Rose smiles and says the sign was a Christmas present from a neighbor. That’s when a freshly showered Ted enters, chuckling in his smoky, affable way, to join me at the table. She’ll hit you with a parole violation for a hangnail.Then she waits a beat and says how, when he gave it to her, she went, Am I supposed to put that in the kitchen or in the bedroom? "It’s very much just a regular community here," he says. Like, for instance, Rose has got a big soft spot for Winnie the Pooh, as I’ve already gleaned from the couple’s video collection.Considering how welcoming they are, however, I’m inclined to resist the urge to assume the worst—and anyway, I don’t particularly want to know the specifics of any of their crimes.Society has already exacted its debt, is my thinking.There are several married couples and a few with kids. But one day Officer Cox shows up unannounced, barges in, and wags her finger at all the Winnie the Pooh dolls and the pictures of Rose’s children, who, per terms and conditions of probation, Rose was barred from seeing, and she goes: I want all this shit out of here or you’re gettin’ violated. Over breakfast, Ted tells me that if I want, I can sit in on an intake call, which is a conference call they’re having with a possible new resident.They’ve even got one stay-at-home dad who’s a registered predator. Ted and Rose themselves got married three years ago, in September, just after Ted was re-released for a probation violation. Rose says how her probation officer, Officer Cox, wouldn’t let her go on a honeymoon. The man’s getting released from prison in a month, and he’ll need somewhere to live.His granddaughter even got to where she’d ask if a guy was on probation.
When she pours me a mug of coffee, I comment on the huge letters eat hanging on the kitchen wall.
Especially since many of them ended up homeless, which so often led to reincarceration.
So he searched Florida top to bottom, looking for a neighborhood that would comply with state and local ordinances, until he and Pat Powers found the site in 2008.
I arrived on a Sunday and found my new friends just finishing up a game of touch football.
Everyone was all sweaty and out of breath and still laughing about how one of the guys, Glenn, had been running a fake reverse and collided with a clothesline pole.