Self-Inflicted Wounds

If we were having a beer, you would be bringing some local news to the bar.

“Have you ever been to Old Newgate Prison?”

“Not exactly.”

“It’s a binary question – you either have or you haven’t.”

“We set out once to hike to the prison, but we never made it. It’s a long story.”

“Save it for another day, I have good news…”

“I like customers who tell long stories over a few beers – as long as they have a ride home – you boys talking about how you met in prison?”

“We didn’t meet in prison, Cheryl!”

“Well, sometimes it sounds like you go back farther than this bar. You want a beer, Dan?”

“I do.”

How about the bearer of good tidings, can I get you a glass of wine?”

“Bourbon today, Cheryl. I feel like celebrating.”

“I’ll be right back with the drinks.”

“What is the good news, and how does it involve the prison.”

“They’re going to open it again.”

“For prisoners?”

“No, silly. As a tourist attraction. You can’t put prisoners in a copper mine any longer.”

“Well, I know the budget is tight, you never know what those clowns in Hartford might do to save some money.”

“One Naughty Nurse, and one glass of Willet. Ice and water coming up.”

“You’re the best, Cheryl.”

“You guys make it easy.”

“So, when does it open?”

“July 14th. I guess it depends on the budget.”

The budget, don’t make me laugh.”

“Oh, don’t start. You’re just going to make yourself angry.”

“Make myself angry? The fiscal year started on July first. They didn’t pass a budget until the end of October – and we’re coming up two hundred million short! I hope they have money to run the prison.”

“They are putting an emphasis on tourism, so I’m betting it will open.”

“An emphasis on tourism?

“That’s what I hear.”

“Are they going to re-open the highway rest areas?”

“I thought they only close them overnight.”

“They’re only open from eight-thirty am until three-thirty pm.”

“Wow, that isn’t very friendly.”

“They might as well replace the signs with ones that say: ‘Welcome to Connecticut – Please pee in Rhode Island’ after paying a toll, of course.”

I love this site – make your own sign!

They haven’t passed the toll bill yet.”

“They will, and they won’t be smart about it either.”

“Wow, Dan, that beer goes down fast when you get in a lather. You want another?”

“I do Cheryl.”

“Any food?”

“Bring him some wings. Maybe that will slow him down.”

“You still sipping that Bourbon?”

“Yes, I’m good for now, but you can bring me some wine when the wings are up.”

Whoa! That looks good!

“Did you guys check the Specials? You might not want wings today.”

“Oh, for the love of bacon. Look at this.”

Tunxis Trio – Chicken strips, beer-battered onion rings and potato skins with cheddar, bacon and broccoli – with Ranch and Sour Cream – Sign me up for this Cheryl.”

“Me too, but can I…”

“Add some Parmesan Peppercorn dressing? Of course, you can, Dan.”

OK, now that that’s done, and at the risk of hearing more than I want to know, what did you mean about being smart about tolls?”

“The technology exists whereby they could spare short haul commuters the cost, but snag the people traveling through CT on their way to New York, Mass and Rhode Island.”

“How would that work?”

“You live in Windsor, right? If you jump on ninety-one and drive to Hartford, they could slide you through without smacking your account.”

“That would be cool.”

“They won’t do it. They’ll charge you and people will take the backroads.”

“Well, there’s no back road over the river.”

“Yeah, so the poor slob living in Hartford who works in East Hartford will lose five bucks a day.”

“For an optimist, you really seem all doom and gloom about this.”

“He’s right, Dan. Then again, I drive six miles to work, but I come over the Bissel Bridge to get here for my shift.”

“Cha-ching!”

I’m gonna need bigger tips.”

“Message received, Cheryl.”

“Good, I’ll go check on those Trios.”

“You know what really gets me?”

“Again, at the risk of making myself sorry, what’s that, Dan?”

“The fireworks.”

“Huh?”

“When they finally passed the budget in October, they set off fireworks in Bushnell Park.”

“That is a bit much. I don’t imagine your boss would celebrate your finishing a critical project, three months late.”

“No, although the word ‘fire’ might figure prominently in his reaction.”

“Who said, we get the government we deserve?”

Joseph de Maistre and he would certainly be laughing at us.”

“Naughty Nurse, number two, a glass of Meiomi and those trios will be right up.”

