Mike Lewis: Making a difference by caring
Michael Lewis is a true Barstonain.
Born at Barstow Hospital and raised in Barstow, Lewis attend Cameron, Barstow Junior High School, Kennedy High school and then Barstow High and graduated an Aztec. He then continued his education at Barstow Community College and transferred to Cal Poly Pomona where he received a bachelors degree in business.
“I started working in the family business when I was 12,” he said. “I can remember celebrating birthdays in the break area of Fosters Freeze.”
Besides always working in the family business he also worked three years for Security Pacific Bank. He thought though about going into the management program but then decided to return and become more involved in the family businesses.
“Working with the family kept our family close and also provided challenges at time,” he said.
Q: What is your passion?
A: Its hard to come up with a single Passion. For years it really has been work, but in the mid-’80s I started getting involved in the community and found that I truly enjoyed being involved in nonprofits and helping people out. In the past few years I would say my passion has become travel. I love to travel and see new places and experience new things.
Q: Describe a special memory you have of Barstow.
A: For me I would say the Farmers market that was on Main Street. I was involved in the committee that set it up and ran the event. It was truly fun, seeing all the people come out each Tuesday, all the various vendors and just seeing all the local people come out and visit with each other and being a true community.
Q: Tell us one thing that most people don't know about you.
A: Well this is a tough question because I feel that most people in Barstow know me, my friends definitely know of my lateness to everything but most people don't know I operate in my very own time zone.
Q: What person, living or from history, would you most like to have dinner with and why? What would you ask them?
A: Warren Buffett. He is such a well-grounded man that has had great foresight in his businesses. I would ask him how he keeps balance in his life and what he sees the future of the United States will be. Also I would love to have dinner with Howard Hughes, just to hear the stores he would have to tell about his life and adventures and all that he learned.
Q: Where do you get your values from?
A: I can say that my values come directly from my parents. From my father especially comes my workaholicness. My parents always taught me that working hard and treating everyone with respect will get you a long ways in life, and they are right.
Q: What's your favorite movie and why?
A: “Footloose,” it's a great feel-good, fun movie that you can just sit and enjoy the music and the story line. It does remind me of Barstow, a small town that just one person can make a difference by caring. I would also say “Pretty Woman,” great movie to watch and I can remember watching it with my grandmother years ago and how much she loved it and would watch it over and over again.
Q: Tell us about your favorite thing about Barstow.
A: I love that Barstow is a small town, you definatly can't get lost. Being a small town you can make a difference in what you do. Helping with community events and nonprofits you can see the benefits that your hard work pays off. Also as for government, you can have a voice, you can call a council member or the mayor and get them on the phone. Another great thing about Barstow is that if you have a problem or need helping getting something done, like finding a truck to pull your float in the parade , it will just take a few phone calls and your problems will be solved. We are sooooooo lucky to have so many hard working and caring people that really want to help each other out and help out our community as a whole.
Q: What is the ultimate issue facing the United States, and what's your take on it?
A: Its our economic crisis. This is happening on many different levels. As the economy is out of control the average person has a very hard time affording all things they would like. Government keeps getting involved in things that private enterprise can do better and more efficiently and wondering why we keep getting further behind.
Q: What is the best thing about your job?
A: Well since I have about 4 jobs, first and foremost are the people that I meet. In Fosters it has been all of the young people that I feel I have helped raise and to see them come back and tell me about what they are doing now and wanting me to meet their children. In many cases I have saw generation after generations work at Fosters. At Quigley's, its meeting all the travelers and hearing their stories of their traveling and keeping track of them over the years as they continue to stop in. Also with Quigley's catering business, helping to plan events and wedding and watching the event unfold and the joy on the faces of everyone.
With Boys & Girls Club its been watching all the children come through the program, one of the first kids that came through our doors on opening day went on to be employed by me at Fosters Freeze and later to work at the Boys and Girls club and now going on to become a nurse. Also with the Club is the opportunity to meet people from all over the country that are involved with the Club and find out we are all doing this just to help the kids in our community.
Q: What is your secret to living a happy, satisfying life?
A: Always waking up in a good mood and trying to make those around you see the positive things in life. There really is no good reason to be in a bad mood, it takes years off your life. We are all lucky to live in a Free Country and be able to do what we like and make what we want out of our lives.
Q: What's your favorite guilty pleasure?
A: Desserts, Desserts, and more Dessert. And as long as its Chocolate and or ice Cream all is GOOD.
Q: What's your favorite saying?
A: Of course we can do that, No problem!
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: I really do love working and being involved so I am sure that I will still be working and enjoying life to the fullest.
Q: Is there anything else you'd like to say, anything you'd like to get off your chest? (No limit on length.)
A: Growing up and living in Barstow I am proud to call it my home. Some times we don't like change, but some times change is needed. As a community we seem to have a negative view of our town and the people in our town, we have great people that will do anything for you if you just ask, a lot of us remember Rudy Lara and what this city did to help him get a new heart, what other city would be able to pull together and make things like this happen. And things like this happen again and again. So I would tell all the negative people in Barstow to go out and get involved in our community and make it a better place for all of U.S.
Q: How can readers get a hold of you? (Answer only if you would like your email address, website or phone number published)