Monday, August 31, 2020


 Saturday, August 29, 2020


I talked to my mother, Lucille Norman, for a few minutes Friday morning. She sounded fairly well, if tired and preoccupied, urging us not to worry about her. That's impossible, of course. It's my nature to fret. She's more concerned about my situation. ''How are you and Libby doing, son?''. ''We're fine, Mama, if lonely to be apart.''

She had a subdued 91st birthday celebration at home in Thonotosassa last Sunday, with only a few family members present.

She's going into Brandon Hospital on Tuesday, Sept. 1st. She has been suffering for a few weeks with the onset of yellow jaundice, and the surgeon is going in with a camera to see if a duct is blocked. The doctor will take a biopsy of her pancreas to verify whether her condition is malignant or not. Hopefully, the one-day procedure will be without complications.

Please keep my mother in your prayers.

Tomoka C. I. had seemed to have recovered from and gotten a grip on the virus pandemic until this week. A few days ago the medical people put dorms B, C-1, and K-2, over 300 men, under quarantine for 14 days again, because several prisoners in those dorms exhibited COVID-19 symptoms.

In this court case we filed in Tallahassee August 14, I wrote about the serious drug problems running rampant at prisons across the state. The most alarming drug issue surrounds what is generically called ''K-2," or synthetic marijuana, a misnomer, since it has no semblance to pot. The prison authorities claim to be looking out for our health, but their handling of this current drug pandemic belies their words. What is this ''K-2,'' really?

Wasp spray! Can you believe it? Wasp spray, or roach spray, is soaked into various kitchen herbs, allowed to dry, then smuggled into the prisons, rolled into pin joints, and smoked. The effects? Have you ever directly sprayed Raid or Black Flag on a fat cockroach and watched what happens? The roach spins around, goes crazy, kicks its legs a few times, spasms, then dies.

Humans aren't much different from roaches in the harmful results of smoking wasp spray. The lucky ones live. Some die. One died in my dorm last year sitting on the toilet, smoking K-2. He was going home in 40 days.

They put the foolish young ''confinement releases'' in my dorm when their days in lockup expire. Most of them went to lockup for possession of drugs, and the first thing they want to do is find dope to smoke. Friday at 3:30 a.m. I was awakened by a fool screaming gibberish at the top of his lungs, beneath a double bunk, horizontal, clasped to the steel bunk legs, hallucinating, his buddies trying unsuccessfully to pry him out. Everyone was awake, including the guard, who watched from his enclosed officer's station, doing nothing. That happens a lot. I get furious when I go in the bathroom/shower area and that death spray is being smoked. The junkies scurry away like roaches when the light comes on when I start yelling at them.

Eventually the guy under the bunk came out of it, alive this time, his friends mopping up the vomit and rinsing him off in the shower.

''They'' always say that the weekend visitors are responsible for the glut of drugs in the prison. Visits have been suspended since March. The drug flow is un-abating. Who's bringing it in? The same ones who've always brought it in.

They say they will reevaluate the visiting suspension at the end of September. We expect them to declare another evaluation in October. I say, if Disney World, Universal Studios, and Sea World can be open in full swing, why not the prisons?

Limited chapel programs are scheduled to begin September 8th.

It is count, and I must go. All the best,



 Thursday, July 23, 2020 11:13 a.m. Tomoka C. I., Daytona Beach, Florida

My last update, June 25th, has been long gone. I've been steadily working on my court appeal, with a deadline--now August 16-- no leeway. That's okay, I'm making good progress, until yesterday.

A fellow inmate in dorm K-2 declared a dental emergency earlier yesterday for an abscessed tooth. He had a temperature---duh---infection! --so late yesterday ''they'' declared another medical quarantine for my dorm until the virus test results come back--maybe Monday. Great. Now we have to deal with a new issue.

That does hurt me, since that precludes my attending the previously-approved law library research appointments needed to complete my appeal.

Something weird happened yesterday. June 10th, I had an EKG, for chest pains, and they scheduled an appointment with the prison doctor for a consultation a week later. Cancelled. Rescheduled. Cancelled two more times. Finally I got called.

I went to medical, and the guard called the nurse, said we had to go to mental health. Mental health? I'm supposed to see the doctor. New procedure, she said, video doctor.

She couldn't find my file. The doctor appeared on a large monitor, clear picture, perfect, unlike the faulty Jpay video visits they pawn off on us. I asked who he was and where he was. Department of Health, in Volusia County, down the street from the prison, he said.

He began asking me questions:

Date of birth

Had I lost any weight

Was I eating well

Did I drink plenty of water

Did I get enough exercise?

I wondered what any of those questions had to do with my EKG consultation.

Then he floored me:

''When did you find out you were HIV positive?''

What? Whoa!

''What are you saying? I've NEVER been HIV positive. I'm supposed to be getting the results of my EKG test.''

Oops. Sorry. No wonder we can't find your file. You're in the wrong office.

Another nurse led me back the other way, to Dr. J. Westfall's office. He was in a grumpy mood.

''Left Anterior Fasicular Block,'' (LAFB), the doctor said. ''Don't worry about it.''

Easy for you to say, doc.

Libby asked Mr. Google, who expanded the diagnosis--LAFB is a cardiovascular condition that could increase the likelihood of heart failure, sudden cardiac death, or atrial fibrillation.

Add it to the list.

Saturday afternoon---My mother, Lucille Norman, is recuperating at home from her broken hip, and is doing well with her rehab. She is saddened by the recent death of her younger brother, Jim David Walker, 87, of Texarkana, Texas.

As for the pandemic, Tomoka C. I. is virtually clear of the virus, and is set to resume educational classes July 29th. Prisoners are getting antsy about family visits resumption postponed again, this time until August 17th. The feeling is, if Disney World and Universal Studios can open, why can't this prison?

Columbia C. I., a 1,200 man unit near Lake City, Florida, supposedly has 1,000 inmates tested positive for the virus.

All the best to all.