Fighting Back

Visiting Mr. Steele – a general update 12/9

Free Edgar Steele

FES Admins and Edgar Steele supporters share one thing the Mr. Steele cannot – at present – share:  FREEDOM.  We can drive some miles to attend a gathering, walk across the street to visit and chat with a neighbor.  Our temporarily-fallen comrade languishes in a solitary jail cell, no TV, no Internet, restricted mail and reading material (** more on this below).  We felt it timely to report on a recent visit by two of the FES Admins to Spokane County Jail only two days past;  12/7/2010.

(As an aside, please be informed that Mr. Steele has been visited by his wife Cyndi – completely supervised visits for personal issues only – since the no-contact court order was modified over a month ago.  Also, others on the “can-visit” list have visited him, but those visits have not been posted on this web site.)

Long-time friend of the family Allen Banks and FES webmaster Bob Magnuson (both honored to be on the very short list of approved jail visitors) went to see Mr. Steele on Tuesday.  Here is a very condensed summary of the visit.

Before we went upstairs to the visiting room, another inmate visitor was detained by Spokane police (3), hand-cuffed and led away.  This arrest was uneventful and done in quiet mutterings, so the reasons for this were not known.

Al and I spent perhaps near 40 minutes with Mr. Steele, who looked in quite-good physical shape, replete in prison garb, but sporting a nice haircut.  When we commented on his appearance, he replied, “yes, this is what prison will do for you”.   When asked what Mr. Steele wanted or needed that we might enable, he replied “a hacksaw and helicopter” – in jest, of course.

Mr. Steele observed his side of the visiting area was possibly 20-some degrees warmer than in the inmate areas.   We updated him on events and case efforts, FES web site traffic and donations.  Mr. Steele was thankful for the books sent him to read, and prefers “escapist” material.   (If the reader would like to send him a book, please contact us via the “Contact” page for suggested genre.)

It surprised us to find Mr. Steele’s own book, “Defensive Racism” – sent to him – was denied delivery on grounds of “anti-social content”.  One wonders what Big Brother’s first name is, since we seem to meet him every day.  There is an approved magazine list that can be sent inmates, and Popular Science is NOT approved.

The visit was as upbeat as one can be in adjoining tiny rooms separated by thick glass and intercom.  What seems lighthearted in the above report is really our efforts to keep the visit from being a downer for Edgar.  That he can smile and offer moderate humorous sarcasm shows the strength and persistence of one falsely jailed.  We left, with our friend returning to his 20-degree cooler “cooler”.

** On the issue of magazines, here are titles which are on the approved reading Spokane County Jail list (which Mr. Steele expressed interest in):

Wired — PC World — Smart Money — Business Week — Money — Newsweek

Considering the upcoming season of giving, if the reader would like to take out a subscription for delivery to Mr. Steele, again, please contact us and we will make sure duplicates do not occur.