Remembering My Friend, Quincey Bowens (1957 — 1974)

I want to tell you about a friend of mine from “back in the day.” His name was Quincey Bowens. While a teenager living on Russell Street in Kingston, New York, I met Quincey. One day, I had gotten into a fight with him in front of the hedges at Mrs. Jones’ house (my neighbor). I was no match for Quincey! In our struggle, he punched me in the chest, knocking me straight through the hedges. I had the “wind knocked out” of me.

The story, though, did not end with him knocking me through the hedges. That was not Quincey! Instead, he walked around the hedges and picked me up from the ground. Laughing, he said, “Are you okay, Timmy?”

I often think about Quincey and wonder why he did not gloat over “kicking my butt.” I think, though, that some people admire their opponents, even in defeating them. I would like to think that way about Quincey. After that day, we became friends until the day he died at the young age of 16. I hope to see him in the life to come. I want to ask him, ‘When I was down, why did you help me up?’ ‘Why did you not just let me stay on the ground, defeated?’

My literal experience with Quincy has taught me a metaphorical lesson about helping others and it is this: Love “picks up” people when they are “down;” when they are brought low. Love does not look down on them. That is a lesson about life! It is also a profound lesson about a teenager, my old friend whom I love and miss, Quincey Bowens.

Today, after searching for years online, I finally found a very old photo Quincey Bowens. He was beautiful. That is still how I remember him. He was tragically killed by a drunk driver on my birthday, which was April 28, 1974. Rest in Peace, Quincey!



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