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Dealing for the mafia at age 15

"A young lady said she was afraid of me because of the lifestyle that I lived."


This guy comes up to me and says,  “Hey, you’re being followed. A blonde-headed guy with a bandana wrapped around his leg. His name is Lieutenant Strausborough.”

I was fifteen years old and I was playing with guys that were in their forties. I had a pair of drum sticks in my hand since I was seven or eight. The preachers of the day for me were the Rolling Stones and Led Zepplin. Sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. Hedonism won for me. I quit school and started selling drugs. I hitchhiked to New York City. Fazzio was a mafia guy. Just like in the movies, he showed up in a Cadillac in a three-piece suite carrying a briefcase into the room where he met us. They had marijuana fields in Mississippi. So, we actually made a connection that day and we would buy drugs from Fazzio and sell them on the streets and college campuses and high school campuses in Ohio. 

I was walking down the street one day and out of the clear blue, this guy comes up to me and says, “Hey, you’re being followed. Don’t turn around now but there is a blonde-headed guy with a bandana wrapped around his leg. His name is Lieutenant Strausborough.” That totally freaked me out. I did turn around and see the guy. I thought maybe I should get my hair dyed a different color. It was brown. It was long. I had her trim it up a little bit and dye my hair blonde. 

The house was surrounded by police vehicles, screeching tires and the police had me up against the car. 

In jail, I was put in solitary confinement and I began to go through withdrawals, drug withdrawals. I had been high for I guess a couple of years without missing a day. I tried to call out to God but I couldn’t even get a prayer out of my lips. I couldn’t figure out how to pray or what to say. My mother was a Scandinavian Lutheran and my father a Bat Mitzvah Jew from New York City. 

I said, “God, I don’t know who you are. I don’t know if you are Jesus or if you’re Budda but I need you to show me yourself somehow and get me out of here. If you get me out of this jail cell I will do anything for you.” 

Before I prayed that prayer I couldn’t sleep and after I prayed that prayer I fell into a deep sleep. When I woke up a Jewish attorney was waiting for me. He asked me if I wanted to be released to a outreach for youth center. So on my first day there they introduced me to a guy named Barney who was going to be my counselor. Barney was an old buddy of mine from high school that I used to drink with. We smoked pot together and chased girls together. When everybody else was out of the room and it was just me and him I said, “Let’s go grab a beer, man.” He said, “I’m not drinking anymore actually. I have found something a lot better.” I said, “I am not into religion.” He said, “This isn’t religion.” I said, “Jesus isn’t religion?” He said, “No. Religion is man's attempt to find God. Jesus is God's attempt to find man.” He asked if I wanted to pray with him. I had never heard a gospel like that in my life. I said, “Sure. Yeah, I’d love to find out if Jesus is real.” I knew I had a long sentence potentially. I went to bed that night thinking about getting up early the next morning and leaving.

Overnight, I knew that God was real and that I had made a connection with God. My search was over. I pulled my hair to the side and looked in the mirror. I was feeling very different and I saw a set of eyes looking back at me that was clear. I felt this burden off of my shoulders. I felt a connection with God for the first time in my life. I had some money left from my last drug sale. I went out and got a hair cut and I bought a big ole thick Thompson Chain Reference Bible. 

I came home with a haircut and a Bible, filled with Jesus. I said, “Dad, Jesus changed my life.”  It made for some interesting conversation. Dad was happy for me but very skeptical. Dad’s a Bart Mitzvah Jew from New York. He’s a scientist, an inventor, a very successful man. We lived in a predominately Jewish community. 

A young lady said she was afraid of me because of the lifestyle that I lived. She heard some girls talking in the hall that there was a Bible study at Bob Lubell’s house and Bob Lubell had become a preacher. That struck a chord with her and she thought if there’s a God that can change Bob Lubell that might be the real God. She is actually a missionary today in Albania, her and her husband. 

A few years later my father told people that he had seen evidence that Jesus Christ was alive and risen from the dead. 

Bob - Dealing for the mafia at age 15

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