Friday, July 10, 2009

Leaders are Leaders

Kip was gorgeous. He was 6'1", brown curly hair and a buff body only seen on television, a beach show, or in the jail yard during exercise time. The only difference about Kip was that he only had one leg. A shoot-out with a drug dealer cost the dealer his life and Kip his leg.

Most of the time Kip used a wheel chair. He was the unchallenged leader of the dorm and he managed it very well. Whatever was coming into the dorm, legal or illegal, Kip controlled it. He checked out the other residents received during visits. He ordered some deliveries himself. He always got some part of the gifts that came from families. He was the chief and he expected tribute. No one defied him.

Even the officers respected him because he kept fighting at a minimum. If there was a resident that I thought need protection, I could ask Kip to keep him safe and if there wasn't some special conflict, Kip would see that he was protected. Residents come and go. Once a leader, always a leader.

One day a resident who came in. He was from a rival gang faction on the street. He challenged Kip. Kip came up from his wheel chair and stood on his one leg. His other leg had been amputated at the hip. His body did not waver. He was as steady as a tree. He beat up the interloper and there was no more trouble.

Kip kept what was his and no one came looking for him again.

Kip said that when he gets out, he is going to develop body building exercise tapes for other who are disabled. He said that he might open a body building studio when he comes in 8 1/2 to 12.