Upstairs in the living quarters above his office in Los Angeles, Dr. Sebi had just finished eating dinner with Chef Ahki and celebrity chef Lauren Von Der Pool. When I arrived—I think it was sometime around early evening—I witnessed the tail end of what appeared to be a lively exchange between the threesome: fanfare for an on-tour lecture with Dr. Sebi, Ahki and Lauren blending talks of natural healing with natural food demonstrations. That’s the gist of what I heard back in 2015, months before Dr. Sebi died in Honduras. I saw and spoke with him for the last time that evening.
The working dinner vibe trailed Chef Ahki and Lauren when they left the building, giving way to a more laid-back atmosphere I occupied in Sebi’s space. By 2015, I no longer viewed my role in his life as a journalistic one or as simply a patron of his products. I segued full throttle into his life as advocate, protégé and friend, a natural progression after three trips to his birthplace and two books.
With staff ending the work day and trickling out of his office, Sebi started our conversation with news he said he had about someone I met in Honduras. In 2008, I traveled there, to Roatan, to continue work on Sebi’s biography and other book ideas. Sightseeing headlined the trip more than work, including a visit to the home of Plonty Jones, the captain that hired a young Alfredo Bowman to help transport bananas on the boat Zolaleta between 1953 and 1954. His work on the Zolaleta and Captain Jones’s recommendations led Alfredo to a job as merchant seaman on the Standard Fruit Company’s ship, Granada, a 3,000-ton vehicle that sailed across the Gulf of Mexico to its North American destination, the United States—New Orleans, Louisiana the main stop.
Captain Plonty Jones
(retired in Roatan, Honduras)
As you know, from reading Seven Days in Usha Village: A Conversation with Dr. Sebi, New Orleans is where Sebi (still Alfredo at the time) began his American life, marrying and then raising his family there in the 1950s. The rest, they say, is history, and Plonty Jones is very much a part of Sebi’s journey. He passed away in 2015. Alfredo Bowman, Dr. Sebi, followed August 6, 2016. Today, we remember his transition.
Dr. Sebi and Plonty Jones in Roatan, Honduras, 2008