Interview With CWP

From the interview with CWP of Renton, WA conducted by Tim Caldwell by phone from the Fort Worden History Center on November 7, 2006.  CWP was a resident at the Fort Worden Juvenile Diagnostic and Treatment Center in 1967-68 when he was 13 years old. Here he tells of life at the Center:

“There was a code that you didn’t tell on other kids.  You kept your mouth shut about things that you may see or that may have seen other people do, like breaking rules, doing things they weren’t supposed to.  You didn’t tell on other kids.  It wasn’t a well-liked place.  There was a lot of discontentment, especially with the older kids when they would get there.  I remember that I was there for approximately six months and an older kid was discontented with what was going on, and I was a little upset with my counselor at the time, because he had given me some news or something or told me to do something. Back then, when you ran away, it was called rambling.  So, this older kid and I decided to ramble and take off and we ended up over by the cemetery.  I can remember hiding behind one of the gravestones as one of the Fort Worden security staff drove by during the evening, then returning the next day and going to segregation. We had just stayed in the cemetery and it got kind of cold that night and we weren’t prepared for that.”

Telling about how easy it was to ramble:

“The door was open in the evening and they would do kind of counts but not all the time.  Not continuously but only at certain times.  A guy could time a count and after they got done counting, he would know that there wouldn’t be another count for two or three hours.  That would give him a two or three hour head start before the next count.  He could sneak out the door and take off and steal a car and be gone and in Tacoma by the time they knew he was gone.  But, they would catch us all pretty quickly when we would ramble.”

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