Every once in awhile I ask blog readers for something. I try not to do it often, but it seems like a good reason this time; it’s for Jack.
So…. got postcards?
Jack and my friend Elizabeth (she’s in Little Bookstore) do prison visits, along with a few other Friends from the Quaker meeting at our bookstore. Each month they sit chatting with two or three federal prisoners who don’t have visitors for some reason. The prisoners have requested someone through the Prison Visiting Service, an ecumenical group.
Jack and E go out at 8 a.m. and return home about 1 p.m., drained. It’s hard to make these visits; I don’t go; I know my limits. Two weeks in and I’d be contacting lawyers and media, mounting campaigns to improve food, ensure funeral visits, all that stuff. I’m an empathic listener, internalizing everything.
Jack is not; he’s a smart, sympathetic listener with common sense. One man Jack visits was brought to America illegally as a seven-year-old, lived his life without papers and then, at the age of 32, was the passenger in a car stopped for running a red light. He’s doing six years. The other guy Jack visits has killed two people and stolen things. He’s doing life.
About ten days before their next visit, Elizabeth and Jack send prison-required postcards to their guys, telling them they’ll be there. The prisoners decorate their cells with these cards and trade duplicates with fellow inmates.
So…. if you have some cool postcards from your area, and it wouldn’t cost you much to slip half a dozen into an envelope, Jack and E and the other Quakers doing prison visits would get new views to send, and the guys would get cool cards to post on their wall. We’re running out of Wise County postcards.
We don’t know what it would cost those of you in Korea, Britain, and some other countries to mail six unused cards, so if it’s expensive, forget it and thanks anyway. American views from anyplace would be very appreciated, and if international posting can be done, yippee! Send them to 404 Clinton Ave E, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219. And thank you, on behalf of visitors and visitees alike.