Friends on the inside…

GRIN # 88

Do you ever start talking and, before you know it, it all goes horribly awry?

Last Saturday, we had what I consider the perfect family outing–hauling the bikes to the NC Museum of Art Greenway. Normally Jerry would say that defeats the whole purpose of a bike ride, but he was in a good mood.

We passed the big piece of land that used to be the Polk Youth Center. Before it was demolished, it was a prison for young men.

The smokestack is still standing because it has some sort of design significance. I was trying to remember what I’d read so I could explain it. I know. I’m an overzealous tour guide. We don’t have a lot of family outings so I get excited.

Instead, out popped a vivid memory. It came, unbidden, like I had Tourette’s.

“In high school, my friend Shelley and I went on a tour at Polk with our Criminal Justice class,” I babbled, “and one of the inmates knew Shelley. He just kept calling her name while our group passed through, ‘Shelleeeey! Shelleeeey!'”

“Are you serious?” Jerry asked “You had friends on the inside?”

“Mom, you know people in prison?”

“Well, not me. Shelley. It was…”

“Why was he there? What did he do?”

I saw opportunity.

“He probably talked back to his mother. If you do that enough times and you get reported, they take you to kids’ prison.”

“But they tore it down,” Tyler reminded me.

“They built a bigger one farther away to hold more kids,” I said. “So you better behave.”

It really was the perfect day.

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2 Responses to “Friends on the inside…”

  1. I did a tour of that joint also….but it wasn’t for school. Had something to do with a fake ID and your husband.

    That place was bad!

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