You may hear this story from others. But what you read here: "That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it."
Sondra and I left from Rialto at 7:30 pm last Friday in a rental PT Cruiser, following Shawn and Crystal (and Bailey, of course) to Oklahoma. One of Shawn's sisters is getting married this Saturday in the Tulsa area, and that was their reason for the trip. Sondra and I were going for the purpose of taking my mother to Big Spring, Texas, to visit David.
On Sunday morning I was privileged to teach my mom's senior adult ladies Sunday School class. We ate a quick lunch and then went to Marti's (my sister's) house in Tecumseh ten minutes away and climbed in her new Camry for the trip down to Texas. We arrived in Abilene to spend the night in a hotel. The next morning we had to get up very early to make it to Big Spring by 8 am.
That's when the fun began.
Standing in line, we heard others through conversation talk about the strict dress code. We had read all the rules and regulations on the internet site, but they have not been updated. Marti and Sondra had open toed shoes, which are not allowed. I was wearing khaki shorts, and both shorts (that do not cover the knees) and khaki color are not allowed.
So, leaving mom in line to go ahead of us to the visitation room, Sondra and Marti and I headed to the closest and only Wal-Mart in the little town. Sondra and Marti found some cheap canvas shoes. They did not fit well, but it worked for the shoe needs. I could not find any pants my size, but I did find some bib overalls that fit. Bought them and put them on in the store. Marti and Sondra were howling with laughter when they saw me. I didn't think it was that funny at all. Anyway, we left Wal-Mart on our adventure back to the prison.
We went back to the Federal Correctional Facility, all set to go through the line. Not so. Sondra and Marti had bras with underwire that didn't pass the metal detector test. In addition, Marti's blouse had too much metal on the buttons on her sleeves. I will just say that Sondra and Marti got their issues resolved in a few minutes by going into another room and changing things that they were wearing, even to the point of pulling out the wire in Sondra's bra with a staple remover.
For me, it was another failure to pass throught the metal detector. The bib overalls had too many metal buttons and such. I left again, and searched for another store to buy pants. After driving down the main street, I noticed a Salvation Army store. I pulled in and asked if they had pants my size. Looking me up and down, the lady finally said "yes." In fact, they were having a Labor Day sale. Everything you could put into a little plastic bag they furnished, they would let you buy it all for $5. I found two pair of blue jeans, paid my $5 and put one pair on while there. Then I headed back to the prison again.
Third time was a charm for me. Mom and Marti and Sondra were sitting there with David. He got up and came over and we hugged for a long time. It was a good feeling to see him again. He was looking good and in good spirits. His conversation was full of fun and laughter, in spite of his lot in life there. He looks at the good and positive in life, and that has kept him in good standing throughout his ordeals. Even a three hour riot with bloodshed showed him how God protects.
His time of working in the kitchen is through, and he has finally been given a new assignment working as a teacher and tutor for inmates who are working on getting a GED in the education department.
It seems like things will finally happen, in relation to his federal hearing in Fort Worth that was supposed to happen many months ago. I wrote to my local congressman a few weeks ago. According to David's counselor and case worker there, that has "stirred up a hornet's nest." A folder on the counselor's desk had a big red border all around, and on the front was printed the words "Congressional Inquiry." That's a good thing, apparently.
It was just a great time of spending time with David, talking and laughing and being serious at various times. It was an uplifting day for us all.
We left Big Spring, stopping in Fort Worth for dinner, and then on to Tecumseh to get my car. Then home to mom's to go to bed around midnight. All in all, a great day.
Sondra has made me promise to get rid of the bib overalls, but I am having other thoughts. For anyone who sends me $20, I will send one autographed photo of me in those denim overalls! Just kidding!
That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it!