Have You Met?

Lester Ward has seen a lot of changes in Colorado in his 72 years. He was born and raised in Pueblo, then a small industrial town of 60,000 people. When asked about his hometown, he replied, “ Pueblo is a very democratic town because of its’ wide variety of population. It has always had a very ethnic diversity. It was a highly industrial community, which caused it to have more equality in the population. Pueblo is a good, solid community with a very good work ethic and a strong sense of family. ”

Lester lived in town, only two blocks away from his junior and senior high schools. His dad, a doctor in Pueblo, insisted that his three boys work, so, in the summertime, Lester worked as an attendant in the hospital or at the steel mill. “ TV didn’t come to Pueblo until I was out of college. I was in high school during World War II and many people didn’t have cars. People were very close and school was a big activity.” Lester remembers it as an easy and laid back time.

After graduation from Harvard and Harvard Law School, Lester served a two- year stint in the army. He decided to return to Colorado and was finalizing plans to work with a law firm in Denver, when Walter Predovich, a sole practitioner in Pueblo, suggested he come back to his hometown and become his partner. Lester chuckles as he remembers Walter’s words. “He said, ‘Why don’t you give the old hometown a try. Hell, you can always go to Denver.’ Walter and I were a good combination, we were totally different.” The partnership remained until Don Seawell asked Lester to leave law practice and become president of DCPA. “ It was good timing, our youngest child was graduating from high school and my wife and I were ready for a change. I had been on the board of DCPA for years, now it was time to go a step further. I became president of DCPA in 1989.”

Lester states, “ I love live theatre and I want everyone to share in the experience it has to offer. Live theatre transmits what life is all about. Our education department visits area schools and our actors do an hour skit, usually with some sort of moral to the story. Kids enter into discussion and they get their eyes opened to a new experience. It’s amazing; you can see the light bulbs going off. That’s what’s so special about theatre.”

What’s in your future? Hopefully, this. I’ll be 73 this year and I would like to continue doing what I’m doing. I enjoy keeping busy.

What are your volunteer activities? I did a lot of volunteer work before I joined DCPA. Now this is a full time activity. I was one of four founders of the Broadway Theatre League in Pueblo, was a member of Kiwanis and did all the volunteer things you do in a small community.

What social event is your favorite? The Saturday Night Live Event

Favorite Restaurant? Strings, Noel Cunningham runs a superb show. I like Morton’s, The Palm, Palomino’s and Sullivan’s. There are so many wonderful restaurants in Denver now, that’s it extremely hard to name just a few.

Who is the most important celebrity you have ever met? One of the fun parts of this job is that I get to meet so many celebrities. One of the most compelling though, was Sir Peter Hall. He was here for eight months when we did Tantalus, a ten- hour- long production, which we did in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Great Britain. Sir Peter is very dynamic and dedicated to life in the theatre.

If your life were a movie, whom would you get to play your part? Gregory Peck. To Kill a Mockingbird is every lawyer’s ideal. A Denver Post reporter once compared me to Gregory Peck. It really made my day.

When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you? That I like a nice, open, fresh place, that’s very bright, vibrant and colorful. My wife is an accomplished artist and our home is filled with her paintings. It also has lots of book- shelves, as I’m a voracious reader.

What word describes you best? Dedicated. I always want to do every project well.

How would you like others to describe you? Dedicated.

What was your first job? At twelve or thirteen, I was delivering the Pueblo Star Journal and the Chieftain.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Procrastination

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Hypocrisy

What is your greatest indulgence? I don’t know. I really enjoy everything

What or who is the greatest love in your life? My wife. I got married at 33, which was considered old at that time. Next year, we’ll celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary.

What is your current state of mind? Always questioning

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Don’t have a clue. It’s such a treat being elected president here and it was wonderful serving as Colorado Bar Association President.

What is the quality you most like in a man? Honesty and openness

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Honesty and openness

Favorite books/writers? The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky

What is the best advice you have ever received? Be yourself even if you’re dull

Do you have a motto? No

If you could come back in another lifetime, what/who would you like to be? And why? Never even thought about that – I’d just like to do everything I’ve done over again.

What are your hobbies? Voracious reader

Who is your mentor? Don Seawell. We’ve been close friends for 37 years.

What would you most like to be remembered for? Someone who tried to do his best and make the world a better place.

If you could go anywhere and do anything, what would it be? Nothing different than I’m doing right now.

What do you like about the town you live in? Denver is what a city ought to be. It has the best in performing arts, the best in visual arts, the best in sports and the best quality of life. We’re all lucky to be here in this time of history with a lot of people who really care about the town.