Greetings from Oklahoma City!
September 16, 2017
It has been a little over a month since I testified in Austin and I have only made it back to Oklahoma! I am writing this from the Bureau of Prisons transfer center at the Oklahoma City airport. This is the first BOP facility I have been in since I left Sheridan, OR back on July 5 so it is the first time since then I have had access to the BOP email and phone system. Yay!
After my last court appearance on August 14, I spent another two weeks in isolation at the Bastrop County Jail. And I got to spend those last two weeks in the cell next to Crazy “Tiger” Tim who basically did not shut up during my entire remaining time there! He was clearly a knowledgeable and intelligent guy but also mentally unstable and very agitated. He thought he was a seven foot tall “tiger” (he was a hair under six feet and did not look at all like a tiger). He was constantly banging on the heavy metal door (which literally sounded like gunfire every time he did it) asking to be let out or fed or whatever. He was also fond of impromptu, off key “concerts” at the top of his lungs in the middle of the night featuring music from the last 60s and early 70s. Needless to say, even with earplugs, I got very little sleep those two weeks. So I was thrilled when they came and woke me up at 4:45am on August 30 and told me to pack up. They finally came and got me and chained me up at 10am and put me on a bus… to Waco. I had been hoping I would be going to an airport but no…. Back to Waco where I had the worst experience of my trip. Oh boy. I lucked out though. I managed to convince the guy checking me in to allow me to be in a “general population” tank with other minimum security guys rather than back into solitary confinement. What a difference!! I was placed in an 8 man “tank” with seven other guys; mostly older white guys who were not at all scary. We had a TV in the unit along with a single toilet and shower and a big metal picnic table. Except for one hour of recreation 2-3 times per week, I was in that room 24 hours a day. Sounds terrible but compared to my first Waco visit, I was thrilled! Some of the guys liked to play cards so that helped pass the time plus my Mom sent three books and one of the other guys lent me books to read from his personal “library.” It was a heck of a lot better than staring at the ceiling for five days in a row and negotiating whether or not I would get a shower! I didn’t get much sleep though. One guy like to watch TV all the way until lights out every night (11:30p weekdays, 1:30a weekends) and the guy who lent me the books has severe sleep apnea and sounded like a cross between a gas powered lawn mower and a walrus. Earplugs helped but some things just cannot be blocked out! Plus they served breakfast at 4:30am – every day! So I actually got my best sleep between breakfast and when the lights came back on at 7:30am.
I had thought I would only spend a week in Waco but I think things got messed up by the back to back hurricanes. After two weeks in Waco I thought I might be stuck there forever! But they came and got me this past Thursday night (9/14) at 10:30 pm. Finally!! I got to call Kenny real quick to let him know I was on the move again. It is pretty strange that they will not tell you when you are leaving but they let you make a phone call to say you are leaving. Waco. I then sat in a holding cell for five hours. We were cuffed about 3 am and then put in another holding cell for an hour or so before we boarded a bus. Given my trip out here, I figured the bus was going back to the San Antonio airport and I was right and that we were headed for Oklahoma City (right again!). All of this takes forever and we finally landed in Oklahoma City around 1pm. Last time I was there, I was taken from the back of the plane and bussed off to the lovely Grady County jail but this time, I exited at the front of the cabin directly into a jet way that connects to the transfer facility. Score! We were processed pretty quickly – in about 3 hours compared to the usual 6-9 hours) – and taken to a cell block with a two story atrium in the center. Compared to Waco, it looked like a Grand Hyatt! And what was the first thing I saw? Two book carts loaded with books that I actually want to read! Yes! It was like going from Hades to Valhalla! We were given a sack dinner which was PB&J + a nice big apple – my first piece of fresh fruit in over two weeks. Everyone was assigned to one of the two man cells (I get a lower bunk due to my “advanced age”). And the best part: we are locked down from 9:15p to 6:00a. No noise, no lights! I got my first truly good night’s sleep since I left Sheridan. Plus they gave us a pillow! The only downside is that there is no commissary here and the meals are a little on the “lean” side. So no working out – I would get too hungry. But other than that I am thrilled. I can sleep and email my friends!
So now you are all up to date. It has been a pretty interesting journey so far. My next step should be a flight to Ontario, CA and then a bus to the holding facility in Pahrump, NV. That could be any day – or a few weeks from now. And then a flight to Portland and a short bus trip back to Sheridan. Yep, I found out that I will be returning to Sheridan. And I am fine with that. By the time I get there, I will probably only have 30-45 days left before I head to the halfway house in Rubidoux. Today is 69 days! 🙂
Thank you again to everyone who sent me books, cards and letters while I was at Bastrop. YOU SAVED ME!
Love and hugs to everyone!