Greetings from Bastrop, Texas. Getting closer to Rubidoux Halfway House
July 26, 2017
Greetings from the Bastrop County Jail; my “home” for the next 3-4 weeks.
I never thought my first blog post in nearly a year would be from a solitary confinement cell in a county detention center 30 miles east of Austin. I am here for the retrial of the former CEO of Arthrocare, which begins Monday August 7th (long story). As you might imagine, I am not particularly happy about this. Reliving the events of 10 years ago (10 YEARS!!!) is not pleasant. However, I accept that this is a part of our (me and Mr. Ken’s) journey and that, in some way unknown to me at present, this is the best possible thing that could happen to me.
My current “home” is a 15’ x 6’ cell with a bunk, toilet, sink, shower and writing surface (altho no stool or chair so that I can actually use the writing surface. Everything comes thru a slot in the heavy metal door: my meals, medication, hygiene and commissary items. With the exception of 1 hour of “rec” 3 x weekly, I am in here 24 hours a day, although the officer said I will get some “day room” time today. The worst part of this is that I am lodged in the “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” wing. Lots of screaming, banging, singing and long drawn out soliloquies. Until I got my ear plugs a couple of days ago, sleep was hard to come by.
This place is a cake walk though compared to my trip getting here. Yes, I got the full “Con-Air”-“Chain-Gang”_ experience.
I left Sheridan, Oregon on the morning of July 5th. Over the next 12 days, I was on six flights, visited eight airports (Portland, OR; Pasco, WA; Las Vegas; Ontario, CA; Oklahoma City; Port Charles, LA; Beaumont, TX; and San Antonio), took seven bus trips and stayed in three detention centers. All movement was in full chains: wrists cuffed and attached to a chain around my waist and ankles cuffed to each other (up to 14 hours a day). I did pick up a new skill though: preparing and eating a bologna sandwich while my wrists are cuffed to my waist. Should I add that to my LinkedIn profile?
The toughest part of my trip was the 4 nights I spent in the Jack Harwell detention center in Waco, TX.
For reasons that I still don’t understand (and probably never will), I was put in a tiny solitary confinement cell in a part of the prison that was much higher security than my assigned level. No books, no TV, only me and my brain. It was two days before I was allowed to shower; I looked and smelled like a homeless person. I had not shaved in a week but when I asked for a razor, the officer said “Oh, we don’t allow razors in this part of the prison”. GULP! Altho I was never unsafe, the experience was humiliating and traumatizing. And yet, I always found things to be grateful for: a call to Ken ( who was going out of his mind not knowing where I was or when he would hear from me), a shower, a memory that made me smile.
Some of you may be thinking: Sheridan??? I thought he was at Taft! Last summer, I was approved for the Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP)., Sheridan is the only camp on the West Coast that offers RDAP so off I went on a Greyhound bus on September 15th. I managed to complete RDAP just before my “Con-Air” trip. My sentence ends on May 24th, 2018 and I have been approved for transfer to the Residential Re-Entry center in Rubidoux, CA )near Riverside) on November 24th, 2017. My Case Manager has requested that I be transferred to home confinement ASAP. So there is a good chance I will be home in Palm Springs for good by Christmas. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Tito Puente is so excited (oh, and so is Kenny!).
So yes, the last few weeks have been tough (and very hard on Ken and my Mom in particular as I frequently “disappeared”1) but soon I will be home and that is what I am focusing on!
Thanks you so much to Bart, Marion, Marcie, Liz, Dee Dee, Gina and Sherri for the cards and letters and thanks to those who have sent books (although I don’t know who you are)! I have enough books already to last my entire stay.
If you want to send a card or letter to me, send to:
David Applegate #058854
Bastrop County Sheriffs Office
1601 Mills St.
Bastrop, TX 78602
Forgive me if I don’t write back. The only writing instrument I am allowed is a golf pencil and they don’t give you a sharpener!
Thanks you for all the love and support. I feel it every day—especially in the tough times.