Lewis Brown, a man for all seasons
November 20, 2021
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." –Maya Angelou
When I first met Lewis Brown I felt uplifted and inspired. It was fascinating to feel so impacted by someone I met for the first time. I remember thinking, "This is a man who truly makes a difference in the lives of others. What an honor it is to meet him." I shouldn't have been surprised because so many people had told me that Lewis was "one of the few good men" I should interview for my book. Wherever he goes, Lewis, like a ray of sunshine, leaves a lasting warmth. I'm actually finding out there are a lot of great men in Tehachapi. Maybe that's what makes our town so special.
"A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others." –Salvador Dali
Lewis Brown –
a man who cares about others. He knows what you need before you do!
In 1971, Lewis Brown attended a rodeo in Stallion Springs. He was so taken with the area he ended up buying land. In 2009, deciding it was time to move out of a busy city, he built a home on the land, moved his family from the valley and has resided in Tehachapi ever since.
Brown is no stranger to small towns. He was born in Georgiana, Alabama. Some people know Georgiana as the birth place of Hank Williams and/or the L&N Railroad line. Luckily for Tehachapi, this small town also gave us Lewis Brown. Brown's family moved to Southern California when Lewis was young, so he grew up in Pomona, went to San Fernando High School and community college, and then joined the Air Force. He was stationed in Roswell, New Mexico. I asked Lewis if he had ever seen any UFOs while he was there. His answer: "I only saw them at night after a few drinks!"
Family is very important in Brown's life. He has two children, Cassandra and Randal, five grandsons, one great grandson and one great granddaughter. His siblings all live in or around the San Fernando Valley and North Hollywood. Lewis said that before he built his home, he would bring his children to Tehachapi every Christmas Eve so they could have a chance to experience a white Christmas. It was a happy memory they all still cherish.
When asked what he loves about Tehachapi, Brown replied, "I love the weather here, and I love the people. Every place I turn, I get hooked up. I can't say no! When I first walked into the senior center," Lewis continued, "I saw what was needed and did it. Now I'm the Board President. I have fun. I like to laugh with people. When you see someone who is down, I like to bring a smile to their face."
He was also a Board Member at Large with the Tehachapi Community Theatre, and is currently the box office manager and is in charge of rentals at the BeeKay Theatre. His first and favorite play was a role in "Driving Miss Daisy." "After that," he noted "the bug bit me." Recently the theater completed filming The Three Monkeys. Louis plays the owner of the bar. At the time, due to COVID, they couldn't perform for a live audience. The play will be streamed online.
For the past five years, Lewis has been the Board President for the Property Owner's Association in Stallion Springs. They are a nonprofit organization comprised of volunteers who donate their time and talent in an effort to help residents of Stallion Springs. They raise money for our local parks, scholarships for high school graduates going to college and provide a neighborhood watch program.
Lewis is also very active in the Stallion Springs Community Church. Altruism could easily be his middle name. He says, "People always boost me up, and push me," he says with enthusiasm. "I love people. I love helping people."
One of his favorite pastimes is playing pinochle. Every week Lewis meets with three ladies for a game. They go from house to house. Each week the hostess provides the main dish, one lady brings the dessert and one the salad. Lewis brings his "smiling face."
He has a talent for woodworking and not only shares it with the senior center but loves making things for others. "When I build things for people, if they don't pay me, I am happy as long as they are satisfied and I can see it in their faces. I love being creative, taking someone's thoughts of what they want and then creating it for them. I made a teepee once as a TV stand, and a bookcase as a totem pole. If a person comes to me with a concept and if I can conceive it, and believe I can do it then I know I'll be able to build it successfully."
When asked to give advice to others Lewis said, "Take it one day at a time and cherish that one day you have because the next day is not guaranteed to you. Go around with a smile on your face and try to help someone without looking for a reward. Remember, tomorrow is not guaranteed. Just be happy!"
Here are two exercises to inspire your happiness.
"When you notice you're being hard on yourself, try this to replace negative self-talk with kindness. Gently place your hand on your heart and pause for a few breaths. Let your inhales and exhales be natural and relaxed as you feel the rise and fall of your chest. Notice the sensations there: your heartbeat, warmth, etc. Now make a wish for yourself, something like, "May I feel peaceful, safe, and content." Take a moment to consider what it is that you really need to hear right now, and repeat that silently a few times." –Jamie Price, Stop, Breathe & Think
"The Wisdom Keepers, Tehachapi Women of Substance and a Few Good Men" is a book in progress by Judith Campanaro, Tehachapi artist and resident. Judith's love of sharing inspirational stories of others prompted her to highlight amazing locals that make Tehachapi special. The Loop newspaper will be featuring excerpts from the book to give you a taste of our fabulous residents. The complete book will be published in late December 2021 or early January 2022. If you would like a copy please contact Judith at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime, if you would like to recommend a local person for an interview send their name and number to Judith by email or phone, (646) 896-4434.