“Thanks Cheryl.”

“You’re welcome. I hope your old prison opens in time for the reunion.”


I visited Old Newgate Prison and spoke to the very nice young woman who is the Site Manager. She assures me they will open in July. I hope you have time to visit Cheryl’s site.

66 thoughts on “Self-Inflicted Wounds

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  1. Rest areas – now there’s a topic. I always ‘assumed’ there were rest areas in every state until we moved to NH. In our case, you better relieve yourself at the border because you won’t find another one until you hit ME or Canada. Then you pull off the road and find several place with the dreaded sign – no public restrooms. I’ve never figured out where a state that considers tourism so critical to survival expects those tourists to go to the bathroom after stopping to eat and drink at the various restaurants they promote. Maybe that is why so many New Englanders drink DD coffee – they have restrooms. :-)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “No Facilities” – That’s where this blog’s name came from. Fortunately, I CT is small enough to get through without needing to stop. Yours is a big state if going N-S. Did you find places to stop easily on the way down and back from SC?

      Like

      1. OK, I wondered about the name and now I know! Along the toll road, there are plazas, where you can get gas and food at inflated prices. States in the Midwest and West have rest areas, thank goodness, but Judy makes a good point about DD, although I don’t shop/stop there. McD’s serves the same function in many places.

        It’s a miracle the two of you don’t have cholesterol numbers that are off the charts. Mine went up just reading your order. :-)

        Happy Saturday, Dan. The prison sounds like an interesting visit, even if not particularly effective during it’s heyday.

        janet

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s funny you mention the inflated prices. CT gas tax is so high that I stop at the last plaza on the MASS Pike to fill up before dropping down into CT. Those inflated prices are less than what we normally pay :(

          I don’t eat like this every day, but I couldn’t pass up that Trio. I do like Dunki’s coffee, so if I need a break, I look for that sign.

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  2. That toll sign had me laughing! I’ve never seen a sign quite like that one, Dan. It actually says pee. Too much! LOL Now for that prison …. it does have an eerie feel to it and I’m not too sure if I would want to see it. My imagination of course kicks into high gear as I think upon all the sorry souls that once were housed here. And all that went on. LOVED your gallery!!! Happy Weekend! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ohhhhhhh ….. duh! That went flying right over my head. Perhaps I need a second cup of coffee. LOL Better you then me going in that prison. I “pick up on” energy and I’m not too sure how well I’d do in there. I’ll be safe and just view your images. 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Exactly why I would not go. I am extremely sensitive to energy. And even in my everyday life I have to be aware of where I go believe it or not. Sometimes however, negative energy cannot be avoided as you well know.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. The rest stop sign should read, “Those with teeny tiny tanks or the super jumbo coffee should probably stay out of CT after 3:30 p.m.” I would not do well on your highways if the rest stops were my only salvation. I hope that there are gas stations along the way.

    That is an extremely old prison. I can see why it feels eerie to you, Dan. Places like that tend to make the short hairs stand up. Lots of history here, though, so it might make for an interesting tour.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary. The good thing about CT, is that it’s not that big. You can get through on a small tank (I like that). There are gas stations, but there’s also a nice (open) rest area in MA.

      The prison renovation has been interesting to follow. I am looking forward to taking the tour. The notion of being put to work in a copper mine to serve a prison sentence is a little mind-boggling. I can’t quite imagine the conditions. Of course, once I find out, I’ll report back.

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      1. Working in a mine seems like such cruel punishment and wouldn’t be tolerated today. Plus, rehabilitation and evidence based practices are much better for all than harsh punishment. (Yes, I’m one of those bleeding heart liberals that share my candy.)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, those are the prices. I don’t know what the exchange rate is and I don’t know how that compares to your place. Seafood in New England is very good, but it can be expenseive. The seafood at the bar is excellent.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. No restrooms 24/7!! Have they lost their minds? There must be a lot of people pulling over to the side of the road to, as my dad always said, go chase a rabbit!

    The Prison Welcome Center sure doesn’t look very welcoming. I hope this venture will be successful.

    The Tunxis Trio looks really good. You must have a vey happy tummy!

