Gander Hill Prison, Wilmington, DE
My friend L passed away this week. I had gotten to know him pretty well in the year since he left Gander Hill and joined our weekly ex-offenders meeting.
L had such a fierce spirit of pride and independence that, though he was in his late sixties, he spent most of last winter living in a used tent in the woods outside Newark, Delaware, rather than submit to our sometimes degrading (and for older folks– dangerous) world of homeless shelters.
Like any of us , L had not lived a perfect life, and the missteps of his younger days had left some very deep wounds on the lives of those who'd depended on him at one time.
But I came to know him long after those early mistakes. I knew him after he'd been beaten down by many years in prison, and more disappointments and regrets than most human beings could bare. I knew him after he'd committed himself to trying to live as a truly free man. Doing odd jobs for folks to scratch together a little money. Making friends with his openness and warm smile. Always taking time when someone else (especially one of his ex-offender brothers) was in need.
L didn't leave much behind beyond his old guitar, his beautiful poems and a gently used felt fedora I'd once given him! (I told him it made him a "babe magnet... and indeed he had recently begun keeping company with a "lady-friend"!) I learned that following my attempts to notify his next of kin, his daughter came all the way up from Kentucky to claim his few "sellable" possessions. But, sadly, not his body.
L would certainly not be judged a success by most of the standards our world applies to a man's life. But he will leave this world as one of my heroes for the courage, kindness, and humility he came to exemplify for me. He believed a man was never to old to grow and change. And he continued to prove this until the very last!
Guess I just needed to tell someone!
Please stop by our New Beginnings - Next Step page on Facebook. And keep ALL the wounded ones in your prayers!
I'll be doing a few shows close to home next week before getting back on the road! I'm especially looking forward to my return to Newtown Square, PA's Burlap and Bean!
I hope I'll see you soon!
Please check the web site for info on these and other upcoming shows....
Friday, February 28
Saturday, March 1
Saturday, March 8
Sunday, March 9
Monday, March 10
Thursday, March 13
Friday, March 14
© Flying Stone Music
Most of this stuff was typed by a songer-singwriter, so please excuse typos and double check all info!
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