My good friend Jessica, who I met online by the way. Is going to have a great day tomorrow. You see, she is one of my co-founders of Prison Wives Club...I hope that will make her laugh if she is reading this, because it's not like we founded this spectacular campaign that I'd hoped for when starting this, but what we did "found" was a great friendship. One that I hope will last. She was the first person to respond to some questions that I had posted on Prisontalk.com. I guess we met practically a year ago, looking back it doesn't seem like that long ago. That means time is flying and that's a good thing when you're a Prison Widow. That was the day that Stiner Unit in Lewis had the major riot it was a Saturday while visits were going on. We had planned that a bunch of the PTO (Prison Talk Online) girls meet up and get to know one another in person. We choose to meet at Little Italy in Gila Bend at around 5. It was sort of a centrally located place, and we had planned on meeting after visitation was over. But the plans sorta changed on The Stiner Girls. I arrived earlier than usual because I was car pooling with Jamie that day and she's a freak about getting to the prison at the butt crack of dawn. We just had to get there first...it's a good thing that we did after all. Eight AM we are let into the visitation room and I am patiently waiting for Brian to make his appearance through the inmate door. He walks in, we hug and kiss and sit down to talk about the week and with in an hour we hear the officers radio buzzing about inmates on the yard going berserk. A few seconds later a couple of guards are zipping through visitation like something is on fire. Brian and I walk outside to the chain link fence to peek in on the yard. We could see that the deputy warden's car was pulling up into the front of the Stiner entrance along side him 3 truck loads of the "Goon Squad" or "Nija Turtles" as the orangeman like to call them. Glorified prison S.W.A.T. start rushing in the prison. At this point intake of visitors had stopped and there were maybe 3 of us who were lucky enough to get inside and have access to food, water and restrooms. The rest of the visitors showing up. Not so much. We really still had no clue as to what was taking place in there until we could hear crashing, and the sounds of glass breaking and things being tossed about in building three, which is adjacent to the visitation yard. This is Brian's building. "I'm a little freaked out here!" I told Brian. "You'll be OK, I'll protect you." He says laughing. He knows darn well I can hold my own, but it was really kinda freaking me out. We went back inside to see if we could hear any more news as to what was going on through the visitation officer's radio and she informed us that a riot was happening at that they may shut visitation down and send us home. But just then they started to let the crowd of visitors waiting outside of visitation come in to the room. It was close to 12 PM by this time and people were very concerned. One by one new inmates would come through the door and greet their visitor. For about 30 minutes. "We're cancelling visitation!" an officer yells out into the sea of the irritated and concerned people. "Say your good byes!"Nice. I car pooled. And I was going to be stuck in Buckeye for 4 hours until we meet up in Gila Bend. How was I going to inform Jamie? Luckily, I was with Marianne and Jess who also visit their men in Stiner. We all rode the bus to the main exit. Except I didn't get off. I toured the complex until the bus stopped at Barchey Unit. I got off and walked up to the visitation officer at Barchey and asked her to relay a message to Jamie to see if she could come out and talk to me. She did. She wasn't about to leave Jeff, and I know I wouldn't have wanted to leave Brian if it were me, so she suggested that we head on out to Gila Bend and that she would catch a ride with Sarah (who I later realized I couldn't stand but that's a whole other story in itself and I will post soon) and meet us up there after visitation. So Marianne, Jess and I caravan the 15 miles to Gila Bend and order a pizza. Did I fail to mention that I had my kids with me? Well, I did and bless their hearts they were so good and patient. But then again pizza was involved! Between the three of us girls, the few hours that we had before everyone was to show, felt like a few minutes because we never seem to run out of things to talk about. Soon, the rest of the crew shows up one by one. Dawn, Jessica, Jamie and Sarah. I need to describe Jessica, well because I just feel it's necessary. She is much shorter that me...I mean like by a few feet. I am 5'8" and she's probably 4'11"...ok maybe 4'12". That was a joke by the way...I love you 1031. She looks like she could be related to my dad's sister Katherine who is my favorite aunt. She has long brown hair, and a fire cracker personality. and a squeakey little voice....she could seriously do voice over work for Mighty Mouse's girlfriend or something. So I dubbed her the nickname "squeaker". She's pretty and doesn't even wear make-up. Oh and she could be a manager at Hooters. One thing interesting about Jessica, is that she and her friend both, were accidentaly shot with a shotgun when she was a little girl, she is lucky to be alive and I am glad she is because I am blessed to know her. The friend, sadly lost her life. But the whole point of my story about Jessica and the Stiner riot was to say that in less than 7 hours from right now her man is finally being released from the clutches of the Arizona Department of Corrections. I am largely jealous but I am very happy for her, and I hope that her man will be good to her because she certainly deserves it. Good luck Jessica Rabbit, my Squeaker Linker friend. Oh and the linker part is because on practically every reply to a post on PTO she has a link to answer the question...I don't know how she finds all the links on the DOC website so quick she must have them all saved in her favorites.
May the Force Be With You.
Welcome to the Darkside Baby!
PS: My driver's licence still reflects that I have a second home in Tucson....I hope.