Thursday, March 1, 2012
The Old Tennessee State Prison- Nashville
When I go to work at the clinic I pass by the white colossus that was the old Tennessee State Prison. They called it "The Castle". It once housed a lively collection of felons, a few who once blew a hole in the wall there to make their escape.
Now it is a relic,though it is sometimes re-animated by film crews making music videos and movies. Tom Hank's "The Green Mile" was filmed there.
Two nights ago, at work, I talked to an old timer-an officer who remembered when the old prison was open. "They had a working farm out there", he told me,"Pigs, chickens, cows- a big vegetable garden. They were self-sufficient. And oh- that food! People from downtown-folks from the Legislature- drove there to eat, that's how how good that food was".
I have seen the old farm and its pastures. I drove through it on my way to work at the secondary clinic. All state land, and neatly mowed and home to meadowlarks and barn swallows. All tucked into a pastoral bend along the Cumberland.
Now the gentlemen and lady guests of this state eat pre-cooked,thawed out rations re-heated in the kitchens. No farm fresh eggs. Just pizza pockets and egg rolls. Two nights ago the officers brought us chili, cornbread, and jello. The jello was in the same paper tray as the chili and went through the microwave with it. It turned into a lake of juice that stained the yellow bread
I think they need to bring the chickens and the pigs back, though not our feasting legislators. Let them stay downtown and continue spewing out bills that make the rest of the civilized world think that Tennessee is Dogpatch-