10. Corpus Christi City Jail (Brownlee & I-37)
My travels to the jail didn't start until I was about 16, not 6, was good Catholic altar boy you know. But started hanging with wrong kids. Funny too is that we all grew up together but never got into trouble until teens.
Never got caught stealing which was sort of a career as a teen. CB radios, had a 1+ or more week habit, and if your car had a CB antenna on it, was a magnet for me unfortunately. Some people had detachable CB radios and other radios so put in trunk, good thing. Anyways here we go. Oh, stealing the pencil from blind man at Upper Broadway post office when 8 does not count, and have made penance, told monsignor Schmidt in confessional about it years later and made peace with God about it. Not the CBs, or coke cases, just that pencil which has haunted me whole life since.
The jail itself, the booking area or so they called it, was front facing freeway. If you got busted for anything you came in back door. sometimes in cuffs, others not, depends on offence. From the old run down house I was living at on 723 Doss, I had fixed up the attic really nice, even no electricity, hot water, AC, or indoor plumbing, a teen needs their space.
And from upstairs, I could see the top of the jail across I-37. So when I would get in jail, that sight reversed and could see top of house & trees at my crappy house & wished I was there even though jail cells seemed clean 2nd floor. The colors of the bars changed from time to time, sometimes grey, other times puke green. Sometimes it was puke, and green ack!
Behind the front desk was a lot of old Corpus Christi Police photos, cars, academy, classes and what not. I wonder what happened to all those now place gone. My dad who worked for AMC Dealerships in CC for years was once a Sergeant of the CCPD. But before my time, would like to possibly one day find out more on that, maybe there is a CCPD Museum can look it up, as they have big Houston Police Museum to research.
For some reason the cooks had some sort of fetish. Wake you up 4am or so, bang on the bars, what passed for breakfast. I remember the grits, if Ididn't know better say they were moving like larvae. A fruit that came from dollar stores with expiration date as soon as they hand it to you, orange, apple, might have been filled with them moving grit critters. Sometimes a small tiny kids box of cereal, so eat Frosted Flakes, Sugar Smacks, or Fruit Loops dry. And coffee, I hate to call it coffee as was more like scalding hot brown water.
If you had a cellmate, they are suddenly your best friend if they have smokes. Or vice versa. And strike up a conversations about 'what cha in fer?' At night the lights never seemed to go out, so make do, it was not only jail lights with cold glare of florescent long bulbs, but also Interstate 37 across street with mercury vapor lights backlit into cell. And time would drift slowly, giving you more time to think about what you might have done to get you in there in first place!
My offenses were stupid (well all are) but one was for driving with suspended license. Fine something like $130 which pretty much wiped out dad's check. Another one was Harboring a Minor. I didn't know was against law to take minor to show her harbor bridge. Ok, that didn't work, it was having a runaway in my old apartment. Didn't know that against law either.
But she had nowhere to stay. And police seemed to watch my apartment at the old Lexington Manor like a hawk, sometimes would jump from 2nd floor back window and leave just so they would not see me leave! Was something like $50 fine there. Another was when they came into my apartment to arrest me and my harbor bridge friend minor, they saw a marijuana plant that looked like Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree. Cop said 'you ain't to smart having that near window' and that charge was dismissed. I shot off my mouth to ex girlfriend about her parents trying to interfere in our doomed relationship, ah, got arrested and Peace Bond stuck on me. Jailed, then released, told not to go near her. So just dumb stuff.
When I moved to The Landing from Lexington Manor all the silliness stopped, no more runaways, minors, and whatnot. so no more Corpus Christi jail. And I knew a few cops at The Landing too, which helped, cool guys. Just cleaned up my act. Besides those minors were now 18.
I may mention that Officer Mudd was not only my nemesis, but my dads nemseis going back into 1950s. If you saw him on motorcycle coming, just turn off, go down side street. Same with The Witch Of Weber.
PHOTOS: Photo #1. The jail is on far right of photo, white building with tower. If I crawled up to I-37 hill from my house, this is actually how close I was to jail. And New Years Eve & 4th of July, amazing how much gunfire erupt, and no cops ever come by our hood! Ok, there was pretty much gunfire EVERY night in our old hood, but never did cops come by, we just accepted that fact.
Photo #2. Not Barney Fife from Andy Griffith show, just a Corpus Christi Police sub station. Imagine this job! More boring that being Maytag Man. now though there are police substations scattered all over cities.
Photo #3. Was hard to get a good night's sleep, as jail is 24/7 you know.
The forlorn sound of cop coming in, unlocking big main door, then calling name, made you fee like a dog at adoption place waiting for someone, anyone, to call your name. Vasquez! Romero! Stakes! Wait what? And off you went, as this usually meant someone bailed you out. Sadly was my parents who didn't have much money to begin with, and sometimes borrowed it to help me out.
Photo #4. This is where jail was, and photo from 2019, the old jail has been razed to ground, good riddance, however would have liked to done some paranormal research in there before torn down. Bet it was haunted as hell.
Not only with cops still on duty, but prisoners that died there, maybe even the late John Sartain, who was assassinated by sniper from the ghetto on Winnebago street
Photo #5. Corpus Christi Police logo shows 1852, something as a native born Corpus Christian, didn't know. There is a fish, boat fixing to hit oil rigs, and something in back looks like Tetris blocks, didn't know Tetris existing in 1982 wow.
Photo #6. Here are MY SIGNS I crawled across behind them one to other years ago like a dumbazz. But was fun. Sure would have liked to take one of them home with me to Houston though. I'm standing in middle of I-37, 100 degrees, my old house on right and under the Bayfront big sign, you can see another shot of how close we lived to the popos. There is a crane there knocking it down in photo.
Photo #7. From top of I-37 'my front yard' growing up, as I-37 reconfigured and new bridges put in, here is one more shot from my view, of proximity of popo station from where my house stood. The crane on right is taking down police station corner of Brownlee