A Taste of Stafford Creek

Stafford Creek recently put on two of the best events in the history of prisons! It was called, “The Taste” and “The Bite” of Stafford Creek (SCCC).

This Cultural Fair stretched over two days as they rewarded and educated inmates who remained infraction free for one year, and three years. I signed up for the three year infraction free event, AKA: The Bite of Stafford Creek. This event offered larger servings of food opposed to the one year infraction free event, AKA: The Taste of Stafford Creek, where they just got a small bite.

As I walked into the visiting room I was given my Passport. Then I proceeded to the first booth, which just so happened to be the European booth that highlighted Europe’s tourist attractions, cultural foods & traditions, and famous people such as Leonardo Da Vinci whom painted “The Last Supper” and “Mona Lisa”. Also Albert Einstein and Ludwig Van Beethoven, just to name a few.

I said “hello” to my European friends, shook hands and complemented them on their outstanding educational booth and representative outfits. They said thank you, and handed me an European dish of bratwursts and sauerkraut. They stamped my passport, indicating I’ve been to Europe. I thanked them, then headed to the next booth, Native American.

All the booths were handmade and phenomenal! Each booth represented a specific culture. They offered flyers, brochures, history lessons, pictures, and cultural foods. The inmates representing their culture were dressed accordingly.

As I get to the Native American booth I shake hands with my Native American friends. I complement their awesome booth and thank them for sharing their culture. Their theme was “Shin-Da-Naush-Way” which means “Tree of Life.” I was surprised to learn that there are over 35 different Tribes represented here at SCCC.

After a minute of browsing and reading, I was offered a serving of Native American food, frybread topped with beans, rice, sour cream, meat, and a variety of veggies. They stamp my Passport and off I went.

My hands are full of food and brochures, and I still have more booths to visit. So I go outside to eat. It looks like an outside diner, complete with rows of tables and chairs. Some guys are sitting in the grass having a little picnic. The sky is blue, the air is warm, and the sun is shining. It’s truly a beautiful day in more ways than one.

I ate the diverse delectables then headed back inside to continue my educational, yet delicious, tour of the world. My next stop, Asia and the Pacific Islands!

This beautiful booth had a bamboo frame, huge palm leaves, and palm trees that really captured the look and feel of the tropical atmosphere in which they represent. The time and effort these men put into their booth is impressive. Not to mention everything was crafted from paper and cardboard, then painted.

I shook hands with all my Asian friends and gave heavy praise on their phenomenal booth. As I read their brochure, I learned that the Asian Pacific Islander (API) is a very diverse group of over 50 ethnicities! Chinese, Japanese, Laotian, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Filipino, Samoan, and Hawaiian, just to name a few.

They handed me a bowl of rice and meat with an egg roll and some secret sauce. It was so good! My passport got stamped and off I went. This time to the Hispanic booth.

The Hispanic booth represents 20 countries: Puerto Rico, Mexico, Cuba, EL Salvador, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic, just to name a few.

Again, I shook hands with all my Hispanic friends and ate some pork, rice, beans and cheese, all stuffed in a hot corn tortilla. Delicious! They stamped my passport and off I went. This time to the Black Prisoner Caucus booth.

This booth was painted red, black, and green. The colors are symbolic of blood, the people, and verdant land. Their message was one of resiliency, and hope in a better future for generations to come. I shook hands with my friends Jamar Scott and Cyril Walrond (you can read their blogs on inmateblogger.com) as I expressed my appreciation.

Their booth served fried chicken, collar greens, Mac & Cheese, and chocolate cake with a coconut frosting. So much for eating like a Brain Warrior today! My passport got stamped and off I went. This time to the “All American Group” booth.

This booth reflected a nostalgic view of America. The men representing it were born and raised in America. They embraced the American culture regardless of their individual nationalities. This diverse group included Marines, Soldiers, and Civilians from many races. I shook hands with my American friends and complemented them on their well crafted booth.

The booth itself resembled the classic American diner of the 50’s and 60’s, complete with a classic, made in America, juke box. They served mini cheese burgers and fries that resembled “Bob’s Big Boy.”

As I finished my last bite of food, I looked around the visiting room at all the different booths and people. I took it all in and enjoyed the moment.

 


Steven Jennings

 

Author: Steven & Suzie Jennings

She was raised as a Mormon, and he is a convict serving 43 years in prison. This blog offers a glimpse into two vastly different worlds that somehow came crashing together. Join them on their journey through prison life & married life.

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