Remembering Tommy Inge

“Daddy wants you to help him carry some things,” my wife told me that cold Christmas Day in Virginia back in 1983.

A man of few words, I couldn’t say I knew my father-in-law very well back then. We silently drove up to the family Southern States store -- a place that sold mostly grain and fertilizer but also carried a potpouri of other items people in a farm town need like farm clothes, horse tack, and toys.

We headed over to the Nottoway County jail. The jailer immediately led us back to the cells without much conversation. It was almost like he was expecting us.

The best thing I could say about the joint is that it was warm. It was crowded with four men to a cell. And filthy. The commodes, in need of Ajax and without lids, were out in the open of the cell. There was no privacy for the most basic of needs. I can’t remember seeing the sinks or a shower.






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