As most of you know I worked for almost fifteen years at a prison here in Texas.
The picture above is the oldest prison in our state called the Walls Unit in Huntsville, Texas. It was built I believe in the 1800's and up until a few years ago was where they did the horrible executions from death row. Now they have moved death row to Livingston, Texas after the famous notorious break out the the seven inmates that ended up killing others while escaped.
The Walls is where I did my Basic Training to become a Correctional Officer.
It is a very depressing prison and one that I would never want to work in any longer than the period of time I was training. Actually their all depressing but this one is soooooo old which makes it even worse than the others.
Lot's of ghost stories are told about this Unit. Stories by both Inmates and Officers.
I searched the Internet last night trying to find a picture of a preremeter
guard tower similar to the one like we had at our prison. It is not easy finding pictures of prisons because you can't just drive up and take pictures. lol
Out of these three pictures I found the first one above is closer
to ones we had surrounding the prison where I worked.
I do think that our pickets were taller than these. To get inside one the Officer
working the picket has to drop a bag down to you with the key to the door in it.
You then unlock the door and in our case you climbed and climbed ladders until you reached the trap door which was swung open for you to crawl up into the picket. Not an easy way to get to your assigned position for the night.
Why I wanted to show you these towers is to help you visualize the story I am sharing with you today about a night I spent in three picket.
This little picket here must be a prison's radio picket and entry picket since it is short and close to parking spaces. All prisons have these pickets where all workers and visitors have to stop here show their Id's and then this Officer will open several gates for the person to enter the prison.
The night of this story I was assigned to three picket which was located in the very back of the prison. It is the tallest of all the pickets where you can see just about everything surrounding the unit.
About two in the morning I was talking on the picket phone to another Officer on the Radio picket. She and I were close friends and when I worked a picket now and then we tried to catch up on each other.
Of course we could not talk but a few minutes each call because being on the phone was not a good idea.
This night we were talking about some ghost stories we had been told. I had a Aunt who use to fill my head full of ghost stories. Anyway we hung our phones and I went over to sit in the big chair that sits right in the middle of the picket. The chair is not only big but really high. It was not easy for a person my size to get in and out of this chair but wanting to get off my feet sometimes I managed to crawl up it from time to time. lol
Not five minutes after hanging up the phone with Daisy about the ghost stories I am looking straight ahead at the back of the prison where the rec yard is located. The picket is built where there are brick walls half way up and then the rest of the top of the room is glass. Glass on all four sides where you can see for miles. In the glass I see a reflection of something big, wide and white floating towards me from behind.
It was coming right toward me and all I could see was big white things floating out on each side. Of course anyone might think Ghost.
You can imagine the shock of seeing this in the glass. I jumped out of the chair and reached for my 357 Magnum that was in a holstered around my waist. Now mind you not even a 357 would of taken care of a ghost. hahaha
All of sudden it flew into the glass and fell to the iron walkway that surrounded the picket. I ran over and looked out the window where I saw a beautiful dazed white
Owl. He or she was shaking his head as if it were saying What the heck just happened?
Of course, I was relieved that it was a Owl but also very surprised. I have never seen a White Owl and especially one within touching distance. I froze watching it not wanting to scare it away. After a short time it flew upon the railing and sat there I guess about ten minutes getting it's wits about him back and then it turned gave me a parting look and flew off.
I phoned Daisy on the Radio Picket and told her we were
never ever going to talk about Ghost again.
She of course had a good laugh at me drawing the 357 out and ready to fire. Thank goodness I did not do that it would of been hard to explain to higher ups why I shot through one of my windows. lol
In the three picket you are assigned three weapons. A shotgun, AR15 rifle and the 357 pistol. You wear the 357 and keep the other two where you can get to them fast. I always kept the rifle by the door that was overlooking a fence that if an Inmate should go over it there
was nothing but open fields
where if I shot the rifle and missed chances of me hitting some one else were probably not going to happen since it was wide open.
The shotgun I kept it located by the door that when you walked out it you were near the fence by the rec yard and about a hundred yards from the unit where inmates slept. I knew I did not want to use the rifle there unless I knew for sure I would hit what I was aiming at.
When I first became a Officer I studied the perimenters of each picket that I worked on because I often thought of how easily one could shoot an innocent person if something like an escape should go down.
I never asked other Officers how or where they kept their guns and if they thought of the same things I could not help but think about. On two picket though it had dozen of weapons. It was where they kept extra guns for the unit.
Nights were really long on those outside pickets but thank goodness I never had to fire my guns at anyone. I did have to cock them a few times. In the middle of the night when you pump a shot gun believe me that sound usually will turn someone back towards the direction in which they came from.
Another story for some other time. My girlfriend Sharon and I were talking about how popular Owls were now and this story popped into my brain where memories are stored.
I thought hey I can blog about this. lol....There are so many prison memories that I might just start telling them on here every once in while so I can have them written some where. Does that make sense?
Of course it may not be what one would want to read but there are some crazy stories to tell.
It is turning cool again here and more rain tonight and tomorrow. It is so muddy on the North Forty I could easily get stuck out here.
Tomorrow I have to work on some plumbing over at my house in town with my baby brother Gary.
He of course will be doing the hard stuff and I will be his go get this and that for him.
Hope you are well and if not then please get well. lol
Seriously sending you good thoughts and much love