Saturday, July 16, 2011

SON OF STYLE ,SON OF SAM

I did not know Caine other than by reputation. The # 7 line didn’t boast a lot of talented writers in the early to mid-seventies , so Caine stood out like a blazing North Star in a dull dreary sky. Focusing on conceptual pieces with colorful backgrounds and detailed characters, he was way ahead of his time. His letters which were passable were not the focus of his work.And ,although he often wrote with guys like Mad 102, Flame and Tage,  it was Caine’s name that stood out most. I can recall going to a Mets game around 1975 and seeing Caine’s Welcome to Hell car with the Alice Cooper face on one end of the car and the skull man on the other pull up on a Manhattan- bound 7 train as I was heading to Shea Stadium. As if by reflex, I jumped off my train and ran to the other side of the platform to get a closer look.I waited for the doors to close and after the oblivious passengers exited Caine’s masterpiece , I began running alongside of the moving train until it pulled out of the station. My admiration cost me a few innings of Mets baseball, but Caine’s was way more captivating than the mediocre ‘75 Mets squad. Eddie Glowaski a.k.a. Caine also had a dark side. Caine paved the way for Lee Quinones’ conceptual whole cars although their messages had no similarities. The fact that Caine operated on the most isolated of all I.R.T. lines the # 7 train made him unique in graffiti history. I will not speculate on his life outside of graffiti , but wanted to share this journal entry that I happened upon during the course of researching my book. The Devil is a tireless predator. He tries hard to pluck lives from this world before they have the chance to make their peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ. This is the reason why he is referred to in the Bible as a thief” who’s come to steal, kill and destroy. Satan has been a killer of men and a stealer of souls for thousands of years. The Scriptures also describe him as both a” wolf” and a “roaring” lion.
And with these things in mind, I am writing today’s journal entry in memory of my friend, Edward Glowaski. Eddie died on or about March 15, 1982. His death occurred as the result of his being shot by a resident whose house he tried to break into. An elderly gentleman by the name of Fred Hammer, whom I believe was in his 70s, caught Eddie in the act of burglary and shot him with an unlicensed handgun.
The incident occurred at 37-68 97th Street in the Corona section of Queens, New York. Mortally wounded, Eddie was then rushed to a nearby hospital. He was shot around 10 P.M. and died the next day at approximately 2:30 A.M. Eddie was only 24-years old.
I met Ed Glowaski while we were both confined to the Kings County Hospital’s jail ward, which was located on Clarkson Avenue on the top floor of the building. This was in Brooklyn, New York, in 1977.
Eddie and I were in separate observation rooms, which were more like jail cells, as we awaited our respective criminal cases to be dealt with by the court. I was under a 24-hour per day suicide watch all the while I was confined there. A New York City correction officer was posted outside my room continually with each officer doing an eight hour shift. And Eddie was housed in a three man room almost directly across from me, and about ten feet away. Most of the time the guards allowed Ed and I to talk.
Eddie’s case also graced the newspapers, at least for a few days. He was caught robbing from graves in a local cemetery. He told me he was a Satanist. And, if I remember correctly, he knew certain persons who were interested in purchasing his wares in order to use them for ritualistic purposes. But who these people were, I’ve no idea. And I think it was one of Ed’s friends who tipped off the police.

Ed was only 18 or 19 years old at the time of his arrest. Although it was a long time ago, I recall him as being about 5’10’’ tall, with a pale baby face and blonde hair. He was soft-spoken and could’ve easily passed as a college freshman. He didn’t look as if he belonged in prison. I think he was looking for a father in his life.
Because his case was so bizarre - a teenager caught trying to rob old bones and other items from cemeteries for satanic purposes - not only did the media have a run with the story, but the judge ordered him to undergo a psychiatric exam. And this is how Ed and I met. I was confined to the jail ward of the hospital for the same reason: a mental evaluation.Thus Eddie and I became friends through the cell bars, which is a common occurrence in such a setting. Men who are locked up in cells next to each other need to communicate. So Ed and I got to know one another. I learned that he had a devoted mother who loved her son. She would visit him every Saturday speaking to her child through a mouthpiece that was embedded in the glass partition which separated the inmates from their visitors. Eddie’s mother did a lot of crying whenever she came to see him. He talked a lot about her and his sister. Ed loved his mom as much as she loved him.
However, after about a month or two, Eddie’s psychiatric evaluation was complete. So he was then remanded to the infamous Riker’s Island Jail to await a trial or a disposition of his case. I think he ended up pleading guilty and doing “time served” plus a long period of probation.
Yet Eddie still kept in touch with me, at least for a little while. But I guess he eventually decided to move on with his life. And by this time I had already received a lengthy prison sentence after having pled guilty to murder in the 2nd Degree in the “Son of Sam” case.
Then, years later, in 1982, while I was confined to an upstate prison a short distance from the Canadian border, I happened to come across a week old copy of the New York Times.” And I believe it was the paper’s “Metro Section” that I’d been looking at when I spied a small article several pages into the section. The piece was maybe an inch wide, and not more than four inches in length. Yet when I read it, I froze.
The article, in few words, simply said that a 24-year old man by the name of Edward Glowaski, was shot while trying to burglarize a home in the Corona section of Queens. It went on to say that he died several hours later. It did mention, as well, that Mr. Glowaski was a talented artist who’s works were being featured in a Manhattan art gallery. His pen name, the article said, was “Caine .”
I didn’t know that Eddie was a budding young artist who had already received some recognition for his work. My memory of him was locked into a brief frame of time back in 1977. In my mind I still saw him as a skinny and confused adolescent. And now he’s dead!
I wasn’t walking with the Lord back then. It would be awhile yet before I became a follower of Jesus Christ. Besides, I’d lost contact with Ed, and I had my own share of problems to contend with, too. I was struggling to cope with my incarceration and the craziness of prison life. I was also battling with depression. So I basically forgot about Eddie until I happened upon the article.
Yet what I do know today is that Satan has no respect for those who are, or who once were, his followers. Sadly, there are those, and I was one of them, who’d been deceived. In my ignorance, rebelliousness and foolishness, and perhaps even in my loneliness as well, I once pledged allegiance to this cruel being. And when I did so, I actually thought that things would turn out well for me. But I’ve learned from hard experience that the Devil is just what the holy Bible says he is: a liar, and the Father of Lies (John 8:44).”
Most certainly those who place their trust in Lucifer for their fortunes will end up losing everything. Gone will be their minds, their bodies, and ultimately their souls. None of the Devil’s crowd will get to keep or enjoy what he has promised them. And if not for the mercy of God, my body would be in a grave by now, and my soul would be in Hell. I shudder when I think about it.
D.B.(David Berkowitz)

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