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My Journey Toward
Becoming a Multimillionaire

Ed Lewis is a retired Early Childhood Education Professor who loves adventure travel. He has explored the length of the Amazon River, lived in a cave in the Canary Island for 6 months, kayaked with Killer Whales in the San Juan Islands, and danced with the Duke of Arundel's daughter in jolly ol' England. He is a storyteller for adult and children's audiences. 

True love blossomed on top of a wall where Vicki and I were armed with rocks and water hoses at the "Universidad de las Americas" in Cholula, Pueblo, Mexico. Earlier in the day, 300 students and professors had learned about the administration's secret plan to turn our beloved liberal arts university for the study of archaeology and bilingual education into a business college for Mexico's elite. So, we became REVOLUTIONARIES and marched to the administration building where we sent the Rugby Team in to escort the administrators and staff out the front gates.

Since I had been a weapons specialist in the army draft during the Vietnam War, I was charged with organizing the RESISTANCE. So there we were taking shifts on the walls to keep out the police or any thugs the administration may hire to end the REVOLUTION. VIVA LA REVOLUCION!!!

Of course, we didn't realize that they had no intention of battling our motley crew because many of our students were the sons and daughters of influential politicians and businessmen. One student's father was the Vice President of Chiquita Banana for Central America. A couple of other students had fathers who were Senators and Congressional representatives in the United States. And some of our Mexican students had fathers in local politics. We did successfully shut down the school for that quarter but as soon as we returned home the administration took control again and eventually turned the university into a business college.

Vicki and I spent a month on the wall falling deeper in love and vowing our lifelong devotion. Then we got bored and with references from our Archaeology professors we boarded my Dodge Colt and headed out for the adventure of a lifetime.

We drove about 100 miles to the amazing Archaeological site of Palenque near the Yucatan Peninsula and then explored remote Mayan villages. After that we connected with the Pan American highway and slowly explored undeveloped Archaeological sites and artisan villages in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and halfway through Nicaragua to the capitol of Manaus.

Vicki had a jewelry business at home in Ridgefield, Connecticut so we met many local artists and purchased their offerings.

On the way back, we drove north on undeveloped roads to many unique villages and "diggings" and eventually came to my favorite archaeological site, Tikal, in northern Guatemala where we spent many evenings in the jungle surrounding the ruins after the tourists had left. The wildlife sounds were spectacular from toucans, monkeys, frogs, exotic bugs, snakes, and lizards! Unbelievable!!!

From there we drove into Belize which was still British Honduras in 1975 and I was fascinated by these dark-skinned Caribbean people speaking Spanish with a British accent. We then entered the southern Yucatan Peninsula where they had built a hotel in the hopes of making this a premiere destination in a place you may have heard of—Cancun.




After exploring the ruins of Tolum, Chichen Itza and Uxmal we drove to the airport in Mexico City where Vicki flew home. I drove to her house in Connecticut to meet her parents with fun stops in New Orleans, Atlanta, and the Shenandoah Valley in the Appalachian Mountains where I visited old army buddies.

Upon arriving at her five-acre mansion where I would stay for a week, I met her 20-year-old brother, father (a Superior Court Judge), and her mother—a well-known attorney. At our first meal, my hopefully future father-in-law asked me what my college and career plans included. So. I let him know that I had a business degree but that the rat race didn't appeal to me so after the military I had found my true calling.

"What might that be?" he asked. Well, I obtained a preschool teaching credential and was planning to finish an elementary school teaching credential so I could work with poor migrant farm camp children as a teacher.

He began shaking his head, looked at his daughter, and said, "You brought another one of those home?" As you can imagine the rest of the week had some "TENSION"!!! But I was in love and feeling secure in "WHAT WE HAD"!!

The parents and son actually left for a vacation in the Florida Keys a day later, so Vicki and I had the run of the estate and I began thinking that I could get used to this lifestyle. We planned to live together for a year and a half while I went to college at Sonoma State in California and then get married after I graduated with my multiple subject teaching credentials.

I drove out to Santa Rosa to prepare for her arrival. I rented a beautiful apartment with all the amenities: swimming pool, Jacuzzi, exercise room and I even "feminized" the apartment with flowers and pictures based on my mother's coaching tips.

A week before her arrival date and the start of the school year I received a call from her. "Ed, I have some difficult news to tell you. I am not coming to California. I met a golf pro and we are now dating. I'm so sorry but these things just happen. You're a great guy and I'm sure you will find the woman you are supposed to marry. Let's keep in touch. Goodbye."

What just happened? I'll never love again! My life is ruined! Did I tell you I tend to lean toward the dramatic?

Vicki ended up marrying the Vice President of the Hilton Hotels in the Bahamas and they had a long and happy marriage. About three years after their marriage I received a call from Vicki's brother. He said that Vicki was in a Miami hospital. She had been swimming at one of the Hilton resorts in training for a position on the Olympic Team and had been run over by a speedboat and her right arm had been severed at the elbow.

She had been flown to a Miami hospital and the arm had been reattached. She had asked her brother to let me know what had happened and to call her. Of course, I called and was relieved that she was recovering and should be able to use her arm again. That was the last I heard about her for the next 32 years. The phone number I had for her had been disconnected






Fast Forward 32 years. I was caring for my elderly father who had developed the unexpected and devastating Alzheimer's disease. He lost his short-term memory but since his long-term memory was still with him, we often drove to Seattle to visit old friends.

On one of those visits, his best friend's wife informed me that she was a genealogist and was wondering if I wanted to locate anyone from the past. Well, I gave her ten names and, of course, one of them was Vicki.

Within 3 weeks, she located Vicki along with several army buddies and guys who played in our high school rock' n' roll band. She found Vicki through her husband's obituary column.

I called Vicki and we caught up on old times. Her husband had passed 3 years previously and they had raised three boys on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. They were very wealthy and owned seven well-known resorts around the world. She recently sold the Buccaneer Resort on St. Croix but was staying on as the Director.

She wanted me to visit for a week and stay in the luxury suite on the beach. So, two years ago I planned a month vacation with my old high school buddy to visit three islands.

It was a beautiful and fun reunion full of dancing at the new Governor's Ball that she hosted, snorkeling at the famous Buck Island, and sweet walks on the beach.

I would like to tell you love past was returned to its former glory but it is very apparent that we now move in different circles. I have always been interested in becoming a multimillionaire though, so you never know in this mysterious life what the future holds.

P.S. I may have accidentally left a few blank checks and the date of my birthday in that gifted $500 a night suite on the beach.

~ Ed Lewis




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