Messages, AC and the Corona Update

I want to thank all of you who’ve made comments of late. I’m very happy to hear that I’m not the only one who has issues with cockroaches! If y’all think my story was good, you need to read the one Marilyn B. sent me, HOLY COW! And, on my “Rolando” post, I had lots of positive feedback … “love thy neighbor,” sometimes it’s hard to do, but we have to try; yes Miss Lucy B. I remember you very well, truth is, I’m the one who’s grateful to be remembered.

Air Conditioning Update

I’m happy to tell you that after nearly two weeks of brutal heat, at about 6am this past Saturday morning the AC here at REVS flicked on — we are told that it’s running at 30% — one hell of an improvement. How did we get to this point?
Let me start with the truth: I of course have no clue!! I do not have first hand information on much — I’m not a prison guard and none of them are giving us any real information. So what I am about to tell you falls into one of two categories which I will differentiate for you. First: Rumors! Yeah, we hear all kinds of rumors. These rumors come from guys who overhear things at work, or things that have been told to them by guards, or, in some cases, things they believe to be true based on opinions,– these rumors I often refer to as coming through “” No! That’s not a real website, at least I don’t think it is. When one of us, prisoners, use the term,, we are acknowledging the possibility that it’s completely false. But, we also acknowledge the fact that a lot of these rumors are absolutely true as well. Secondly: Facts: things I know are true. I will always point out the difference.

When this prison was designed it was designed with what I’ve heard called a “Chiller AC System.” For my first five and a half years here this system worked well. I can also tell you that when this prison was designed and built it was done with a backup system in place, meaning 1.) If the main system broke down there was a backup system in place. 2.) They were able to use the backups to rotate the usage to keep any one unit from being overworked. Point is — this prison, like all prisons, were engineered and built to function at all times.
FACT: Sometime last year the main system went down — I do not know why. RUMOR: We heard that the main water line in the prison burst in the middle of the night, and with no one here to shut off the chiller, for lack of water it burnt up. Like I said that is only a rumor, but, I’d absolutely believe that one … Why? Because the water was off here in the cell blocks, too. FACT: From that moment on, the AC here at REVS was severely hampered. RUMOR: We heard that the Regional Office in Dallas refused to spend the money to have it fixed. FACT: Like I said, from that moment on we began the long road to the mess we just dealt with.
There are other smaller things that I won’t list here like the fact that the Air Handler to my cell block, Mac A, was also brunt out, for months on end, and the parts to fix it were sitting in the warehouse a few hundred yards away — I don’t know why it wasn’t fixed, maybe they were busy with the bigger problem, but the fact is, it didn’t get replaced until a couple of months ago. Oh, yeah, I heard rumors, supposed statements by the lady who runs that department, but she didn’t make them to me — so I won’t repeat ‘me here. Why? Oh! I want to repeat ’em, why? Well, Because I don’t like her and cannot be trusted to be impartial. Why don’t I like her? … She’s the one who decided to kill all the cats. FACT: Since they killed all of our cats we’ve had a snake problem on the yard. Anyway — I’m gonna leave this be because I really don’t like her and am liable to say something stupid. Stick to the story, Crawford … stick to the story.
Like I told you last week, the AC system here at 3RVS went completely down. On top of that, we are on a partial lockdown due to Corona Virus concerns. Interesting point here is, due to the Corona scare, they are monitoring our temperatures daily. Yeah, everyday they come around and check our temperature with one of those little guns. You wanna hear something of interest…? Well, my daily temperature has been averaging around 97*, this was my average for months. No, that ain’t cold, those temp guns are not 100% accurate. I hear they are + or – 3*, anyways, during the period when the AC was completely off my temperature jumped up over 99*! Yeah, it was so hot in our cells that every man in here maintained for 24 hours a day, a steady fever! This explains the headaches I was having. Yeah, we were sick! Guys were breaking out in heat rashes and hives, we couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, it was miserable!
How hot was it? Well I can tell you that it was so hot the guys were lying on the cement floor to try and keep cool. Oh yeah, the floor was the coolest place in the cell. Interesting point. The day the AC started to produce a little cool air, one of the Lieutenants stuck that temp gun in the bean shoot and shot the floor right where I was sitting – the FLOOR was 84.8* degrees!
Yeah, the coolest place in the cell was hot! I know, because at the exact moment he shot those red dots on the floor at my feet, I was rolling in rivers of sweat. Good news is — we have relief.
I don’t want to sound like a whiner, I don’t. So I’ll tell you some good things, too.
The local staff here at 3RVS, for the most part, did a good job. They brought in the 5 gallon coolers with the ice water and went from door to door allowing us to fill our cups. They also brought us bottled water with our meals, hell, they felt so bad for us they even gave us some ice cream. “Mmmm…. Ice cream!” And like I said earlier, I think that most of the culpability for what happened is in the fact that the local guys and gals couldn’t get the funding to fix an antiquated system. But, who knows, right? Whatever happened, well, it endangered close to a thousand prisoners and several hundred staff workers who were also exposed, though to a lesser degree. You should hear the stories I’ve heard!!!
Good news is; the AC is running at 30% and we’re happy to have it.

Corona Update

I told you before how they were keeping us separated; well, they’ve eased up a little on that. First, they are still keeping us locked down, but instead of a couple of hours 3 times a week outside our cells, they are giving us 5 hours three times a week. In addition to this they have upped our 1 hour of outside time to 2 hours outside one day a week. Getting better. I’m happy to report that at the F.C.I., where I am, there have been no reported cases of the Corona — however, I was told that there are 13 men with the Corona Virus next door at the Camp. It’s getting close, but so far it has not leapt that fence between us.

Cellie Update

Well, I had another cellie change. Jacob got a job in laundry and moved to the workers Block … and a couple days later my old cellie got fired from his job and returned to my cell … hell no I wasn’t happy about it … him and I don’t really get along, I just kept him as a cellie because he was one of the few who isn’t on drugs, and I won’t cell with someone who is. Anyway. I miss Jacob, him and I got along well.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for keeping up and thanks for the kind words and prayers.

Peace be with you, Mark

Three Rivers, 7-16-20