Noah here, I’m continuing the bunkie post series from last weekend, and this is the final story.
So in February of 2015, I transferred to Yankton, SD, from Milan, MI.
When I first got to Yankton, I was placed in a random 12 man room with 11 strangers, and one guy recognized me from Milan, but I didn’t know.
My bunkie however was one of the strangers and not very talkative, and I quickly found out why, he spoke no English, only Spanish.
Spanish was not my strong suit, I hadn’t picked up much at this point either, and even today, it’s mostly greetings, farewells, cuss words, and slang that I know.
I also received a C and then a D in high school Spanish and decided to take American Sign Language as my second language in college. So, we got along great. I stayed out of his way, and he stayed out of mine.
I was in that room for a month or so, and then someone who I worked with at foodservice asked if I wanted to move into a different room as they had someone leaving. I went and checked out the room and determined it was a good fit based on the fact it was full of degenerates, so I moved in, and it ended up being the room I would live in for the next three-plus years before I went down to the drug program in 2018. And in this room, I had five different bunkies who I will introduce to you now.
First up was Stanley, a bitter old man that only loved three things; coffee, cigarettes, and ice cream. He was one of the few negative people I could stand to be around because there was a comedy to the way he would complain, and typically, it was when he was bothered with questions.
He went home around the end of 2015, thanks to the two-point reduction. It was legislation that President Obama passed that gave multiple offenders a two-level reduction in their guideline as long as they fit certain criteria. I didn’t fit the criteria due to my mandatory minimum sentence, but I was happy to see Stanley benefit from it.
Next, the guy in the bunk next to me asked to move over, his name was Lil Bob, and he was in no way little. Funny story about Lil Bob, one day I was walking back to the unit from work and the guy who recruited me to the room was walking with me (his name was Jim), and here is Bob running around the track. Bob did not look like the running type, and to our surprise, he was running with pretty good speed and agility.
My roommate yelled at Bob when he ran by, “I bet you $10 you can’t keep that pace around the track for another lap!” The track is a 1/4 mile, and there is at least a 100-foot elevation change from top to bottom, and I didn’t like Bob’s odds, but he turned for another lap, and the bet was on. About 3/4 of the way around his second lap, I knew that Jim had lost the bet, and so did he.
Bob got to the top of the track and collapsed into the grass, trying to catch his breath, or maybe he was just trying not to die. Jim walked up to him and told him to give him a list for 10 dollars, but he added that Bob was going to win him back that $10 racing someone else. I like what he was thinking since Lil Bob was the definition of don’t judge a book by it’s cover when gauging speed, because his big ass could move.
So the search began, and we didn’t have to look far, not even outside our room of degenerates to find his opposite. It happened to be my next bunkie named Francis, as a lower bunk opened up under him, and I moved over from above Bob.
So the race was set, Bob versus Francis. All we had to do is build the hype and find the betters. Francis was doing a year and a day and was treating it like fat camp, and he was down 40 pounds and feeling very confident, and looking at the two appeared to be the shoe in, which made finding the betters a lot easier.
The day of the race came, and there must have been at least fifty guys out on the track that day as I did my job as the hype man, and all of a sudden, we heard the two racers’ names called over the loudspeaker to the lieutenant’s office.
I thought damnit, there goes our race. As Francis and Bob came back from the LT’s office, I could read it on their faces as I asked what they said. They said the race is off, just as I thought, and then they quickly changed their expression and said, “JUST KIDDING!! He just wanted to wish us both luck and to be safe and drink lots of water.”
The crowd erupted with their approval. The race was on, and Francis pulled out ahead at least twenty-five feet just about halfway, and Bob looked like he was down. Then in the third and final lap, before the final stretch, Francis started to burn out as he had used his juice up in the early stretch, and Bob started to gain. I thought there was no way he could run him down in such a short distance, but with thirty feet to spare, Bob pulled past him, and the race was over.
This was one of my fondest memories of Yankton looking back on it now, and I am not willing to disclose how much we made either. 🙂
Eventually, Francis went home pretty quickly as a year, and a day tends to do.
The next bunkie that moved in was Nate, who I have written about in the past and remained a very close friend who I call every two weeks to this day. Nate was another year and a day inmate who taught me a lot in the short time that he was here.
Nate would teach me how to be a father, directed my priorities regarding my daughter and my release, he taught me how to use my time in prison to prepare for the future, and last of all he showed me that there are valuable people everywhere.
Looking back on meeting Nate made me realize that going to prison wasn’t the end of the world and maybe it was for the best, as i was certainly not on the right track.
My last bunkie in that room was Aggie; he remains a good friend of mine to this day. He has joined me down in the RDAP unit after months of coaxing. A funny story about Aggie is an old girlfriend of mine was telling me about a time when she got pulled over, and she was with this older druggie guy. I was visualizing this dirtbag as she told me the story of getting in trouble with him and how she wasn’t proud of being in the car with him, and he didn’t take responsibility for the drugs in the car even though they were his.
So then I was telling this story to Aggie, and he was doing a great job of listening and not interrupting as I was describing what I pictured this guy looked like. He was this forty-something-year-old drug addict loser who was probably bald, and all of a sudden, I realized I was describing Aggie, and I stopped, and he just kept nodding with a smirk on his face.
I broke down laughing and said I was sorry and he said don’t worry, I was that guy once, but the difference is I would have taken my weight. We still laugh about that story now and again as we start our inside joke out of nowhere. That is all for my bunkies in my first unit as I then moved down to the drug program and found my new animal house with my new degenerates!
Thanks for listening.