Lifelong Lockhart resident offering words of love and hope, one day at a time
By Kristen Meriwether, Editor LPR
In the middle of Cottonwood Street on Lockhart’s east side, two white boards sit in a yard, a beautiful orange tree in the background. There are no flashy lights, no neon sign, but the daily hand-written messages of love and good thoughts are providing inspiration to everyone who drives by in the community.
The sign is the work of Lockhart native Irma Rangel Bowden, who was born on the same property the sign now sits. It was a pre-COVID pet project, something she started when students were going back to school.
“I just wanted to share something with someone, to lift somebody up,” Bowden said in a Jan. 22 interview with LPR.
Bowden says she gets up early every day, walks her dog, makes her coffee, and then sits down to pen her message. Sometimes she Googles to find a good quote or saying, but other times she will write based on what she feels or to process something she is going through.
“When I write, it comes from my heart,” Bowden said. “I have to feel it.”
The messages have also served as memorials. When local residents pass away, she will often write, “thinking of you…” or write about how thankful she was to have known the person.
When former Lakers star Kobe Bryant died tragically in late January 2020, she posted a message mourning his death. That afternoon people began placing flowers by the sign, creating a memorial to the basketball star right in her front yard.
That wasn’t the only time readers of the sign have interacted with Bowden. She said people have left plants, and notes, some of which she shared with LPR.
“Thank you for your signs, they always, make my day!” ‘appreciative neighborhood resident’ wrote.
As LPR was conducting the interview in her yard, a neighbor walked by and waved to say thanks.
“I like it because I can read it every day and it makes me feel good,” neighbor Margaret Roberson said. “It cheers me up.”
On her birthday in October Bowden said she wrote, “honk, it’s my birthday,” and reported she heard honking all day, even into the night.
“It hits my heart. It’s like, I really touched somebody.” Bowden said of the positive feedback she’s received. “But then they are touching me back.”
The messages are short or long, but regardless, people take the time to read it. Bowden reports some people will get out of their car to read it in its entirety.
In a day which giving hugs and connecting isn’t as easy as it used to be, she’s found a way reach out to her community.
“I’m giving something back to the neighbors, and whoever wants to read it,” Bowden said. “I feel like I’ve touched people.”Lifelong Lockhart resident offering words of love and hope, one day at a time