The Around Town section is here to discuss what's on some of our city leader's hearts. It's not necessarily their "testimony," but it's discussing a situation, a viewpoint, or something that needs to be shared. Click on their photo, Topic Title, or name and it will direct you to their page and their story.
Judge Michael D. Brown
Tom Green County Judge
Mr. Yantis Green
We hardly said hello and the conversation was flowing. I was so caught off guard as Yantis came around the corner and greeted me thirty pounds lighter and with a head of long curly gray hair. What a difference a year makes. It was just two weeks shy of being one year since we last spoke as I did his story before he started his sentence.
Yantis had promised me the story after he returned from prison. I knew he would share the experience from his heart, one that most of us could never imagine living through. So as we walked over to a private room to visit, he explained both the weight loss and the lack of a haircut. When we were finally seated, I stopped him and said, 'let's back up and start where we left off last year.'
One note before we begin. Yantis is in the process of writing three books about his experience. There were times through our visit when I felt like I needed to not go any further in a few areas because I was sure that a few things would be key parts of his books. Out of respect for a fellow writer, I did not press him in those areas.
Our first interview ended just two weeks prior to the date he was to turn himself over to the authorities to begin his one year sentence. He was still pretty much his usual self; open, friendly, with a healthy dose of embarrassment about what he had done and trying to grasp the reality of what was still ahead for him.
You'll recall from our last article that Yantis had fully paid back every cent that he had stolen on the credit card. He had received his modest inheritance early and used it to pay off the credit card. He had lost his marriage and kids. He saw to it that the home they were in the midst of building was completed for his wife. He sat before me that day a man who had lost everything by simply swiping a credit card. Amazing how a simple action everyone of us does virtually every day, had cost him everything, because that wasn't his card to use personally.
Today sat before me the same man, but yet not the same man. This man was thin, no longer perfectly groomed, and his demeanor seemed to be on guard. I didn't feel like he was uncomfortable with me, but yet this last year had taught him to be watchful at all times. There was an uneasiness about him. I didn't fully realize that until I left.
I began by asking him how he felt during those last two weeks before going in. He gave me a one word reply. Anxious!