A Postcard from Jail

View from a jail cell...

Three days a week I go to jail! Yes, a jail with cells, barred windows and locks and keys… I work in a museum which is the former sheriff’s residence and jail, built in 1894 and in use up until the early 1970’s.
Part of my assignment has been to develop a series of promotional materials and saleable items, starting with a set of postcards. I will post the rest later, but this is one of my favorites!
A sunny morning view from inside out through barred windows, barred walkway, barred cells. Reflections of reflections of bars and old bottles. The Sunday morning sight to which prisoners awoke after a Saturday “night on the town”?
It is time to go to jail. Do not pass go. Go directly to jail. Have a wonderful day!
~ Betsy Lewis
copyright 2010


7 responses to “A Postcard from Jail

  1. What a wonderful photo! Truly an artist’s eye! My mind went immediately to, “I wonder if these were the bottles emptied during the ‘Night on the town’?” And the diffused view to the outside subtly captures the state-of-mind of the jail’s newest Sunday morning visitor. Put me in mind of Johnny Cash’s beautiful rendition of the Kristofferson penned song, “Sunday Morning Coming Down.” “Well, I woke up Sunday morning with no way to hang my head it didn’t hurt…”

    Thanks for such a great photo!

    • LOL! Frank, I had the same thought about the bottles – colorful reminders of what landed them there?

      Thank you for the compliment on the photo and my eye.

  2. Great Betsy! I can’t wait to see more. You have taken a dreay situation and added beauty. If only such beauty could have brightened the days of those incarcerated, sad souls behind those bars in the 1800s.

    • I have never been in a contemporary jail or prison. I imagine them with no windows, no sun. This photo is from the men’s cells, in the morning, and the women’s cells are directly above them on the second floor. Tiny cubicles, about 5 x 7 feet (haven’t measured them) with no toilet facilities in the cells. One shared toilet, one sink and a table with a basin, also used for meals, were in the narrow walkway in the hallway. By today’s standards, the cell sizes would probably be unnacceptable? I find the abundance of big windows and natural light on both floors amazing – big windows to both the east and west, at least they could see sunrises and sunsets, I think.

      Perhaps the kindness of daylight and windows from which to see are more humane than what passes for humane today – bigger space, no light? At least a window to the outside world…

  3. How could I feel sad

    Even though to jail I go?

    Razor sharp, your joy!

    • Thank you M,

      My joy is wide, deep, and abundant, hilarious some times – never thought of it as razor sharp! So thank you! Glad I get to come home every night to my windows looking out at trees and woods!

      I wonder how many people live inside the jails made for themselves?

      Windows=glasss=sand… maybe I am still fixated with sand? LOL?

  4. I love the bottles. I know why the caged bird sings!

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