Retired Teacher Goes to Jail So He Could Check It Off Bucket List

Monday, 11 Mar 2013 03:15 PM

By Michael Mullins

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A 71-year-old retired Cincinnati teacher who received a traffic violation made headlines for choosing a few nights behind bars rather than pay a fine because going to jail was on his bucket list.

After being pulled over for a broken tail light on his pickup truck, Obie Cargile went to court on Jan. 9 and did something few people in his position would do: He confessed

"The judge asked me how I pleaded and I told them I pleaded, 'absolutely guilty,'" Cargile told Cincinnati.com. "In the court they just erupted in laughter when I told them that. Because everyone else was squirming and wiggling and lying so I just told them 'I'm guilty.'"

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A bailiff then instructed Cargile to pay the $265 fine.

Rather than whip out his check book, Cargile said, "'I'm not paying it, lock me up.' And they did, for two and a half days."

When not in jail, Cargile runs marathons, travels around the country and roller skates, but he still has several other things he wants to do before the Grim Reaper contacts him, like hike the Appalachian Trail and visit the Smithsonian museums, the California Redwoods and Key West.

Cargile said jail wasn't as bad as he thought it would be.

"I told them I've been to a lot worse places than jail. And I have. Being in jail was sort of, it was OK, I wouldn't want to go back, but it wasn't bad at all. Food was decent, and nobody bothered me, you know," Cargile said.

Prior to his traffic violation, Cargile said he had never been in trouble with the law, save a few parking tickets over the years.

The former school teacher told Cincinnati.com that he leads a healthy life, falling asleep by 8:30 p.m. each night and waking early the next morning for a daily run.

During his two and half days in the slammer, the former Marine stayed in the prison's maximum security section due to overcrowding.

Cargile said he spent the majority of his time outside his cell, jogging around the jail's basketball court, which was reportedly controlled by a gang of white supremacists.

Cargile, an African-American, said the neo-Nazis never bothered him, though.

"The skinheads called me 'Big Man.' They said 'Big Man, do what you do.' It was never a problem."

He added that his experiences as a Marine were far worse than what he saw in prison.

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"I was a Marine Corps grunt for four years. And some of the places I've been, like those jungles in Southeast Asia. I knew was a lot worse than jail," he said. "Also I knew that going to Marine Corps boot camp, really, jail can't light a candle to Marine Corps boot camp. So I said, 'what the hell, I can do this easy, standing on my head.' And it was easy."

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