May 30, 2016
“David Applegate, report to Camp Control!” The announcement came over the loudspeaker at 3pm last Friday waking me up from a nice afternoon nap. Generally, this is not a good thing (the nap was good; I’m talking about being summoned to Camp Control). Inmates are not called to Camp Control out of the blue to see if they’d like a cup of coffee or a fresh pillow. I thought, “Have I done something wrong? Broken an obscure rule I wasn’t aware of?” I couldn’t think of anything but I quickly put my long pants on and headed straight over.
Before I even got inside, I saw my “doppelganger” Jeffrey Applewhite sitting outside. Jeffrey and I arrived here at Taft camp on the same day, we live in the same dorm and we both have last names that start with “Apple.” The similarities pretty much end there though. You see, Jeffrey is stocky, bald, and… African-American. And yet, people are often confused. I have been paged when they meant him and vice versa, we have received each other’s certificates, etc. We just chuckle. But this time was a little different. When I approached Camp Control, Jeffrey said, “they mixed up the IDs!”
I immediately knew what happened. Jeffrey and I both had visits on Friday. Mine was with Jim Garver, a friend and colleague from Glaukos. We had a great time catching up and he left for his home in Temecula a little after noon. Jeffrey’s visitor was Denise, a lovely African-American woman. Those who have visited me know that you have to turn your driver’s license in to Camp Control when you arrive… and pick it up when you leave. Before I even went in, I figured they had given Denise’s ID to Jim when he left! The sergeant greeted me at the door and introduced me to Denise. Naturally, she wanted Jim’s cell phone number so she could call him to arrange a license exhange. I didn’t know his number and didn’t have it as he is not on my approved phone list. So I needed to call Chris at Glaukos who IS on my approved list to get Jim’s number. Fortunately he answered! I was then able to reach Jim and when he answered, I said, “Do you have your wallet on you? Pull out your driver’s license.” Jim: “Uh oh, I didn’t even think to check it when I left!” Well, at least he wasn’t pulled over on the way back! Can you imagine Jim trying to explain THAT to a highway patrol officer????” :-O
Fortunately, all turned out well. Jim and Denise were able to meet later that night at the intersection of the 10 and the 210 (sounds like something out of “Bridge of Spies” right?) and exchange licenses. I suppose Jim will now be publishing his memoir, “My Brief Time as a Woman of Color.” Just another day at Taft! Never a dull moment! Come and visit and find out!