Air Conditioning … a gift from God!

When I grew up in Florida we didn’t have Air Conditioning… What? No. I ain’t that damned old; THEY, had AC — we just didn’t have it at our house. Nope, we didn’t even think about bein’ poor, everybody I knew was poor. I do remember going to big Department Stores that had AC and thinking about how nice it was, but I never, not even once, wondered why our house didn’t have it. Like I said, nobody in our neighborhood had AC, not that I knew of anyways. And, hell yeah, Florida gets just as hot and humid as Texas… I guess we just didn’t know what we were missing.

Houses back then were built differently too. I remember my granddaddy’s house on Lemon Street in Brooksville; it was the only permanent house any of my people had at that time… my parents were moving every few months dodgin’ Bill Collectors and such. My grandaddy’s house didn’t have AC, but it was surrounded by big oak trees and it had this big attic fan. I remember that they’d close the windows and open the doors (We had screen doors outside of the wood ones) and turn that attic fan on. Now that fan was aimed to blow air out, so it actually pulled air through the house and blew that air outside. That fan was designed to PULL air through the house and blow it outside. When that fan was on you had a constant breeze in the house. And as best I remember, it stayed cool even in the Dog Days of Summer.

But, Like I said, my ol’ alcoholic Bill Collector Dodgin’ daddy kept us moving around for the first twelve years of my life, so we didn’t have a house with an attic fan, in fact we never did, I didn’t get AC until after I was married and had kids. Back then to compensate for the lack of AC we had box fans; big ol’ fans designed to sit in open windows – and, hey, I guess they worked, I mean my generation survived… I think.
Until recently I hadn’t given much thought to any of that, but now that I think about it, I actually like having a fan on. Maybe the humming is comforting, I don’t know, but I do like a fan. In fact I always had a fan on in my bedroom. Yeah, after I got married I bought a house with Central Air but I still wanted to sleep with a fan blowing directly on me. Hmm, I married an Indian gal from Mexico, and it’s hot as hell in Mexico, hmm …. she wasn’t one to complain but, now that I think of it, she was probably miserable…poor thing! What! No! That ain’t my fault, it’s hers. She’s the one who could of done better!
Why am I telling you all this? Well, because the AC is down here at Three Rivers and has been for months now. It’s frigging hot. Now, the story I heard ( which is based on sesless rumors and conspiracies, lol ) is that a few months back is the main water line for the prison broke in the middle of the night, and since our AC system is a “Chiller” system (I have no idea what that is, but I’m told it operates on water) and no one was here to cut off the AC, without water, it burnt up. Point remains: bad damn timing — Locked Down and Summertime.

Let me add it here: Staff is just as miserable as we are. So it ain’t just us suffering. The difference is, they get to go home and sleep in a nice cool room… but they’re not happy about the conditions here at 3RVS any more than we are. I’m telling you this to squash any conspiracy theories that might arise in the minds of some. No, I’m not taking sides, I’m only being truthful — I do not believe this is some kind of nefarious plan to punish us; like what happened at USP Florence after the riot of 2008 (see my book “Where No One Hears Me”) for instance.
To help alliviate the misery the Warden bought some big floor AC units and they help — they work just enough to keep us alive. Couple this floor AC with the air blowing through the AC vents in our cells and, like I said, it’s livable, barely. Nope, I ain’t complaining, and no I haven’t forgotten about growing up without AC, and yes, I realize that there are a heck of a lot of people who, to this day, can’t afford to air condition their homes. No, ma’am, I ain’t complaining or comparing us, to them. My heart is and will always be with the poor — I will never forget, nor deny my roots. But under the same token let me remind you that we, unlike others on the outside, do not have windows that can be opened to allow fresh air to move through our bedrooms. And once the cell doors are closed, the floor AC units do little to help, and at this time those doors are closed and locked most of the time. In fairness though, I’ll tell you that the Warden has ordered the Guards to open the “Bean Shoots” during the hottest part of the day so we CAN get some of that cool air being produced by those floor AC units (Bean Shoot, 5’x 15′ door slot that can be unlocked and opened to pass food trays when the door is locked). So Kudos to her.

Like I told you earlier, I like a cold room to sleep in, and even with all the above, it’s hot as hell in those cells at night. I’m having trouble sleeping — two nights ago all the air moving through the vents cut off, OMG! It was stiflingly hot, my cell was like an oven — it was so hot I had to make my cellie sleep in his own bunk! Stop it! Of course I’m Kidding! I’ve already told you he looks nothing like Angelina Jolie… well, not with the lights on … No! I’m still kidding! You Baptists need to lighten up, lol. I’m kidding! I can see it now, my little hater goin’ on her site, “Crawford Turns Queer in Prison.” Oh well, I’m a firm believer that all publicity is good publicity 😉
One of the other things we’re doing to help combat the heat is to cover the one window we have in our cells. My cell for instance gets direct sun in the first half of the day — that means it faces east, perfect for meditation. But, having my window blocked has its drawbacks too — well, I like to look at the deer walking around on the outside of the fences. YEAH! There’s a bunch of deer here…. No! I ain’t hallucinating… here we go again… headline, “Crawford Smoking Crack in Prison!” LOL… oh well… can’t say I do love the attention 🙂 You go girl!!!

The worst part about the heat is, It’s too hot to work out. No, I’m serious… there are two of us in this box and neither of us wants to smell the other one working out. As a result of this, I’ve gotten soft, my muscles, well what’s left of ’em, are doin’ the atrophy dance right now. At my age that ain’t a good thing either, but, what can I do about it? Good thing is, it’s been cooler outside for the last couple of days.
One other possible sign of good things to come is, we ain’t had hot water for two days running… maybe that’s a sign that they’re working on the Chiller Unit — sure hope so.
Well, that’s my list of complaints–thanks for listening.

As always, I encourage you to “send” and “Share” this with your friends.

Peace be with you.

Three Rivers, 6-26-20