When I was a simple little chunky kid, I was terrified of the Boogie Man. I had never heard of anyone being hurt, killed or touched by this fictional character that terrorized neighborhoods from New York to California and every state in between.

Rumors

The last thing I’d ever imagined is that one day I would be called something close! I guess it would be safe to say the rumors about the first character I was, was ‘Smitty’ , a nickname I carried for years in Lufkin Texas. That guy was a womanizer, thief, drug dealer, crook, gambler and in some cases dangerous. But what’s surprising is the rumors that followed some of my exploits.

The irony is the people making up the stories were not in the streets with me nor were they street people. While I will admit to my many crimes, it’s the distortions that have baffled me. Some of the tall tales that I’ve heard blew my freaking mind.

These stories had juice! For instance, I was cut up with a straight razor but according to the tales told, I brutally beat the guy up but I walked or was wheeled away in an ambulance with 4 long cuts and eventually 75 stitches.

Prison

Moving forward to prison where I took on another name, Alamin. This is a prison in 1995, a dangerous place. The old phrase was fight, get fucked or bust a 60 dollar store for someone else and be another man’s garden tool. I had my wars, saved some people from being raped or being garden tooled.

Dangerous

My antics caused more crazy rumors, bigger than the previous. The most damaging thing is being called dangerous when I were only protecting myself and in some instances others. Now 28 years later and now a born again Christian, I am named Griff or Derrick – either is fine with me. The stories that have followed now are almost comical. I will be 52 in February 2023. I had my last 2 fights back to back at 49.

My daughter

Thank God for my daughter who, while I was playing with my 3 grandbabies on the phone, asked me: ‘daddy are you going to do them like you did to me and stay in prison until they are grown or are you coming home to us?’ That stung! What really stung was the question God asked, the little voice quizzed: ‘ You say you are innocent of beating someone to death, if that’s true why are you still trying to beat these people up in prison? Doesn’t sound innocent to me?’ Then I meditated on those words.

Change

From that moment on I’ve been beating up Derrick and now my belief window has finally changed. I guess you could say I was Boogie Man because just like his antics were false so are some of the incredible fabrications told about me.

Derrick Griffin, 01-02-2023