A second chance

By ELISA NAVARRO, Student Writer

“I had liver failure from acetaminophen poisoning and the bottom line was that I was very close to passing,” said Jeffery Bowman.

Bowman was working as a teacher at Roosevelt High School when he had his near death experience three years ago. After his brush with death he decided to retire and was refueled to use his artistic passion to write a documentary about his grandmother, “The Kerosene Lamp.”

“One of the big reasons I retired was because I had all these different projects that I wanted to get done. There were other factors that contributed to my retirement but the reality of my mortality and the deep need to tell a few stories while I still could made it a relatively easy decision,” said Bowman.

“I had long wanted to do a story of my adventures with my grandmother, Billie Murphy, and I felt time was an issue, so having a second chance made me consider whatever time I may have gotten to use wisely,” said Bowman. “So family and my art, which I luckily get to combine, became my top priorities.”

When Bowman was seven years old he stayed with his grandmother who was a lookout for the U.S. Forestry Department. When she was off the clock they would listen to radio shows together while being surrounded by a glass window, on a peak 30 feet above ground…where all you could see were the stars in the distance.

“My grandmother was a great storyteller and I would record her. I was in my twenties, so I have her voice recorded with great stories and we will be adding her voice into the documentary,” said Bowman.

“I have all of this stuff from my grandmother and she had this kerosene lamp and it was the only thing that would light the room,” said Bowman, “I can still remember that you feel like you are in the clouds and there are lightening rods on both sides and I could see lightening coming down from the windows.”

Bowman said it would take about a year in production before anything is shown but they want to make sure everything is done at its best and correctly.

“You learn from the past and plan for future but the only thing you have control over is the moment you are living,” said Bowman, “You never now where life will take you with the decisions you make and path you make for yourself.”

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