“It’s the Truth Even If It Didn’t Happen” Ken Kesey
Andy Brown passed away on his couch in Comox BC, June 28th. His sons and his daughter, Alex, Max and Sally were with him as was his three legged Golden Retriever. He was on the same sofa where his beloved wife and partner Alison Stocks had passed two weeks earlier.
Heavy stuff, but true.
Some more true things:
In 1980 or 81 Leslie Emerson sent Michael Lindsey on a winter course exchange to Northwest Outward Bound School. There Lindsey met Andy Brown and a blonde hippie chick, climber named Sue (Lotus) Steele, who had recently arrived from Yosemite.
This led Andy and Sue to Colorado. There are great stories along that road, including when Andy and Lotus drove overland in southeast Utah because they had heard about this feature called Castleton Tower. They had no information about routes or directions, but they identified the tower, drove to it and climbed it the next day. Andy had not been in the US for long, even though some of his favorite things in the world were Elvis Presley and muscle cars … he had his doubts about safety. Sue described a high level of paranoia about a Deliverance type encounter with locals in Utah the night before they climbed.
Andy and Lotus eventually arrived in safe territory however, “The Hill” in Boulder, Colorado when it was still in all it’s sixties to mid-eighties glory. As was done in those days they traveled loosely with a group of friends mostly Brits in Andy’s case. There were five main characters in this band with Sue being the only woman. They resided on The Hill
One of the early house’s on The Hill had a really hideous bathroom that Sue finally got up the nerve to clean the filth then the next day they were evicted (for the filth?) so they went to the 3′ by 5′ card rental board at CU and found this ad:
“Basement room with waterbed $140/month”
Perfect. This was ‘The Peoples’ Army’
el Commandante Brown at The People’s Army
The Lotus description.
The People’s Army was a five bedroom, one bathroom house on the Hill. It’s occupants were a PhD student, two Dead Heads and several others reprobates who came and went. Andy loved the place because it had a huge bookcase filled with record albums and all of the people were super nice. We lived there until our April departure to Joshua Tree. Most of those people are still close friends.
The photo is of the kitchen, weird stuff on the walls and cabinets to groove over – of course lots of pot & psychedelics were always around.
Andy and Sue/Lotus prepping for their next adventure
Lindsey, Lotus and Andy at the Prince Phillip Fundraiser for OB in October 1987
Michael Lindsey told me about Andy Brown who he said would be “a great winter course instructor.” I agreed because I soon learned that Andy’s skiing abilities were worse than mine but he had a tolerance for cold and misery in the mountains that matched mine and he liked to laugh which was the bonus.
Just the beginning because Andy Brown and Lotus soon became property owners in Leadville, Colorado after they bought a trailer for $875 at a place called Lazy Acres. Perfect …
Andy Brown trained two border collies to be avalanche dogs, Owen pictured here and Copper, who worked in Idaho and Canada. Andy’s youngest son, Max told me the other day that they finally sold out and got a golden retriever, the dog who was with Andy when he passed.
Andy being tortured by beautiful women.
And we will introduce a young British Outward Bound intern named Alison Stocks (top left) ) who would go on to medical school at DU and become Andy’s saddle pal with three kids in their future.
The Brown crew visiting Canmore Alberta in the younger days
Andy ended up with an exceptionally high degree of professional respect as only he could. I found out that he was hired as Director at Pebble Creek ski patrol. Kelllie and Jeff Rhodes praise the way he upgraded the whole operation. And he supported his family working as a paramedic after Ali had to stop working as a doc. But those colorful Colorado times will not be forgotten by those who knew Andy. We’re sure gonna miss you.
“When the legend becomes fact, print the legend” from director John Ford’s Western The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
The contributors to the story are:
and a couple more