Christmas of Death Row

December 28th, 2010 4.15 AM

Welcome to my nightmare… Tales from a Deadman

If you find in your heart to care for somebody else, you will succeed”

The day has started out with the usual yells & screams of  “Chow Time! Chow Time! Lights on if you are eating…pancakes, pancakes…”

Yes another rotten day inside a small cage of Texas Death Row. It always seem to amuse me how the morning meal is handled and I’ll try to explain this so you can get a general idea how this places works.  “Chow Time” starts at 3am, but the actual food cart arrives at 2.30am to each Pod on Death Row. So the ones who work the night shift load the trays on a tray carriage (which holds 7 trays) and also fill up the pitchers of whatever it is that they are serving for the drink with the meal, be it coffee or Juice (which ever it is, it’s watered down). So these state employees who are usually brand new, yell and scream” Chow Time…and pancakes” at the top of their lungs. If you don’t want to turn on your lights they pass your cell and yell “V.R.” to the officer in the Control Picket, whose job it is to write down that you have given a  “V.R.” response. A “V.R. Response” is a “verbal refusal”. So ya see, this place trains its new staff to lie and falsify state documents.

Now, a few minutes ago a condemned prisoner woke up and  he yells to the officers that he hasn’t been fed yet.  The office than says  “oh  you V.R.’d”. So this person has to either raise hell by kicking on the door, or go without his meal of cold pancakes. He decided to yell and kick and bang and scream in order to get his meal. But the  “Chow Cart” has already been taken back to the kitchen and the officers ignore his cries and yells because on the paper work it simply says that he had “V.R.’d!” That is how it works and it’s wrong as ever.

As for the other part of the story, 95% of us despise these raw pancakes because they are fed to us about 5 times per week. And when we are lucky enough to get an egg tray or gravy & Biscuit tray, the feeding process is 100% different. Not one time the officers will yell or scream” Eggs or Gravy Trays”, because if they did there’s a chance more work would have to be done.  So the majority of the officers slip right on by and as quiet as a church mouse when those items are fed.

As for Christmas events on Death Row. It was a day I tried to make the best out of. It’s so damn easy to get pre occupied with negative thoughts and be emotionally unstable here.  If one does not have a strong mind or support group, friends, family, than he’s definitely goner. We did get a whole apple & orange for breakfast, which I loved and savored, each bite. We also had a decent meal with Pork chop & sliced brisket, and pie & cake… That was Christmas for the Row.


Happy New Year to all.


True American

Mark Stroman.


One Response to “Christmas of Death Row”

  1. Hi Mark

    Chow time texas is like Nascar race. Nascar race first turn is left, second is left, third is left…try to guess where they turn next ? Texas toture chamber serve monday morning pancakes, tuesday pancakes, wednesday pancakes….try to guess what you get thursday ?
    Stay strong mark…

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