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Reunion on Alcatraz

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) _ Former guards, staff and their families spent Sunday on Alcatraz, a reunion of sorts for those who spent time on the Rock.

The San Francisco landmark became a federal prison 76 years ago and William Stewart moved to the island when he was 11, in 1930. And his biggest surprise?

“The wind. Everyone who has ever lived on Alcatraz complained about the wind,” he said.

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The Stewarts lived on Alcatraz before the Federal Bureau of Prisons took over the facility. Ray Stewart said their father was the last commander of the then U.S. Army Disciplinary Barracks.

“The last army days, our dad turned the keys over from the army to the federal prison in 1934,” he said. “So when we left, the army was finished.”

But the brothers said they had fond memories.

“We had a prisoner for a cook, we had a prisoner for a house boy, we had a prisoner for a gardener,” said Ray. “We had a farm over on Angel Island for fresh vegetables and squab.”

After that, Alcatraz became home to such notables as Al Capone, “Machine Gun” Kelly, Bumpy Johnson and Alvin Karpis.

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