Forrest Lewis


“The Best Around”
Words and music by Leonard Running
with Mrs. Hartman’s & Ms. Lamb’s 4th Grade Classes
©2017 Leonard Running

 

      Forrest Lewis

They say that there’s a song in every story; That you can hear a bird in every tree –
A movie in your mind in all its glory; That’s made of rhythm, words and melody.
You know that there’s a man who lives in Pringle – A quiet, independent little town
And he’s the subject of our little jingle; It’s Forrest Lewis – he’s the best around!

He’s the best around, though he’s first to deny it;
He’s the best around; he’s friendly and he’s quiet.
He’s the best around; if your garden needs a weeding
he’s the man that you should call
he wants to give you what you’re needing.
He’s the best around; he will keep away your varmints;
He’s the best around; he will make you furry garments;
He’s the best around – Forrest Lewis – he’s the best around!

Now Forrest spent his youth in Colorado;
A life in school was not his cup of tea.
The troubles that he had may have foreshadowed
The wresseler that he was born to be.
Another fight with violence bare-fisted;
He felt himself get lifted off the ground.
He heard some words that could not be resisted:
“I think that you can be the best around.”

He’s the best around, though he’s first to deny it;
He’s the best around; he’s friendly and he’s quiet.
He’s the best around; Forrest made a big decision
and he joined the Navy Seals
for underwater demolition.
He’s the best around; he will keep away your varmints;
He’s the best around; he will make you furry garments;
He’s the best around – Forrest Lewis – he’s the best around!

A man with such exciting occupations
Would have a lot of stories he could tell;
Like how he guided hunters on vacation
Or rode the bulls at rodeos so well.
But now we say good-bye to Forrest Lewis,
And thank him for his thoughts and words profound;
And if we ask politely he’d say to us
That we can all become the best around.

He’s the best around, though he’s first to deny it;
He’s the best around; he’s friendly and he’s quiet.
He’s the best around; For a kid to be a winner
Forrest says ‘ignore the outer;
pay attention to the inner.’
He’s the best around; he will keep away your varmints;
He’s the best around; he will make you furry garments;
He’s the best around – Forrest Lewis – he’s the best around!


Forrest Lewis was born on Feb. 28th, 1943 in Colorado Springs, CO. He grew up hanging out along the creek in Shook’s Run. It was there that he learned the skills of boxing, trapping and skinning. He learned them from an older man who had been a boxer and sparring partner to Joe Lewis. Forrest said he ate so many cottontail rabbits in those days that he would hop all the way to school and back! He often got into fights in school. One day he was on top of another kid on the playground and was lifted right up into the air. The man who picked him up was the wrestling coach. He told Forrest he had too much energy and he should join wrestling, so Forrest did!

He won the state championship in 7th, 8th, and 9th grade. Forrest said he liked wrestling because he could beat ‘em up and not get in trouble for it. He continued his wrestling career through high school. After he graduated from Colorado Springs High School, he joined the Navy at age 17. He served for 6 years doing underwater demolition in Vietnam with JFK’s special group now called the Navy Seals.

Forrest helped with coaching and wrestling at Harrison High School and trained with Carl Kit through the Air Force Academy. He wrestled in Germany, Korea and China. He attended Adams State College on a wrestling scholarship. In 1968, he qualified for the Olympics in both Greco and Freestyle Wrestling. Just before going to the Olympics, he tore some ligaments in his knee and was unable to wrestle. This broke Forrest’s heart and he said he cried about 2 gallons per hour for the next month, but that didn’t stop Forrest. He wrestled one more year in college and then went on to be a bull rider for 5 years.

Forrest also had a career as a government hunter, a hunting guide, has built log cabins with his son, and has now been a preacher for about 17 years. He also spent 10 years as the head coach of the SD Grand National Wrestling Team. In 1990, he was inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame. Forrest says that when you do something with all your heart, soul, mind, and feelings, you will receive great dividends. If you don’t know where you’re going, when you get somewhere, you probably won’t be happy. Forrest told us to have a goal, tell it to 2 people, put it in writing, and hang it on your mirror, bedroom doorway, and refrigerator.

These days, Forrest is still hunting and has a business doing woodwork and making leather and fur items such as hats, vests, and moccasins. He works with his wife Sharon K. who he says is a real good cook. They have 7 kids between them and a “whole pile” of grandkids. The words that Forrest lives by are “I choose to live on the victory side of life and refuse to give the enemy one precious moment.” Thank you Forrest for your words of wisdom and for sharing your life with us!


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