Mt. Vernon Register-News

Community News Network

March 21, 2013

Jail dance lets fathers, daughters take a few steps together

(Continued)

RICHMOND, Va. —

Back at the jail, he's trying to find a belt that will fit. He's lost 40 pounds since getting locked up.

"I just gotta break this cycle I'm in. I'm just tired of it," Andre Morman says, adding that he can't wait to see his youngest daughter. "I haven't been able to pick her up in nine months."

At around 1:30 p.m. the girls are taken down a long hallway to meet their fathers. But instead of waiting they all rush to one another. This time, the fathers don't bother choking back tears. They just let themselves cry.

"Is jail over yet, Daddy?" calls out Jhaniyika, who runs into her father's arms.

He can't answer yes. So he just hugs her tightly.

"Introducing, Joey Atkins and his daughter Alexis," the event's master of ceremonies booms as the pair walks a red — paper — carpet.

They have their photos taken in the multipurpose room, which has been decorated with purple paper tablecloths and balloons. The event begins with a journaling exercise where the fathers and daughters write notes to each other.

"I am having fun. It's gonna be hard to leave," Alexis writes.

There's a chicken dinner and a sugary cake. Celebrity guest Chad Coleman, a Richmond native who grew up in the foster care system and later became famous for playing reformed ex-convict Cutty in "The Wire," comes forward to praise the event.

Everyone is on their best behavior. The fathers pull out their daughters' chairs and rise when their daughters come back to their seats after being away, manners they learned in their fathering class. Some huddle and share family and school news. One daughter charms her dad into promising she can have a summer pass to Kings Dominion.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 23, 2014

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 2.00.42 PM.png VIDEO: Train collides with semi truck carrying lighter fluid

    A truck driver from Washington is fortunate to be alive after driving his semi onto a set of tracks near Somerset, Ky., and being struck by a locomotive, which ignited his load of charcoal lighter fluid.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • mama.jpg What we get wrong about millennials living at home

    If the media is to be believed, America is facing a major crisis. "Kids," some age 25, 26, or even 30 years old, are living out of their childhood bedrooms and basements at alarmingly high numbers. The hand-wringing overlooks one problem: It's all overblown.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet

    It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.
    For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.

    July 18, 2014

  • The terrible history of passenger planes getting shot out of the sky

    What is more clear is that, if initial reports are true, this would be the deadliest incident of a civilian passenger plane being shot down in modern memory. In some instances, the causes of the disaster are still shrouded in mystery. Here are some of the worst events.

    July 17, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.12.33 PM.png Gunshots narrowly miss TV reporter

    A reporter for a West Virginia television station narrowly escaped injury or worse Monday while covering a fatal weekend shooting in Beckley.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 25 hidden secrets in "Weird Al's" "Word Crimes" video

    Yankovic's 14th album was released this week, and it warms my heart containers that he's kept up his geeky brand of humor for so long. While he has written so many incredible songs, none have spoken to my love of proper grammar.
    Until "Word Crimes."

    July 16, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks