August 24, 2007

90 Degrees at 9 PM

I came down here looking for warmth in the winter; not to broil during the summer. This is day 12 of 3-digit-temperatures and it is causing changes in the way folks do business. Meaning they finally, for the first time in history, changed the hours of practice for school sports. Hello. Did it really take kids dropping like flies, being carted to the emergency room, for that to happen? Now they are discussing perhaps changing the dates school opens and closes. Currently, it closes in May and opens in August. The rationale is that opening school in September will avoid these extreme temperatures. Since this is my first summer here, I can only take the locals' word that this is the worst summer in many years. The state and localities are handing out air conditioners. Good move. Fans are totally ineffective.

The corn is done. Brown stalks. Read an article about hard hit the farmers will be with this crop. Learning a little about farming. Didn't realize that they sign contracts pre-season guaranteeing a certain amount. Doesn't matter that the weather didn't cooperate. You signed on the dotted line. Cotton is starting to pop as well. But it doesn't look too good, either. Childhood memories are not to be trusted but I remember the plants being as high as I was tall. These plants are so short, a toddler would have to do the picking. Thank God for automation. Your back and knees would not survive one day, much less having to drag a sack. Kudos to my ancestors.

Went to the prison. Leave it to me to be dressed professionally, complete with my signature bracelets, earrings, and cute shoes. Yep, had to damn near undress to get through the detector. Took off the jewelry--still beeping. Must be the little cute shoes with the metal on the strap. You got it. Take 'em off. There you go.

Interesting interview. Gentleman conducting the interview is being promoted to another facility. Could really care less about who gets the position but he did his job. He mentioned that he didn't like any of the previous candidates and that this was his second time interviewing for the position. Had four of us scheduled to try out today. My interview went longer than the woman behind me but she might have an inside track. She was real chummy with the guard who took us on the tour of the facility. I was focused on how to improve the service, especially since they're looking to reduce costs for that area. They are looking for someone to set up and improve the system. You know I thrive on putting systems in place. But a prison? Hmmm.

Haven't been inside a prison since my sociology tour of the DC jail while in college. My, how things have changed. At least, the management side has. I was expecting only to view the library. Girlfriend took the opportunity to show us each and every part that she could. Every laundry room, every empty office, every cell block. It was interesting, however. The female population numbers around 80 inmates. They do not have access to the library. Books are taken to their cell block. Seems the fellows like to use the library for "other" activities. Let your mind wander where it will. They get 15 minutes to choose a book but 2 hours if they are doing legal research. Wonder how many use that as an excuse to escape their routine for a few hours? And in one of the cell blocks, we were shown a gentleman who is/was a professor at the Univ. of Memphis. Couldn't tell it by looking at him.

Stopped by my favorite thrift store. Nope, they still haven't sold the items I put there on consignment but there is a picture on the wall of an elderly woman doing the hula hoop. When I asked about it, who was it, etc., the owner didn't know. It caught my interest because when I edited the church newsletter, we included a photo of an elderly woman doing the hula hoop. While sorting through papers this week, I dug out the issue and dang, it was the same photo. Mr. Harper was as amazed as I was. But there is no history to tell. Church members don't know whether she had family in the area and Mr. Harper doesn't know anything either.

And speaking of it being a small world. Judge Billy Wayne Williams, thrown off the bench, is the cousin of Mrs. Childress, my realtor. For once, my lips weren't flapping in the wind.

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