His father called him Bunny because he was born on Easter Sunday.
Bunny’s younger brother got a scholarship to Harvard.
I’ve had both of Bunny’s phone numbers memorized for the past 48 years and I mention his name at least once a week. “Don’t make me say Loren L. Lewis” has been a private joke between the Princess and me since we were 17 years old.
I spent my Oklahoma weekends helping Loren load and unload the mountain of antique furniture he would buy at auction.
Loren infected me with an addiction for auction browsing that has never left me.
At the end of each auction, he and I would load 5 times more furniture than could possibly fit into – and on top of – his 1960 Ford Station Wagon. It became a point of honor that we never had to make a second trip. Loren was a legend. He and I could have hauled the entire contents of the average 3-bedroom home, including all major appliances, in just one load.
Pennie witnessed Loren work his magic more than once, so when she and I go to Costco or Home Depot or a plant nursery or an auction and buy far more than we can possibly pack into her little SUV, she will always look at me and say, “Do you think we can get it all home?”
I smile and say, “Don’t make me say Loren L. Lewis.”
I always get it home in just one load. Always. We may look like the Beverly Hillbillies as we roll down the road, but I graduated magna cum laude from the Loren L. Lewis School of Hauling, where our school motto is, “Of course we can get it in just one load. Don’t make me say Loren L. Lewis.”
When I was 15, Loren was 30. Anyone who saw us together would assume he was my older brother or my very young uncle.
Loren taught me how to rebuild an automobile engine. Loren drove me to the emergency room when I nearly sliced off my forefinger while trying to shave down the edge of a plastic light switch cover. After we left the emergency room, Loren took me to a seedy bar in a weird part of Tulsa to show me how to hustle pool.
I woke up last night feeling that I had allowed the merely urgent to displace the truly important. I Googled “Loren Ladic Lewis” and saw his obituary.
My big brother died on June 20th of last year and no one told me.
What’s even worse is that in the 16 months that have come and gone since he died, I was always too busy to call either of the numbers I have known by heart for the past 48 years. What was I doing 17 months ago that was so desperately important?
Is there a person you love that you haven’t called in a while?
Don’t make me say Loren L. Lewis.
Roy H. Williams
David Cowan changed careers, and instead of making more money, he made none at all. In his early fifties, David found himself without a car, walking to a nearby McDonald’s where he worked at the drive-through window overnight. Rallying from misfortune — be it financial, health, a relationship gone bad, a natural disaster, or any other variety of setbacks — may seem impossible when you are in the moment. But as David’s story demonstrates, it is possible to rebound from “rock bottom” and to inspire others to do likewise. Could your attitude and spirit use a lift? This is the episode for you. We won’t start until you get here, but get here, okay? MondayMorningRadio.com