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Boulder’s Blissful Bubble: A Reflection on Parents and Worry-Free Living


Pic Lenny Lensworth Frieling

Grandma Ann Frieling, Lenny Lensworth Frieling

“What, Me Worry?”           Alfred E. Newman

In our magical Valley of Boulder, home to the Buffs, and to the rest of the best, I found myself in the hot tub, on a perfect day, with perfect music on the bluetooth, playing a great song. I literally did not have a care in the world. I caught myself wondering.

“What am I forgetting to worry about?”

I swear! I was worry about what I might have forgotten to worry about! I burst out laughing, cursed my mother with a smile, and went back to the music.

My point is that as much as we worry about very real things that are worthy of some concern or worry, sometimes, even for a moment, we can let it go. We do not always have to worry about what we need to worry about! Doing that most of the time should be sufficient.

Did we end up here in the Magic Valley by worrying our way here? I have no idea. My hope is that we got here in easier ways!  Here’s what I do know.

Did You Appear In Boulder Already Full Grown?

Most of us did not appear magically in Boulder at age 26. Well, some of us might have. Most of us have ancestors. Some of our ancestors were born in the Boulder Valley. More and more many of us are born in the Valley. When I moved here in 1975 I was told that with the catalog I came in on, I would be a native in seven years. Most of us “drop-ins” did not make it 18 months. The California Wave may have done better than the Michigan Wave.

Let’s look back to our roots for a moment. Go back a bit and almost none of us are “from here.” Some have relatives that literally came here not all that long ago in horse-drawn wagons on slightly padded somewhat sprung seats. The kind of seats that we have to pay extra for on an airplane today.

Lensworth & DALLE

A Frequent Sight in the Early 1900’s. An Over-full Ship from Europe Carrying People Into New York, Past the Statue of Liberty

Please meet my grandmother Anna Frieling. Born in Poland, and emigrated to the United States, past the Statue of Liberty and through Ellis Island. She was self-taught and ran a sewing machine for decades. Ironically happily she retired with Grandpa to what is now South Beach. She spoke Polish, Yiddish, German, English, wrote in English self-taught, and saw my Dad graduate College after his  WWII submarine service. A few years later I find myself typing on a computer (that my father predicted}, with my Grandfather’s portrait in oil, painted by my Mother, hanging proudly on the wall. An antique Maynard #2 from the Battle of Gettysburg, carried by my Wife’s relative, Pokorny, hangs above the door. We are surrounded by the physical tokens of how we got here. And with or without the physical tokens, we are surrounded by the love that we brought with us, and that we found here.  Now we carry it forward and pay it forward.

My Grandfather traveled across the Atlantic in the Women’s Hold

Dressed as a Woman for the Crossing

My Grandfather, husband of the above-picture Anna, crossed the Atlantic, we were told, in the women’s hold. Disguised as a woman. It was always implied that it had to do with being smuggled in. I think he was a clever fellow. He crossed the Atlantic being the only guy in with the women. I hope I learned something from him. The journey from an Ellis Island – crossing to a South Beach retirement is a great tale to tell.

I do NOT mean to be political, and I do NOT mean to suggest that I even remotely have any suggestions as to the solution to our present immigration crises. I am telling a story which I believe to be the truth, even with my memory. I believe that the images capture the rise of so many groups over the years through Ellis Island, from poverty and survival challenges to success.


May the wind be over your port bow and your sunscreen be thick.






Leonard Frieling Pen Of Justice Legal Blogger
  • 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
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