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Red Envelopes, Good Luck, and Heartfelt Connections: A Boulderite’s Aspen Story

Mayor Torre & Lenny Lensworth Frieling, selfie

If a certain Boulder resident is around, $2 bills are free and lucky in Aspen.

I just got back from the yearly conference of the NORML,  National Organization For The Reform Of Marijuana Laws, Legal Committee.  One of the regular events is a party at the house of a world-renowned criminal defense attorney, Gerry Goldstein. With his wife Christie, they gather a group of fascinating and wonderful guests for the party. This year was no exception.

Heading up the guest list was the Mayor Torre of Aspen ! As you know, Mayor Torre is a delightful man.

After he addressed the group, he headed out to the front patio. I followed and the two of us chatted for a few minutes. Two friends, the McAllisters, wandered out as I was taking selfies with the Mayor.

At the end of our chat I asked the Mayor if I could give him a good luck $2 bill? “Certainly.” He was choking up when he said that. “You have no way of knowing this, but my best friend died three weeks ago. The memorial is tomorrow. ” “And my friend collected $2 bills. I’ll keep this with me and talk about it at the memorial.” I was of course chocked up myself.

That’s a great true story. The story does not end there.

The Mayor wandered into the  house. Five minutes later, friend Aleesha came out and approached me. “I saw the red Chinese New Years gift envelope sticking out of the mayor’s pocket.  I asked, and the mayor told me what had transpired on the patio. Why did you happen to have the gift envelopes with $2 bills?”  I explained that I get a kick out of giving away $2 bills in the Chinese New Years gift envelopes. I supercharge them with good luck. People SMILE! I believe that this gifting also comes back to me in multiples.


Turning to face her directly I said to her  “And I’ve got one here for you!” I tendered another crisp uncirculated $2 bill in the Red envelope to her. Her jaw dropped.

She explained that “It’s Chinese custom that when an elder gives a gift like this, the receiver must give a blessing to the elder.” She proceeded to give me a blessing that was so powerful I could feel it hit me and flow through me. Both of my hands ended up cupped to my sternum to guide the energy flow.

Happily this conflation of magic, this glowing synchronicity was witnessed and overheard by at least five of my friends, and at times more. Ten were there for the blessing. I was truly blessed!

Lenny Lensworth Frieling

Shared Knowledge Is Power!


Leonard Frieling Senior Attorney Emeritus
  • 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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