***An update on Bix from Joe Power-Drutis***
April 21, 2011 4:15 PM
I received a phone call from Bix at 3:50 PM today. It was a very odd call. First a recorded message said it was a collect call from a Federal Detention Center, then the recording changed and said the call was “one” free call and I would not be charged.
I was connected with Bix but could hardly recognize his voice. It was not because he sounded particularly bad, but because the voice reception was extremely poor. I had to ask him several times to repeat what he was saying and to speak slowly (and anyone who knows him knows he doesn’t speak very quickly at all). When Theresa, my wife, was in Afghanistan a few years back, the phone reception I had talking with her was 100% better than what I experienced speaking with Bix.
To make matters worse, the “free call” they provided lasted about 60 seconds, then we were abruptly disconnected. First off, even with the transmission disturbance, I felt his voice sounded strong enough and
vital. He managed to get across to me that he was flown from SeaTac to Las Vegas and then bussed from Las Vegas to the Federal Detention Center in Pahrump, Nevada.
It was the next part of the conversation that was quite something; but was uniquely Bix. I had no idea how long we had to talk, I don’t think he did either, but he had only one thing on his mind, “What do you hear bout Dutch, how is he doing”. I was able to say that I hadn’t heard anything new, when we were abruptly ‘cut off’.
He didn’t talk about himself, then again he hardly ever does. He is uniquely honed to diminish self and obsess about the wellbeing of so many others.
In this case, Bix was asking about his dear friend, Dutch Schultz. They have been in deep friendship from childhood. Dutch is presently very ill. He and his wife Juanita are staying with their son Eric in Philadelphia while Dutch undergoes evaluation and treatment for cancer. In early March, Dutch and Juanita came to Tacoma to visit with Bix, knowing it might be their last time together.
Bix told me several times that, as teenagers (pre Jesuit era) he and Dutch were at the Winthrop Hotel in downtown Tacoma, in the bathroom on the 2nd floor when they decided it was time to settle an ongoing
argument. Neither he nor Dutch ever told me which of them was the last man standing. But I do know this – anyone who has ever had a knockdown, drag out struggle with Bix, finds their relationship with him is both healed and stronger for it; no matter how long it takes. I know this note will go out to more than one who has experienced this. While Dutch was here, we went to the Winthrop to take pictures and re-enact their Viking stances.
In the last few years, Bix’s meditations and hopes were mainly about ‘Resurrection’. May this Holy Week bring you and I to a better awareness of his hopes.
A Blessed, Happy Easter
Editor’s Note: The Pahrump Federal Detention Center was built and is operated by the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). According to CCA’s Website they represent “the nation’s fifth-largest corrections system, behind the federal government and three states, and operates 66 facilities, including 42 that are company-owned, with a total design capacity of approximately 81,000 beds in 19 states and the District of Columbia.” Who says crime doesn’t pay ???