Monday, July 18, 2011

This Is Not A Nice Place

About a week ago I picked up a load of building materials from one of Covenant Transportation's biggest contractors, Shaw Enterprises.  We mainly haul carpet for them, but they do make other building materials.  This load was heavy.  Extremely heavy.  It was mostly raw materials for building houses/ roofs for houses. 

When I looked at where I was going it kind of surprised me.  It said Greenville Prison.  "That couldn't be right?" I thought.  You can't fit a semi truck inside a prison.  But I was wrong.  We (my co-driver and I) did have the consignee right.  We were delivering to the South Carolina Department of Corrections at Greenville Prison. 

We were to take the semi in the front gate to the back where it would be unloaded.  That's when the guard said something to me that I will never forget.  "This is not a nice place.  There are a lot of guys who would like to take this truck, and drive it as far as they could go." 

The general feeling of the place was one of severe stress and evil. There was a real edge to everyone at the facility.  I know a lot of people will wonder what it looked like.  Well, it didn't quite look like this:

But I can't say that it was far off.  The entire place had razor wire and guard towers.  It was tight.  Real tight.  Only my co-driver was allowed in.  One driver, one vehicle.  I had to stay in a fenced off area outside the main fence with all of our electronics and my co-driver's Grizzly dip.  I had to say the twenty minutes he was gone were kind of nerve racking.  After just a few minutes waiting I just wanted to be gone from that place. 

I remember the TV special, "Scared Straight."  I remember just how hardcore it was for the teens to deal with real prisoners in a real prison.  I have seen "Oz."  I have seen all the prison specials on MSNBC.  But being there really put a chill down my spine.  All I could think about is what the guard told me, "This is not a nice place."

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