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COOPS Weekly - Life from Kansas #9

Updated: Jan 15

Learn Something New Every Day

What I learn here every week continues to blow my mind. I am sure you have heard the saying "go to prison to learn to be a criminal." I heard that saying in plenty of movies, but I wasn’t sure if it was true. Let me just say it’s not wrong. You know those master combination locks we were given for our lockers in high school (or for bikes). I was given one here and the combination was incorrect. I mentioned the problem to my fellow unit members and a few minutes later I was taught how to figure out the combination on a closed lock. Or pick it with a paperclip on the key portion. It is not that hard. WHAT??? It is very disconcerting to know these things can be figured out in under a minute. But check that off my list. HA.

Dr. Wells, head of RDAP, is retiring.

The replacement is coming over from Leavenworth prison (medium level prison). She is supposed to run a solid program so hopefully the change is seamless. I liked Dr. Wells so it’s a bit of a bummer.

It was Thanksgiving last week and I wish you could have seen all the items collected as contraband from different inmates. There was a whole cooked turkey in the window of the bubble (where the guard room is). A microwave (full size). More 6/12 packs of beer then you could count. It looked like a convenience store. Most people celebrated Wednesday night. We watched movies and stayed up late chatting & playing cards It was a fun night.

Leavenworth Prison Camp Community

So, let us talk about the people here at the LPC. It is the second biggest question I get from everyone. What are the people like? I have made some remarkably interesting friends. I need to respect the rules of RDAP (things shared in group our private) and be sensitive to people’s personal info so I am going to just provide the basics. Each person I mention here knows about my newsletter and that I will be briefly speaking about them.

I play cards twice a day so I have my card ("spades,") friends... (really excited I learned to play cards here. Originally, I was resistant to playing cards, Now I actually really enjoy it now...I’m still learning). Anyway, one of my card groups consists of Brent "Tweek." Phil, & Marones.

Brent is the youngest guy in RDAP at 25 (his birthday was on Halloween...we sang him happy birthday). He has tattoos everywhere, starting with a noose on his neck and grim reaper ink on his arms...His most notable tat is the word LOSER & a heart above his eye (which his fiancé hates)...Brent is one of those guys that looks like he came right from the streets. But that is incorrect, he is brilliant, and he runs a crypto fund in IOWA. He has navigated his way through this place better than anyone I have seen. He is well liked by everyone.

Next is Phil. Phil is one of my favorite people here. I get mesmerized by watching him shuffle cards. He shuffles cards like a seasoned Vegas dealer. He has amazing patience and is a fantastic card player. He is usually my partner in any games we play. He has his own business back home that his mom is running for him while he is away. He absolutely cracks me up which is why I like him so much. He reminds me of a slimmer John Candy. He played catcher in high school/college so we both love baseball.

Marones goes home in one week. He has the bunk directly next to mine and was the first person I was super impressed with when I got here. He was an immense help during my detoxing. He encouraged me to take walks and bugs me about eating healthy since he saw how much weight I lost initially. He is from Arizona and works in construction. Every day he asks me to work out with him and for the first month I kept telling him "SOON." He was surprised when I finally said "YES" and joined him. He is one of the best card players in our unit. He plays 5/6 hours a day every day. He has two daughters.

The person whom I spend time with the most is a gentleman named Ojo. He is from South Africa...but he was educated in London, England and he also is a Texas Longhorn. He worked for Conoco Phillips as an oil executive. He lives in Utah with his wife and 2 kids. His story is fascinating. He is one of the friendliest people you will ever meet and is extremely popular within the unit. His energy is contagious, and he won me over by constantly checking on me when I was completely out of it. I cannot help but feel drawn to the people that made an effort to help me when I was at my worst.

The most interesting person I spend my time with is a doctor. named Randy. He was originally in RDAP but dropped out. He is in prison for some extraordinarily complex prescription issues. His case and story are also fascinating. He is as nice and smart as it gets. We sit next to each other at dinner and during movies. Both of us spend at least 3/4 hours a day on the computer. We are constant fixtures at the workstations. He is an enormous source of information on about any topic. It is probably not surprising how many random medical questions he gets from all the inmates. I try to distinguish myself by not inflicting my medical issues on him

What did I see this week / random info

- there are some bigtime Michigan fans here. I rooted for Ohio State, but they got thumped by Michigan and I took some grief over supporting the buckeyes.

- The Sacramento Kings appear to be good again. Of course, it happens when I am in here. But by saying this I bet they go on a losing streak.

Weekly newsletter. week 9
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