    Nice to see our girl Maddie relaxing. Looks like she may get some cot time in today. If you behave, she might let you sit out there with her!
    🔹Ginger🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Closing the rest areas at 3:30pm is crazy. When I go to Boston, ‘m usually within the open hours, but in March, I had to leave at dark-o’clock to avoid a snowstorm. Fortunately, I can stay on the MASS Pike all the way to Springfield and sneak down to my place. That only leaves me with about 15 miles on no-bathrooms-here CT.

      I think the prison will be a nice place to visi once it opens. They are doing a pretty good job on restoration.

      I’ve been out of town this week, Ginger, so no Maddie time for me. I’ll catch up with her this afternoon. It might be warm enough to sit outside.

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  5. Ha! I’m glad Cheryl is there to keep you in link. Sounds like she had her hands full today. You cracked me up with “Please pee in Rhode Island’ after paying a toll”. The photos are great, but there needs to be one of a bathroom now.
    Seriously, a lovely place and you captured it beautifully. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. No barbed wire on the top of the prison fence? No wonder prisoners escaped! Rest stops in FL are open for overnight stayovers–you can sleep in your car and the area is patrolled. I guess my taxes pay for this. “No Facilities”….yup, you got that right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your taxes do pay for that, but I pay more taxes, and I get No Facilities – at least it’s a catchy phrase ;-)

      Truckers are not happy with CT. They can only drive so long without a break, but we have very few places for them to take that break (fewer if they want some comfort). Every morning as I head to work, I pass trucks parked on the highway ramps. It’s illegal but they really don’t have a choice.

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  7. 😂This was classic. It’s scary how you do that. Lol. What abeautiful site for a prison. Bet it must have been torture locked up on that gorgeous hillside. People. Budget? You mean the “how can we squeeze the life out of taxpayers without going to prison for homocide” party? I wonder how they accounted for the fireworks in the budget. And how many thinking taxpayers even realize what a spectacular oxymoron that was. 😏That’s the best thing about Louisiana driving. You never come up short on a back road around something. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Unfortunately, this one almost wrote itself. If I was writing fiction, I couldn’t dream this stuff up. I’m not sure where the prisoners were housed, but I gather they spent their days underground. During the renovation, they installed new lighting in the mine shafts. I hope you can take pictures during the tour. I’ll get there this summer.

      I know all the backroads between work and home, but I have to get across that river at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well good luck avoiding those tolls. Fortunately while in FL we only needed to travel the, for excursions. But we had a tag that we kept prepaid just in case. Still, it was about three bucks tops. Is there anything infamus about the prison, like Alcatraz?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve been reading the history. One guy escaped three times, so I guess it wasn’t very effective. It seems like cruel and certainly unusual, but I haven’t turned up anything that is remarkable, yet.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John. I was in your general area this past week. The AIIM Board meeting and Conference was in San Antonio. Warmth!

      That trio is not three things I would normally put together – maybe Teagan – but I have to say, it was a great combination. It’s a good thing it’s not on the regular menu.

      In Texas, there’s no such thing as waiting for the boarder while driving, unless you live next to it. I wonder how many CTs would fit inside Texas?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the question of how many CTs would fit is a good one for one of your fact based statical posts. You could do various states. You know like 12 CTs 3 New Mexico etc. I lived in San Antonio for ten years. I worked downtown. Did you do a Riverwalk stroll?

        Liked by 1 person

  8. “They might as well replace the signs with ones that say: ‘Welcome to Connecticut – Please pee in Rhode Island’ after paying a toll, of course.”

    See, this is where the Midwest has it over the left and right coasts any day.

    You can pee almost anywhere around here. I walk Scooter seven miles a day and never have to worry about slipping into a restaurant and pretending I am a customer. Can you say that about New York City? I don’t think so.

    What do you think those Field of Dreams ballplayers were doing before they stepped out of the corn?

