At 82, a just-released Graterford prisoner savors a taste of freedom

January 26, 2011|By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer

Within minutes of his release from prison Tuesday, Louis Mickens-Thomas was sitting in Tommy Mo’s Steak Shop, waiting for the meal he had dreamed about for years.

Four fried eggs and home fries.

“I got hung up on that a long time ago,” said Mickens-Thomas, 82, who has spent more than half his life – 45 years – inside Graterford Prison. “Whenever I got out, I wanted a breakfast of four fried eggs and home-fried potatoes.”

That he would one day get to eat that breakfast again wasn’t always certain.

In fact, before Saturday – when a prison guard read in the newspaper that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ordered Mickens-Thomas’ release, then told him the good news – he thought he might never get out.

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