It was a hot one. Sprinkle in the usual stretches of moldy weather, and the summer of 2016 was still a summer to be reckoned with.
In the yard, the inmates tossed a Nerf football to the grind of the rotary mower and to the heady aroma of freshly cut grass. On the visiting-room patio, the top brass wore bright aprons and brighter smiles as they served up BBQ to all of Spring Creek’s employees, celebrating “Staff Appreciation Day.” We, “the appreciated,” enjoyed small talk, laughter, and burgers while soaking up the warming rays. Overhead, the gulls screeched as they were carried by the thermals, through the floating pollen and over the sparkling bay. But even on those lazy, hazy days of summer, life and work goes on.
Inside the RSAT mod, a new addition was being installed: an exercise bike. With less yard time available to those enrolled in this substance abuse treatment program, the woman in charge, PO Lapinskas, made it her mission to get them this piece of equipment. There were many obstacles, but, in the end, she was able to use the funds donated by the Barbell Club and accept the sweet deal made by the owner of a local business, 5th Avenue Fitness. She brought two bikes back to Spring Creek. The one for the RSAT mod hit the ground running.
And there were more summer celebrations to come. Decades and decades of experience and service were recognized as Spring Creek said “happy retirement”—aka “hello babysitting”!—to coworkers, some of whom were veritable institutions within the institution. After so many years in the business, Sgt. Al Siller was asked “will it be tough being a mere mortal?” “Being a mortal will be easy,” he answered. It’s being a stay-at-home dad that worried him!
So, we said our warm goodbyes to co workers, felt appreciated–’til we burst–by the bosses, and watched the inmates enjoy the sun. The Bonsai Club’s flower beds were eye candy and the corn stalks are still going strong, but, alas, the cantaloupes didn’t fare well. Maybe pineapples next year?
Written by Iva Cooney, PO, Spring Creek Correctional Center