    We need to get that into our tourism literature.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – unfortunately, you do find that in New York, but there’s no corn field to duck into. They get creative…”make a crowd, boys, make a crowd…” You also have a lot farther to travel to get to the boarder.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Some feelings of guilt there Dan? Prisons and all. I’ve been in a few (visiting for research!). But never a maximum. Up here we coddle our prisoners. I wasn’t impressed. Not with you! I’m always impressed with you, hi Maddie!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I was in a minimum security and there no bars, they were called residents, three meals a day, milk and cookies at night and tv in all the ‘rooms’. Craft room, gym, computer room . . . Great place to spend the winter if you are homeless.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. We have the Old Idaho Penitentiary which is open for tourism. A creepy place, but it’s used for school history tours, some weird events and is a particularly good draw around Halloween. The trio looked great, I’ve bookmarked the sign maker page (loved yours), and Maddie, well, she’s got the right idea! ~ Lynn

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Lynn. Old prisons are always a good tour. Sometimes they leave me sad, but it’s always interesting. You can make all kinds of signs. Sometimes, they’re just the right thing to add to a presentation or a post. Maddie knows how to handle a tough day.

      Like

  11. I like that place. That looks neat. Looks like you had good weather, too. Nice photographs.
    I forget which place, but it doesn’t matter — we took Moo to an event at a school somewhere in central Indiana and I kid you not, the school looked remarkably like a prison. I mean, really, a lot. Out in the middle of nowhere, a large tower, tall walls on two sides, a big fenced area… all it needed was barbed wire.
    I’ve lived in a place where there was nothin for miles and miles, and driven through places where there’s nothin for tens or hundreds of miles, and I’m always amused by people who think they’ll find a hotel, or a bathroom, or a gas station. I should write about that.
    Sign me up for that Tunxis Trio! And I’ll have a Meomi, cause I’m in the mood for that flat finish.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was cold, but a great day. It’s not open, but the site manager was fine with me just walking around. I’ll be back for a tour once it opens. I always thought of school as kind of a prison. But, I never went to one that looked the part.

      I remember driving from the moving van with our mother’s stuff in it, towing her car, through your neck of the woods and beyond. I kept wondering if we were going to run out of gas, but my brother new of “that station” in “that town” – we did find it. but there’s a big bunch of nothing out there.

      The Tunxis Trio was pretty good.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Rest areas open from 8:30 til 3:30 is just crazy. Who needs a rest area at 8:30 am? Early birds, I guess. I read this to my husband since he lived most of his life in southeastern CT. He said it was because the DOT workers for the rest areas only worked 35 hours a week and got off around 3:30. Please pee in RI is funny. RI is a funny place anyway from what I hear. I get the impression there is some sort of rivalry ? between CT and RI. But I could be mistaken.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s right about the 35-hour thing. RI & CT are both struggling but RI seems to be recovering faster. Part of the reason is that almost the entire state can now be a bedroom community to Boston, as our southwest corner is to NY. The governors are staging a little battle these days.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I love that little dry stone wall! those thinks just knock me out. And thanks for the link to the make your own sign site. I may have some fun with that, some time. There is a toll bridge between Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana. We’re just waiting for them to slap tolls on the rest. They do sell (or maybe rent) transponders; if you cross often, they pay off, since they reduce your toll. So far, I’ve been able to avoid the toll, but I feel like my days of that are numbered.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Once they put a toll in place, it’s like a drug to those people. More money, is all they see.

      I’m glad you like the prison. I’ve been making signs for presentations for a long time.

      Like

  14. This is one of those posts that makes me shake my head in exasperation. The fireworks was the last straw. In addition to *celebrating* what is essentially a failure, what you didn’t mention was how expensive it is to have a fireworks display!! Sheesh.
    … but I think that old prison looks pretty interesting and I would be interested in visiting it. Thanks for the warning though. If I ever do end up in Connecticut, I’ll make sure to pee beforehand 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – good idea, Joanne. I was on the phone with my best friend when the budget finally passed. He lives in an apartment near Bushnell Park, and he was trying to figure out why they were having fireworks in October. Then I saw on the news that it was because they had finally passed the budget – 90 days late! I don’t want to know how much the fireworks cost.

      If the prison opens on time, it will be due to the hard work of the people who have been working to shore up the foundation, the walls and the mine shaft. I’m sure the legislators will take credit.

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  15. Did you take Faith to the Newgate Prison? I loved the way it seemed scenic and bright azure blue skies on this day. The artistic stone engraving was a nice addition (donated art!) to this post, Dan.
    I enjoyed your foggy and sunrise photos earlier on a post and am excited to see Maddie girl. 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Faith and I will likely your the prison when it opens. I just drove over to get a few pictures. I was lucky to meet the site manager and get a little bit of the back story.

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