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The kid who built an urban treehouse to survive

Donald "Fish" Vaughn
Anthony Ivy
Donald "Fish" Vaughn

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.

Follow @WeAreUncuffed on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Learn more, sign up for Uncuffed news, and support the program at www.weareuncuffed.org 

Click the play button above to listen to this interview.

From The Producers Of Uncuffed
Anthony Ivy is originally from North Stockton, California. He is a producer for Uncuffed and was rcently released from prison after a 13 year sentence. While incarcerated, Anthony worked and produced many stories from the inside. Since Anthony's release, he is continuing the road to success from the other side of the walls.
Stories from inside California prisons