Saturday, March 15, 2008

Chuck's Story

Mr Hagen was the cottage father at Roosevelt.. seemed like he drove a black '57 Ford that looked like a cop car.. he was just as you described him.. he had seen just about every kind of kid there is/was and completely untrusting of most guys..

I will admit that he started seeing I was sincere in my efforts to make good and started to 'trust' me on a limited basis..

When I arrived my 2nd time, just about everybody, staff and guys, thought I was going to be a bad ass and stay in trouble.. Mr Meyers was an exception.. he became the principle over the school part.. red headed guy... Mr Hagen did not trust me then.. but I worked and did good, eventually being the 'supervisor' over cleaning up and never did puke on anybody.. I also made ACE... I won a scholarship to Chipola Jr College from FSB.. Mr Meyers helped.. later on Pat Currey, worked with Mr Meyers as monitor, also won a scholarship and was my roommate.. we are in touch with each other...

Which brings up another name, Mr Curry was the psychologist you are talking about.. Mr McLean also was a psychometrist and gave tests.. they worked together... I was assigned to help Mr McLean.. Curry was bald, stockier, shorter, and smoked a pipe.. always talked about sex with the guys... Mr McLean on the other hand wasn't that talkative/social but after I got to know him, was friendly and a pretty nice guy..

My first time at FSB-FIS, I worked at the Industrial Arts shop with Mr Howard Hutchinson...

Coincidence.. I have my Vietnam veterans reunion at the Best Western at Ft Walton Beach.. I've been going since about '96 at least once a year and more recently, twice a year.. the next one is scheduled for 1st weekend in May.. we will have to get together.. check the 174th link in my signature block below.. you'll fit right in..

About the White House.. one thing that has held me up about writing about my experiences is it wasn't that traumatic for me... I was brutalized but not traumatized.. After reading about y'all's experiences, I've set back and wondered and meditated about why I was traumatized.. OR did I repress/suppress all those feelings.. the best I can say right now is I took it in stride and was not traumatized.. I could have been in post-trauma from my dad dying a couple of years earliey b/c that was really, really traumatizing for me.. but the spankings were sort of like an initiation rite to me.. and yeah, the first time I had about a one inch rip in my left butt cheek..

I'm planning on staying in touch.. notice I'm CC'ing everybody I've got an email address for.. I also know Bill Haynes that works for the Ala Dept of Corrections over the Communication Division.. I was senior research analyst for them for 22 years plus was correctional counselor at a work release center for my first 5 years.. I got recruited into doing research and a had a great career...

I wonder how we can put all our experiences together where it will help Roger in his efforts.. he was way too young to be spanked/beaten like that.. I was 14+ and a bigger boy then he was..

please get back to me, in peace

Chas "Chuck" Simmons

I hope next year we will be able to have a small reunion and a commemoration for those under the crosses.. for one, I’d like to pay my respects to those whose remains are interred at FSB.. the forgotten aren’t forgotten.. be a good excuse to get together if we need an excuse..

Do they have records for the graveyard?..

I know the Alabama prison system didn’t keep records of who was buried where.. they kept Time Books on each inmate, his crime and time.. just about every state had their system of keeping records.

The Time Books kept a record of an inmate's release whether the release was at end of sentence/time, by escape, by death, or transfer thru court adjudication, etc and there are records of each inmates according to Bryant and Stu...

It shouldn’t be too difficult to look thru FSB’s archives and find out which guys were released by escape and never returned… the number would be relatively small and easier to look into to see whether they reappeared at Appalachee or Raiford.... those not appearing there may be the ones to look further into..

Straley, were you going to upload that email narrative containing my experiences with the White House to the FSB-Marianna site? I had included a consent agreement with it.. I haven't checked your site in several days tho... I hope you have., ;) lol!

It bothered me when I first heard of Roger's traumatic experiences at FSB with Dr Curry and also down at the White House.. my experiences were no where close to being like his was. now understand I had a brutal experience, just like anybody would getting beat like that..

In particular they should not have beat kids… I don’t care how snot nosed a kid can get, after a point a whipping isn’t a whipping once it becomes a beating.. then it’s a physical assault and battery.. there was some young, young kid, nine or under that was there for throwing rocks at cars passing by their dirt road.. he was assigned to #1.. IMHO he shouldn’t have been at FSB for that ‘offense’. I don’t remember him getting ‘flogged’. The point is there are folks too small and too young to be beat..

Incidentally that strap was made of an old-time leather conveyer belt; made by layering a metal reinforced belt between thick layers of horsehide… the strap was cut from the belt, a wood handle, with holes to decrease the wind resistance and create blood blisters

I heard some FSB employees discussing it over coffee at Joe's Restaurant while I was going to Chipola in Marianna.. John Meyer kept a close watch over Pat and me, and later on over Lloyd Garner, and Mark from Pensacola (his last name hasn’t came to me yet)... Arthur Gibson had a shot at going to Chipola too but he wanted to go back to Michigan and attend college on his father’s benefits.. I had coffee lots of time with several of the FSB staff. A couple of the assistant cottage fathers were guys working part time and also going to college at Chipola... I was friendly and polite but wasn’t buddies with them or vice versa.. we each had our own worlds to live in and I wasn't part of theirs..

But, like I was saying.. I was brutalized but not traumatized.. and at first it bothered me that I hadn't been traumatized by the White House beatings. Several of you guys were traumatized and brutalized.. Reason being I wasn’t traumatized was because I was already in shock, a post-trauma from my dad's death and sudden aloneness and responsibility.. I was pretty pissed off at the world, enraged at my dad, and at God and Christ.. I cussed them and raged against them for most of my early adulthood...

I look back nowadays and I see that Christ was there for me all thru FSB... He loved me even when I didn’t love him. I didn't see it then... there wasn't anything outside of me that could hurt me more than I was already hurting... but now I see the Holy Spirit was there with me every step I took..

So I understand now why I wasn't traumatized by being beat at the White House.. brutalized? yes!! Traumatized? Nope.. I had a younger big brother that used to swap licks with each other.. man he could pack his lunch in a punch.. dang he could hit.. and cut with his knuckles.

I held my own tho and gave him as good or better than I got. All my brothers had a lot of anger similar to me..

Flogging was supposed to be by procedure, officially..

Unofficially it got out of control on occasions.. according to what I understand, when FSB hired a male employee, they were invited into a group of people authorized to administer flogging.. within that group was a certain comradeship and competition to being the best flogger.. they took pride in busting a butt in under ten strokes sort of thing.. Hatton, Hagen, and Dixon were rumored to be the ‘best’.. some cottage fathers declined to join the group and were not part of the official group..

Several assistant cottage fathers got into the inner group rivalry.. Mr Tidwell with his one arm couldn’t get the balance/leverage to be in the top group but he was in the group right below.. he wasn’t a slouch by any means.. Mr Zych was another that wanted to be top ranked but with one leg, he couldn't.. they could turn the paddle at certain angles and it became rigid-like and ‘slice’ and pound the glutes..

They would have one guy to whip, one guy to witness and watch the inmate on the cot and any inmate previous been beat.. and then they needed a guy to stay with the inmates waiting to be whipped.. it would take a minimum of three staff members to escort a group of boys to the White House. seems like when they would take four guys at a time to the White House they would also have four staff members..

Anyway, thanks again Roger for the photo.. in peace ;)

The Chazzmanian Devil ;-)

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