In Memorial

Lonnie Priest

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08/16/19 08:29 AM #1    

Loyd White

First met Lonnie in elementary school at Monte Vista.  I was not close to Lonnie but he was an interesting character.  Through the years I was aware of some of his adventures.  I hope he was able to obtain the lessons from this incarnation.  I honor the divine spark that is in your being.

08/16/19 07:50 PM #2    

Fred Lewandowski

There’s a photo floating around from the 30 year reunion with Lonnie front and center. It was a fun night . RIP Buddy



08/17/19 06:01 AM #3    

David Sobolewski

When my family moved to Costa Mesa in 1963 Lonnie was the first person I met. We lived close to each other and he befriended me . It was a lonely time for me as a 12 year old at the time and hooking up with someone was huge. He introduced me to his friends in the neighborhood like Gloria Gun and Margie Highsmith and we hung out a lot playing with his pidgins [sp. ?] and riding our bikes around which helped me become familiar with the area. As the years went by our social groups were different but we never lost that friendship. Seeing him in the halls at school always brought smiles and "what's happening" questions. After moving away from Costa Mesa I was passing through the area and went into Blackies for a beer and after ordering a huge hand slapped me on the back and as I turned around I was greeted by a big smile and then a tight hug. It was Lonnie and we got caught up as to our life exploits. I had spent time in college and he had spent time in the joint. We laughed hard at that and swore to stay in contact. I didn't make that happen and regret it to this day. He was there for me as a kid and I'll never forget it. Thanks Lonnie, your memory will always be in my heart and our friendship will remain as strong as any I had in junior or high school. 

08/17/19 10:34 AM #4    

Pam Birkbeck (Rempt)

I am thankful for the sharing time with Lonnie at our 30th. He was a good man with what it seemed to have been a rough ride.  He was kind and loving to his mom.  That touched me, and will now be the main thing I will remember about him.

08/17/19 12:16 PM #5    

Don Farris

It hurts to write about and know of another of our classmates passing.  I'm quite sure Lonnie would not want to be remembered in the past as being greater than he was in the present.  I once knew Lonnie for about a year in 1967-1968.  I find myself thinking about him far beyond the limited duration of the time we spent together. I doubt if he ever remembered me. He was adventuresome in ways that often pushed the edges of behavior far beyond what most people could tolerate and which were sometimes outrageous and contrasted with the staid society that I knew.
He was a person that struck me as someone who knew himself; he was Lonnie without pretense or manipulation, qualities that were rather unique at the time.  On those edges he would take me to experience wildly divergent places from motocross racing to a Ravi Shankar concert at UC Irvine, neither of which I knew at the time.  He was like the Jack Kerouac in "On the Road" of the times.  I think we all come to realize that the joyrides get a little less joyful as they progress, I certainly know that mine have.  There are certain people that stand out in our memories for whatever strange reasons there my be. Lonnie was such a person....

08/17/19 01:06 PM #6    

Robert Golding

Like David Sobolewski, I meet Lonnie when his family (big brothers Jonnie & Ron, and you never called Ron, Ronnie or else you were in for a pounding) moved into Mesa North.  Lonnie’s grandmother lived with them and call him BooBoo, he didn’t like it, so whenever I felt like taking a couple of punches, I would call him BooBoo, later on he would just give me “the look”.  We quickly became friends with a lot of the same interest, having fun and getting into trouble.  We built pigeon coups in our back yards and trapped grounds owls in the fields around our track.  Summers we would take the bus to Newport where his parents had Bamboo Dry Cleaners and we would spend the whole day playing in the waves, later on learning to surf.  We would shower off then run to the cleaners where his mom would always have a warm towel for us to dry off with before giving us a ride home. Often, I would be invited to say for dinner when his mom Lucy would be making her crispy beef tacos, the best.

Our interest switched to slot car racing and we spent a lot of time in his neighbor’s garage building and racing slot cars.  When we were just 15, we both got motorcycles and it was only natural that we stripped them down and started riding them around the fields in back of our track (were the 405 and So. Coast Plaza is).  That lead to racing them at Lake Elsinore, Prado & Lake Perris, Lonnie would go on to work at Award Motors and always had a love for motorcycles.

It was the first day of our sophomore year walking to school that BooBoo pulled a joint out of his shirt pocket smiled at me and lit it.  He had pinched just enough form Ron’s stash to roll one joint in wheat straw zig zags, school just wasn’t the same after that.  Unfortunately, by our senior year we were into “the hard stuff” which Lonnie struggled with his whole life.  Luckily, I was drafted and two years in the army got me going in a different direction.

Lonnie and I always stayed in touch through out the years and would meet up over a couple of beers and reminisce about all of our wild adventures, and there were many.  I am glad I knew Lonnie as well as I did and will always remember him for his quick smiles and warm greetings. He was a very competitive guy and that smile would always spread across his face when he had bettered you at something which he often did.  I hope were ever he is they have motorcycles and he riding off into the sunset...  

08/17/19 06:20 PM #7    

Ron Brann

. I hadn’t heard from Lonnie  in many years. We were very close friends in high school. Lonnie was a different kinda guy could be really nice or just as mean as possible. A while ago a old friend told me that Lonnie had died , but found out he hadn’t, I spoke to Lonnie a few years ago and he didn’t sound good back then . There was just something about him that made you feel sorry for him maybe that’s why I put up with his mean side. Lonnie had a few bad breaks but most of them were self inflected. Rest In Peace 


11/15/19 08:37 AM #8    

Kathy Yoak (Rees)

Lonnie and I had so much fun in Cooking Class.  Of course I did the cooking and he did the eating. We became good friends and kept in touch for many years. I know he went through some tough times but he was really such a good guy.  Last time I saw him was at one of my son's little league games. We lost touch after that but i will always have good memories of him.

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