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Holding Camp Release
I was in a holding camp with hundreds of others. My group was in a school surrounded by a large green lawn. Our clothing was old and faded, but not tattered, and we were all thin. Most of the people were adult females; I don't recall seeing children, although our children were often discussed.

We had stashed the few personal odd possession we had in a small hidden cabinet off a dirt path. These consisted primarily of small thin soft covered books, and a couple of boxed up lamps with large bases. We pulled one box out to check on the condition of the lamp. This lamp's base was glass, beautifully painted with a Chinese design. I placed the shade on the lamp, but could not find the finial. An armed guard was coming, so I took the lamp apart and packed it back up in the box and hid it in the cabinet and walked away.

We often talked about escape, and had one planned soon. I was within the school and we found out we were all to be released. One of the women was sobbing, as she did not know how to find her husband. I asked her about her children and she said they were fine and she knew where they were, and I told her to focus on her children and her husband would be found.

The people all seemed dazed and were slow to get into action. Since I was prepared for an escape, I was quick to move. I went to the hidden cabinet to pull out the lamp, however, it was large and bulky and I wasn't sure I wanted to carry it. I encountered a school friend, Patty, and she said she had access to a car and asked if I wanted to ride along and we could pack up our belongings into the large trunk. We planned our route; we were concerned that with the thousands of people released in the state (or country?), the roads and highways would be full of walkers not vehicles and our progress would be slow. So with a quick start we could perhaps stay ahead of the crowds of walkers.

We drove out of the camp but ended up stopping at a university and moving into a dorm. Our possessions now included some canned , and several thick wood sticks about 2 feet long. The wood was vital and our intent was to cut off a slice at a time although I don't recall the purpose...fuel? flavoring for tea? A couple other female friends were now with us in the single dormitory room, and we were trying to be inconspicuous. We could observe the crowds of people from the dorm window, but as we did not want to be seen, we pulled down the black-out drape. We had very little to survive on and did not want to share what we had with the hordes.

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