Alcatraz, surrounded by treacherous waters and filled with prison lore, invites alumni back each year for a celebration of its notorious past. During the daylong event, former guards, prisoners and residents share their stories of life on The Rock.
But alums of the federal prison, which closed in 1963, are fading away, and the National Park Service says this year’s Aug. 12 event will be the last reunion.
Always a sellout, a special last-chance ticket sale will take place next week. Beginning at 10 a.m. Aug. 10, those interested in attending can visit the Alcatraz Cruises website for a shot at hearing the firsthand accounts, which will include those of former guard Jim Albright and former inmate Bill Baker. Last year, 12 former Alcatraz residents attended.
Tickets are $38.
This year’s event will also include slide shows and a Q&A session. The island’s former fire engine will be on display. The island is a 15-minute ferry ride from Pier 33 in San Francisco, from the boarding ramp of California Hornblower.
During its 29 years of operation, Alcatraz was a repository for prisoners who caused serious trouble at other federal penitentiaries. Inmates included Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, Mickey Cohen and Robert Franklin Stroud, better known as the “Birdman of Alcatraz.”