My Brush with Greatness

I worked as Head Librarian at Joliet (IL) Correctional Center in the early 1980s. One morning as I walked into the main entrance, I was startled (to say the very least) to see Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi sitting on visitor benches to my left. OK, Aykroyd was sitting—-Belushi was lying on his back on the bench, sound asleep. I said “Hello” or “Good morning” or something like that, and Aykroyd responded with a smile and wave. I didn’t think to ask for an autograph (I would have needed to ask the guard on duty for pen and paper anyway, so maybe my lapse was all for the best).

Flickr Creative Commons photo of Joliet Correctional Center by Kai Schreiber (https://www.flickr.com/photos/genista/)
Joliet Correctional Center (Flickr Creative Commons photo by Kai Schreiber)

You have probably guessed where this is going—the guys were at my prison shooting the opening scenes from the Blues Brothers movie. I witnessed the filming of a scene in the prison yard and a second scene at the Sally Port (a secure entry point for delivery vehicles).

None of my close relatives ever did hard time, but if one of yours did, it's fairly easy to look for books of interest in our Online Catalog--just use these search terms:

prisons missouri (or other state of interest)

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