June 2, 2011
by Lonnie Bowen (author's profile)


Hello and greetings.

My name is Lonnie Bowen (prison # 89215).

Utah State Prison
P.O. Box 250
Draper, UT 84020

I am a 35-year-old African American who is very interested in meeting new and interesting people of all nationalities, female and male, in hopes of building a solid and true friendship.

I would also like to share my story, the anger, the pain, the rage, the loneliness, and the redemption of my life in hopes to give people a better understanding and hope to someone who is going through what I went through in life; that it is possible to seek redemption and change in your life.

I am an ex-gang member and drug dealer who has witnessed a lot of tragedy, anger, and pain in my life. Who has, through trials and tribulation, soul searching has changed my heart and soul and my thinking patterns for the best. Please do not let my photo fool you. It was taken two years ago. I look a lot different now, and I am a lot happier in life than I was in this photo. I am far from a mean and scary person. Females tend to say I am a sweet and big teddy bear, so feel free to blog and even write me. I am looking forward to hearing from and building a special friendship.

As a kid growing up in one of San Francisco's housing projects, I've seen a lot. I was raised by a single, strong black woman, my mother. My mother was not a perfect mother. She had run-ins with the law, from drug sells to armed robbery. But my mother always made sure there was food on the table and clothes on my back.

When I was around six years old, I had a best friend who around my age. We did everything together, from trying to breakdance, playing hide and seek, to playing with our Transformers and GI Joes in the sandbox in the middle of the projects. We were so close that when we got in trouble, his mom would whip the both of us. And my mom would whip the both of us. Sometimes when we would get a double up, back to back.

One day when we were playing in the sandbox, two older kids around 16 years old started arguing and a fight broke out between them. Next thing we know, there was a big family fight between both families. I heard someone scream "Gun!" and then I heard what sounded like firecrackers. Then everyone started running and screaming. So I started running towards my house.

I looked back to see where my best friend was, and I saw him laying in the sandbox. I ran towards him and the gunshots, and I could hear my mom screaming my name. When I got to him, I started puling his arm, telling him, "Hurry up, you got to come to my house." When I pulled him over, it was a sight that I will never forget. Blood was all over his face and head, and I could not tell at all that this was my best friend in the whole world.

Later that night, my mother told me that I would never see my best friend again, and that he went home. I looked at my mother and said, "Mom, I'll see him tomorrow. I'll go to his house around the corner so we can play." My mother looked me in the eyes and said, "Son, he will not be there. He went home to heaven, to be with our heavenly father." And I remember telling my mother, "Why would he not go home to his mom?" and if he was really my friend, why would he want to leave and not want to play with me anymore.

And I remember crying, and I knew at that time that I lost my best friend for life.

Throughout my childhood, that day haunted me through nightmares. The pain of losing my best friend and seeing his death face to face at six years old. Has that ever happened to you? Has any of you lost a best friend through death and/or tragedy? Did it ever feel like a big part of your heart was taken from you and confused of why? I mean, I was six years old, and I felt like I could not go on with my life without my best friend and brother, who I still love to this day and miss.

This was the only the first time I saw death, and I never knew in my life that at the age of six that I would be at 16 funerals for family and friends.

To be continued...


Replies (2) Replies feed

YoungGostra Posted 12 years ago. ✓ Mailed 12 years ago   Favorite
Hello Lonnie,

This is a very touching story and I feel for you. I have never lived anything like you have except drug dealing. I just read your blog and thought i'd write back so that you would know, someone read your story and feels for you. I wish the best for you, your family and your soul. Keep making positive changes and keep your head up. Feel free to write back.

Danny C

Lonnie Bowen Posted 11 years, 10 months ago.   Favorite
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