to be the best version of myself. I was the only Native and Mexican American in the class. The class was all African American and Tony is African American. I still wonder how I got in that class? I wanted to be like him because I want to take care of my family how a real man is supposed to be and he made me see that is possible, even from in here, legally. Also all the time he has. He refuses to let this place keep him down. You meet some good people in prison. Sometimes we make mistakes, but we shouldn’t let that dictate where we want to go. Tony recently got 100 years knocked off his sentence and is waiting for a judge’s decision to see if he can get an immediate release for the other. I pray that man is free for everyone he has helped in here.
You can buy Tony’s book he just got published from in here about trading stocks available now on Amazon.com
TRADING PLACES by Tony Walker
Source: Juan Montoya-Pego #43871-039