January 3, 2013

The Lewises in Louisville.

It was the summer of 1975.

My husband David and I were living with our one-year-old son, Waylon, in Louisville (then a mostly Italian town just East of Boulder) in a converted chicken coup.

I had arranged for David to have an interview with Trungpa Rinpoche and had driven him in our 1954 Plymouth Belvedere to 1111 Pearl Street in the late afternoon. David, being a New Yorker, didn’t drive. But I was sure David could hitch a ride back home with one of our many friends who were hanging out with Rinpoche.

Waylon, being just one, needed nursing and bedtime.

So I returned to Louisville to put little Waylon to bed.

Hours passed. The house was quiet, and smelling deliciously of apple pie that was about ready to come out of the oven. I was sitting on our Salvation Army sofa, beginning to wonder if David had gone out for a drink at Tom’s or if everyone had gone over to Tico’s for dinner and drinks.

Then I heard a car pull up and what sounded like three car doors slam shut. When the back screen door slammed shut I called out, “Hi honey, you’re home!”

But who limped into the room to greet me with, “Surprise, Sweetheart!” was Rinpoche, followed by David Rome and then David Lewis. Before I could stand up, Rinpoche sat down beside me. He had a huge smile on his face, which made me feel simultaneously wonderful and nervous. I offered him tea and a slice of apple pie, but he giggled, “No thank you; Mr. Rome and I are going into Denver for dinner.”

Just as I was at a loss for what to offer, Rinpoche looked around at a poster on the wall of Bruegal’s “Children at Play,” commenting, “They really didn’t know how to draw children, did they?”

I was speechless. We had just thrown what we had together and called it “home.” What could I say? Both Davids seemed enormously amused and were of no help.

Suddenly Rinpoche began tickling me and I couldn’t resist giggling and laughing to exhaustion, the Davids just standing and laughing vicariously.

But when Rinpoche finally stopped and I was totally relaxed, he announced to David Rome, “Now let’s go to the Japanese Restaurant!”


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Ed: Kate Bartolotta

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