Holidays at Camp

July 30, 2016

My first major holiday at Bastrop Federal Satellite Camp was 2015 Thanksgiving. On the Sunday of that weekend one of my friends asked me if I had enjoyed it. My answer was, "Not particularly." He then delivered one of the best lines I've heard here when he followed up with, "Well, Charlie, if you think Thanksgiving sucked, just wait until Christmas."

 

On a positive note, we often have special meals for holidays. For Thanksgiving and Christmas we had turkey and dressing. I'm a self anointed cornbread dressing snob, and I rated our Thanksgiving dressing a solid C+, which is not too bad, as my mom received the only A ever given. I was working in the kitchen then, and we were all surprised to learn that we would be given almost all the ingredients that we needed to make it. For Christmas, we even had celery, which improved it to a solid B-. 

 

For New Years, our holiday meal consisted of real chicken breasts, not the fake ones we're usually served, and steaks. That still ranks as my favorite meal in my 11 months here. Recently for Memorial Day we had nothing special, as apparently the Corrections Officer supervising food service doesn't support the troops. The same was true for the Fourth of July, so I guess he hates America, too. We had watermelon on Juneteenth, which was well received by all inmates, regardless of "race, color, creed or previous condition of servitude".

 

Some of the religious holiday meals are either hard to figure or not surprising, depending upon one's age. We skipped Easter, so we apparently "like the baby Jesus, but not the bearded Jesus", but had special meals for Muslim inmates in the evening for the entire month of Ramadan, as they had fasted all day. 

 

One of the best aspects of all holidays is that they are also visitation days. This is particularly nice when the holiday falls on a Friday or Monday. Such weekends are popular for visitation and the outdoor visitation area is typically filled with children playing. When holidays fall midweek, travel logistics usually equate to a light visitor turnout.

 

One enjoyable aspect of every holiday is that we have tournaments of various inside and outside games. These are organized and run by inmates and are highly competitive, filled with trash talk, and enjoyable for the participants and fans. 

 

But everyone knows that holidays are all about being with people you love, so in that respect my friend's line about Christmas was very prophetic and applicable to every holiday.

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© 2016 by Charles D. Jones