i hopped in a car with my friend Scott’s brother, who quickly became my friend and we drove down to Huntsville to play at Scott’s ordination service.
we get there and i rehearse with the band, and we do the service. it went well. went over to the reception to have a piece of cake, and Scott says, “do you want to go into the prison and see the death chamber?” i’m like “Yeah!”
so we go over to the Wall’s Unit. now contrary to movies, this unit is not out in the country. IT IS IN DOWNTOWN HUNTSVILLE a block from the first baptist church.
so we go into the death house and we walk into the holding area. after an explanation of what goes on prior to during and after an execution, we went into the chamber. i mean i stood by the gurney they strap people down on. i mean this is where the electric chair was. i can’t begin to tell you how eerie and surreal it was to be standing there.
i didn’t realize that this was the first prison in TX, this was the original state pen. it has a 30 foot wall around it. we went into the original cellblock that originally was exposed to the elements. it was pretty cool to be in there. the original death row is underground and a wall had been built over the entrance. the warden said they were going to open it up and redo it. to redo the whole old prison would be 3 million dollars. he said they could build 2 units to house prisoners brand new for that much. we went out into the yard, and into the chapel where they were having informational meetings for the prisoners who were getting out that day. they release 200 to 300 prisoners a day.
there is so much more we learned, i can’t really remember it all. we did hear about riots and hostage situations and ghost stories it was a really interesting experience. something not everyone gets to see. although it might seem kind of morbid, it gives me a new perspective. i mean i met a guy who makes the final call before they execute prisoners. i can’t imagine the weight of his position. i’m so pray for him on days when he has to do that, and most other days.