Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich washing pots in prison - FOX 32 News Chicago

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich washing pots in prison, looking forward to teaching Shakespeare

Updated: Apr 22, 2012 20:52 PM CDT
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Ever since Rod Blagojevich reported to the Englewood Federal Correctional Center outside Denver five and a half weeks ago, it's as if he vanished from the face of the Earth. Nothing has been heard about his life behind bars.

But on Sunday, FOX Chicago News learned exclusively that Illinois' former governor is now washing pots and pans, and could soon be teaching Shakespeare and Greek mythology to other inmates.

 That's what we heard Sunday from Sam Adam Jr. and his father, Sam Adam Sr., who spent 90 minutes with Blagojevich inside the prison Sunday morning. "All things considered, he looked good, he's still got a headful of hair, it's gone from black to brown, not gray, as everyone predicted," Sam Jr. told Fox Chicago News. "It's gone from black to brown but he looks good."

It was just after nine a.m. when the two attorneys arrived at Englewood. They entered through the same entrance used by Blagojevich 38 days ago.The father-and-son legal team rode the rails on AMTRAK to Denver. Sam Adam Jr.'s son, four-year-old Parker, came along for the ride, although he did not visit Blagojevich, whom Sam Sr. views as another son.

"I teared up yesterday, just thinking about it," said Sam Adam Jr. Here's my son, my father, me, going out to see his "second" son. I'll have this the rest of my life."

Blagojevich is just five-and-a-half weeks into his 14-year sentence on federal corruption charges. The two attorneys said he is immensely popular among the other inmates, and appears healthy, and upbeat. "He's got a nice sun tan, you could see he's building himself up, doing more with the weightlifting," said Sam Adam Sr. "I would say he's gained a little weight but it's all muscle, he's just in great shape. And the most important thing I could stress is his mental attitude, it is just so great."

Blagojevich told them he's gotten over a thousand letters, and they're running 12 to one in his favor. He's got three cellmates, and so far, has no problems with any of them. "The guy that he is bunking with, he likes very, very much," said Sam Jr. "They've bonded." Every new inmate gets assigned to the kitchen for 90 days. That's where Blagojevich is working, six days a week, washing pots and pans. When the 90-day period ends, he has been told he will be teaching either Shakespeare or ancient Greek philosophy and mythology. "He is so well-read," said Sam Sr. "Let's put it this way. He is so affable, you forget how educated and well-read he is. He knows a great deal about Shakespeare."

The hardest part of prison life, Blagojevich told them, is missing his wife. Patti and two girls. They visited last weekend, and while Blagojevich was reluctant to discuss their visit with the attorneys, he did say he was upset that visiting rules allowed only his younger daughter to sit on his lap: his teenaged daughter could only give him a single hug.

As far as any complaints about prison conditions, Blagojevich apparently is coping through his sense of humor. "He told a joke," said Sam Adam Jr. " It was, The best thing he has learned here about the food is now he can really appreciate Patti's cooking."

The Adams' said that Bureau of Prisons approval for this visit was not obtained until the last-minute, on Friday morning. They said they were surprised to see a FOX Chicago News reporter waiting at the prison entrance when they arrived.

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