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  • Writer's pictureRogene "Jeannie" McPherson, Country Notebook

Country Notebook: Speaking out for our new jail

Updated: Jul 15, 2022

A good friend recently confided the older she gets, the less she filters out her thoughts and feelings. Maybe it is a risk thing. Most of my friends are retired. We are not likely to worry about getting fired from our job because of some bold opinions we share.

My sons just turn their back and smile, probably directed to each other when I say things they think are inappropriate. Usually my comments are for shock value, not that I would really carry-out the threat. I might say something that I know could get me into trouble legally and the attorney son is the one who always speaks up first. “You know, Mom, that could get you thrown into jail” he says.

Being a good steward of the land and the community, I would not do what I sometimes suggest, but it is one way to keep my offspring on their toes. Thus, the comment about jail from my perspective goes something like this. “Yes, I know, but going to jail is one experience I have not had. Maybe I should put it on my bucket list” I say.

By then they know I am not serious, but it gives me an opportunity to tell me more about my world. Thus the dialogue continues something like this. “Well” I say, “Linn County is soon opening our new Justice Center and in all likelihood it was built around ADA (disabilities) gender (cells for females separate from males) and maybe even a wing devoted to grandmothers who can’t keep their mouth shut.” “I would have three good meals a day I have already paid for in my taxes” I continue.

Shouting is likely what would throw me into jail. I’ve been known to speak out when I see someone abusing another person, for example. My voice is stronger than my physical strength. I don’t go quietly especially when children and animals are involved. As the reader may know, I am an author and my latest book called Posts from the Country shares an insight to my gentler side and how all God’s creatures are important to me.

I have not seen the new jail space but I suggest it likely provides a safer environment than the existing jail for those who struggle in daily life and have not yet developed the skill of knowing when to speak and how to act appropriately. These include life skills the older generations have mastered.

I hope I don’t spend a night in jail for my sins, although I would consider a night-out as a learning experience. I, for one, am grateful for the voters of Linn County, marking yes for a new jail and up-to-date technology. I heard once that if you want to commit a crime, do it in Linn County. It may have been said in humor, but I don’t think we will be hearing those comments any time soon. Praise to all those who recognized the need for a new facility and for those who daily put their life on the line or at least their time in keeping our communities safe.

And, I will do my part to stay out of trouble. Our law enforcement has their hands full dealing with those who are serious about their crime and not old ladies trying to have a little fun.

Rogene “Jeanne” McPherson is a writer who lives outside of Centerville. She recently published a book about her experiences entitled Posts from the Country, Adventures in Rural Living. It is available online in both virtual and printed editions. Copies are on the shelves at all Linn County libraries.

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