Flowers, Dogs, and Prison

Tennessee / March 18, 2012 / by Gelb
Flowers, Dogs, and Prison

This week was a busy one for the team. With Stanley, our bus, still in the shop, we had to rely on our rental car and hotel stays. While we are all enjoying ourselves, I think everyone on board hopes Stanley gets better soon - our time away from the bus makes us appreciate it that much more.

Amy Rose has been feeling a bit under the weather this week, with a sprained shoulder. She has, however been the first knitting disciple of Amy Wallace to have completed a project - a hair band with a bow. Before long I'm sure in no time, we will all be producing various garments and (in my case at least) squonk knitted squares.

On Sunday, we remained in Little Rock. We had a relaxing/working day before exploring some of the sites on Monday. We visited the Clinton Library - as we're all interested in politics, the inner wonk came out in full form. For lunch, we ate at Vinos - fantastic pizza and microbrews. I'm sure you will hear more about it from Steven.

On Tuesday, the team minus Amy Rose (she was still feeling under the weather) made our way to the Hawkins Correctional Facility in Wrightsville, Arkansas, to do our story on Paws for Prisoners. Shea Wilson very kindly showed us around - it was amazing to see how many of the inmates and the dogs they were training were completely at ease with each other. The women we spoke with all spoke about how wonderful and life-changing the program was. Ms Wilson very kindly spoke with us about its recent beginnings, and their hopes going forward. All the staff at the facility were extremely kind and engaging. The dogs were sweet too. We had a great time!

As it was the day before my birthday, on Tuesday night we went out to Doe's Eating Place to try family-style steak. It was delicious. The atmosphere, the service, and (of course) the company were great. Afterwards we all went out to see John Carter - it was my choice. I had a blast.

Wednesday was a driving day. We needed to get from Little Rock to Knoxville, TN for a story the next day. Driving through Tennessee was beautiful, and it made passing the time very easy to digest.

The team met up with Larsen and Sage from Random Acts of Flowers the following day. We were able to witness the entire process of what they do. Such a simple mission - to take recycled flowers and make bouquets and deliver them to people in nursing homes and hospitals who need them. It was so much fun to watch the faces of the people who were receiving the flowers. The staff at the residence where the delivery was taking place couldn't have been more lovely or hospitable. We met some very funny residents, including a 104 year-old lady who had an eye for Steven. It was a fantastic day.

That evening, I left the team to head to Nashville to catch a flight to LA for a memorial service. The rest of the team kept busy with exploring Knoxville - a wonderful town - and enjoying the local sights. Next, we will be off to Nashville for a story on Thursday! Hope to get an update on Stanley tomorrow as well.