The kid who built an urban treehouse to survive
This story aired in the April 18, 2023 episode of Crosscurrents.
As kids many of us dreamt of building and playing in a tree house. For Donald Vaughn, also known as “fish”, that became his everyday reality… but it was far from a dream. Cold, hungry and all alone, Vaughn was kicked out of his house at 11 years old, and built a makeshift treehouse in order to survive. Anthony Ivy, one of our Uncuffed producers at Solano State prison, asked Vaughn to share his nightmare of being unloved, unkept and isolated.
"It started raining. Then ya know it gets cold. Thats when I saw the big tree, a weeping willow."
This piece was brought to you from the team at Uncuffed and edited by Andrew Stelzer and Sonia Paul with sound design from Eric "Maserati-E" Abercrombie. Our work in prisons is supported by the California Arts Council, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and donations from listeners like you. The producers fact-check content to the best of their ability. Content is approved by an information officer.
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Click the play button above to listen to this interview.