Just crashed in a motel in Livingston, near Death Row (Polunski Unit) typical American with a lot of drinkig blue collar workers and some people busy wandering around doing business. Probably not necessarily legal. I came here with Cathy, a retired major from the Salvation Army who visits Death Row for almost seventy years now. Cynthia is 91 years old and she is a copy of my sweet mother Willie Douw de Vetten, who died three years ago. Cathy does not only look like Willies twin sister, but she is also intelligent and passionate like her and somebody who also dedicates her life supporting others who need that. A wonderful lady. She invited me to diner in a typical Texan restaurant: Catfish King, with a lot of cowboys inside, giant trucks in front and a big poster of John Wayne at te wall. Cathy tells fascinating stories about her “children” as she calls the guys on Deathrow but also talks a lot about people who do not want her to go to death row on her age and want her to stop driving her car. The lady of the drivers -license bureau said to her the last time:”Officially I am not allowed to let you have your license, but I love the work you are doing, so here it is!”.
This morning Gloria Rubac picked me up from my hotel in Houston and drove me to Polunski. On our way we had a wonderful meeting with an excellent group of people in the Shape community Center. Teachers, nurses, engineers and other pioneer professions (for Black people), mostly above seventy and black. Today there is an older lady visiting, sharing her wisdom with the others. She was the first female black doctor in the US ever. What an honor and a pleasure to meet her and all this inspiring people.
It is a logistic nightmare to do these visits. I drive ith different people and cannot leave anything in cars. At Polunski I only can ge in with 25 nickel dollars in a plastic bag and my passport. So we had to bring mu stuff to the motel and i had to wander around without telephone, money and other stuff. And Cathy had to pay for dinner,because I did not have anything on me!
But the visit was great. Polunski is a cold and depersonalizing place with outrageous and even ridicule security-measures. One example: the guard could not not look through the plastic bag where my coins were in and said: this is really dangerous. He took the coins out and put them in a transparent bag.
Harvey immediately starts explaining why he did not finish his book, as he promised last year. We have long talk about writing perfectionism, development and incentives when you are on death row for a long time. W talk about ourselves, children, life in prison, victims and perpetrators: about everything. After two hours I realize that I have to get sone food and drinks from the machines and within what feels as two seconds later the four hours special visit are over. Harvey is a great guy, in redouble spiritual and alive after 39 years of incarceration and he is a real friend and a guy who feels like family. I am so looking forward to see him for another four hours tomorrow morning!