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   Woodstock phase of Powerful's birthday
Thursday, July 2 2020
This afternoon, the festivities for the second day of Powerful's first celebrated birthday as an adult began with the arrival of his social worker Risa, who has known him since he was either seven or nine years old. Shortly thereafter came another car containing a woman named Janie and her daughter Gabby, a plump gothy young adult with plenty of piercings, tattoos, and technicolor hair. Janie knows Powerful through her husband Javier, who has served something like 27 years in prison for a crime that resulted in the death of a police officer. Due to the nature of the victim (reason enough for the phrase "Blue Lives Matter" to be a gratuitous expression of punching down), he is unlikely to get out any time soon, though he is up for parole soon. They all socialized with Gretchen and Powerful for awhile out on the east deck while I took one final call from my boss. Then I put on a nice shirt and joined everyone for a three-car convoy out to Woodstock. While finding our way to the back of the Garden Café's outdoor dining area (where one can have a sit-down meal again), some woman expressed concern about Ramona, demanding that she be kept far away. Oddly, though, the woman expressed no such concern about Neville, who was lying in the gravel only a few feet away. Evidently her prejudice was entirely a consequence of the Ramona's color. For food, I ordered the black bean taco, even though it's one of the more boring things on the menu. But I had them stuff it with jalapeños, which made it a bit spicy even for me. I also had a cup of the lentil soup, even though I'm usually meh about lentils. Nobody drank any alcohol except for me; I had two Abbey Ales. There was still plenty of cake from the one Gretchen had baked for yesterday's party, so Gretchen brought that.
Much of dinner conversation was about the coronavirus and its relationship to prison, either from the perspective of the prisoners such as Powerful, or from those who have tried to visit them, like Janie. She says that, at least at Sing Sing (where Javier is), guests will not be able to visit until at least August.
Later we did something I never really enjoy: we walked slowly up and down the street, occasionally looking into the closed windows of shops. Like us, everyone we encountered on the street were wearing masks. I had Neville on a leah, and we encountered two dogs along the way. One was a large "puppy" whose human explained that he hadn't gotten to meet many other dogs because of the pandemic.


In Woodstock this evening. From left: Risa, Gretchen, Powerful, Ramona the Dog, Gabby, and Janie


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