Lessons from Dad

My Dad was crazy smart. I like to believe that some of that rubbed off on me. Of particular interest to me today, and what I want to share, are some of the most important and lasting lessons from Dad. This was his version, and therefore my version of being read stories as a kid. This is how I learned algebra, and a lot more.

Three plus one. There were three key lessons in one session, and one key lesson in another. First, Dad told me that I was being a real… shall we say not a great person and not easy or pleasant to get along with. I still hear that from time to time. . I was probably 11 years old. He said “until you read this book I’m not talking to you!” The book, which I immediately read, was Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Dale Carnegie’s *How to Win Friends and Influence People* is a timeless guide on interpersonal skills and communication. Published in 1936, the book offers practical advice on how to make a good first impression, handle people, win others to your way of thinking, and lead without arousing resentment. Carnegie emphasizes the importance of empathy, listening, and genuine interest in others to build rapport and influence effectively. By sharing anecdotes and principles, the book teaches readers how to enhance their interactions and relationships, both personally and professionally. Its enduring popularity underscores its insights into human nature and the art of persuasion. I contributed six copies to the Boulder County Jail library.

I had a generally great relationship with my Father, and hated the idea of him not talking to me. I finished the book that evening. Other than the chapter on Names and Faces, it was a complete eye-opener. Carnegie provided me tools which have lasted a lifetime so far <G> <Grin>

One night he talked about the tools he thought I’d need to succeed as an adult. He did not read normal “bed time stories.” He did not read Grimms’ or Barth, but instead he taught me how to solve simultaneous equations with two unknowns, x and y, in the dark, using visualization as our “blackboard.” I was about five years old.

His best lesson was a three-parter delivered in one “session.” He explained that to be successful I would need three tools. He suggested that I needed to learn a memory system. Our choice (his recommendation and therefor my choice) was Bruno Furst, Stop Forgetting. I forgot where my copy is. JOKING! I have used those techniques for almost 70 years.

Part 2: Learn to speed read. Evelyn Wood

was the speed reading course at the time, and the one I learned from. He was satisfied when I could read down the center of a column in the NY Times and take in the entire column at one time, moving downwards with my finger in the center of the column. It still astonishes me that it took relatively little time to learn to speed read. It makes sense that learning speed reading should be fast!

Finally, Part 3.  Keyboarding! Dad said “when you grow up, (this was in 1963), computers (which were about an hour old at the time) will change drastically. He was talking to me when I was ten years old or so. “Computers will change, but the keyboard will remain the same! His prescience was literally invaluable. As a busy courtroom criminal defense attorney for over 45 years, I had opportunities to type. A LOT.  In fact, I never had a secretary, and for my entire career I did all of my own typing. My personal first computer was in 1985. My brother, a real computer guy, sent me a box of parts and said “call with questions.” It worked. It actually worked.

I saved roughly $3000 a month for 12 months a year for 45 + years.

That multiplies to 3000 x 12 x 45, or $1,620.000. His suggestion correctly predicted that I would have to use a computer, that I’d use it a LOT, and that I could learn to type without great difficulty. He also correctly predicted the lack of change in computer keyboards.  When I taught business law in 1975 at the Rocky Mountain Business College on Pearl Street, long before the Mall, I got paid hourly and could take any courses I wanted, free. I took typing and speed writing. Through my career, I saved about 1.5 million dollars by simply learning to type. I also was able to stay ahead of the curve with lawyering. There were fewer mistakes in my pleadings. At my fastest, I could type as fast as I could think, and I could get a flow going. Debi thought I was faking it, just making noise on the keyboard, but in fact I was typing with a very low error rate. My best estimate is 120 wpm or so at my fastest. And being a very controlling obsessive person, I was happier being in that much control of what I was filing in court for my clients.

Lenny Lensworth Frieling

Shared Knowledge is Power!


  • Senior Counsel Emeritus to the Boulder Law firm Dolan + Zimmerman LLP : (720)-610-0951
  • Former Judge
  • Photographer of the Year, AboutBoulder 2023
  • First Chair and Originator of the Colorado Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Committee, a National first.
  • Previous Chair, Boulder Criminal Defense Bar (8 years)
  • Twice chair Executive Counsel, Colorado Bar Association Criminal Law Section
  • NORML Distinguished Counsel Circle
  • Life Member, NORML Legal Committee
  • Life Member, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar
  • Board Member Emeritus, Colorado NORML
  • Chair, Colorado NORML, 7 years including during the successful effort to legalize recreational pot in Colorado
  • Media work, including episodes of Fox’s Power of Attorney, well in excess of many hundreds media interviews, appearances, articles, and podcasts, including co-hosting Time For Hemp for two years.
  • Board member, Author, and Editor for Criminal Law Articles for the Colorado Lawyer, primary publication of the Colorado Bar Assoc. 7 Years, in addition to having 2 Colorado Lawyer cover photos, and numerous articles for the Colorado Lawyer monthly publication.
  • LEAP Speaker, multi-published author, University lectures Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, Denver University Law School, Univ. of New Mexico, Las Vegas NM, and many other schools at all levels.
  • http://www.Lfrieling.com