Red Hat Days

VINCE

We still haven’t had our red hat reviews yet. This is very disappointing because two squads left today, and we would have been given our brown hats today. Hat color means a lot around here. Without brown hats, we get not weight room, no visits, no phone calls. There’s still time, but it’s kind of annoying. If we were late for anything, they would treat us as if we were idiots. Oh well. Only four months to go.

Our red hat review was postponed until Monday. We’ve been nervous about it all week, now we have to make it through the weekend. I’m not actually worried about anything, but a few of my squad mates are. Because, of course, they aren’t doing very well in one or all aspects.

I finished my fourth run today. I’m still amazed at the end. I’ve come so far.

Here are a couple things that are difficult, even after two months. The first one is a position we hold briefly before we march that gives us our proper alignment. It’s called “dress right, dress.” Upon the execution command of the second “dress,” we snap our left arm out straight left, and look directly right. Then we all move to touch the fingertips of the guy on the right. If we don’t do this correctly, and somebody wants to be mean, they will make us stand in that position for five minutes, without touching anybody else. You should try it at home. Just put your arm shoulder height, straight left, and see how long you can hold it.

Day 60. 1/3 of the way. 120 days to go. 360 meals, 52 runs. However I want to put it, I’m getting there.

Yesterday, 18 of us went out on a mission to plant trees on a Department of Natural Resources tree farm. We walked two miles on dirt and sand in our full khaki uniforms, coveralls, hat and gloves while carrying shovels. It’s a lot of work just to get to a job site.

Along the way, a few of us found a pretty good number of agates, which we tossed back to Mother Nature, as we are not allowed to have any contraband.

The planting trees part was actually quite peaceful. Quiet is what I enjoy most in any prison/jail setting, probably because it is so rare.

So the 18 of us planted 250 1-foot tall pine trees in an area similar in shape to, but twice as large as, a football field. It was warm out, but I hardly noticed anything but nature. It was a good day.

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