I arrived home from school and my dad in a stern tone asked me to sit down.
“Sebastian, why do you have a letter from a Federal Correctional Institution in New Jersey?”
I was unsure of why I would have a letter from a prison so I opened it and discovered something big.
It was a response letter from America’s most notorious cocaine trafficker in the 80’s who is currently still incarcerated in a federal prison. The man had taken Cessnas to South America, worked directly with the Medellin Cartel, and held personal meetings with Pablo Escobar one in which he actually viewed Escobar execute a man in front of him. At one point his bank account would reach close to one hundred million dollars he claims.
This man is George Jung.
Jung often known as “Boston George” was portrayed in the 2001 biopic drama film ‘Blow’ by Johnny Depp. I wrote him a letter years after the film’s release and to my surprise, he responded.
The letter revealed a man who was clearly not all there but it was interesting to read the personal insight of a man who in the 80’s essentially ran the American cocaine industry.
“Sabastian Allow me to thank you for viewing the film,” writes Jung, I don’t recall exactly what I had written to him as I didn’t receive a response until nearly a year after sending my letter.
“Life is a journey in which all .6 of us are woven into a delicate pattern of .6 togetherness,” Jung writes, I could tell by this point, even at my young age, the existentialism would only continue from here. “We must learn to dwell in the precious moments believing in your dreams which are existing windows to the absolute.” The tone in which he wrote the letter read more like a motivational speaker than a drug trafficker.
“Always seek the mystery the answer is always relative it lies within the mystery, learn about yourself in relation to the universe know thy self and you know the universe,” Jung closes the letter. I sat there scratching my head, I wasn’t sure of what to make of this, do I send a response? I opted not to but the one thing that has stuck with me nearly a decade after receiving the letter are the words sitting next to his signature.
“Life is a gamble luck is an artform.”
I nodded in agreement, of what I am not sure, but the statement stays with me. The short closing note seemed to sum up the man’s life who had come from so little to amass a vast fortune only to lose it all and spend his days in prison. His life was a gamble and luck was an artform he nearly perfected.
George Jung is still serving a prison term at Fort Dix Federal Corrections in New Jersey and is due to be released in fall 2014. If you would like to send Jung a letter contact information is available here.