We All Look Alike
I guess Eddie Lewis is something of a common name, although I’ve never known anyone else personally who had the same first and last names as I do. But here’s a funny story, sort of, about me and my common name:
The Texas schools are now connected to a network that allows them to screen visitors before they are admitted into the building. If you have a felony or sex offenders record, you won’t be getting in. Fair enough. Unfortunately, there is an Edward Lewis on their records (sex offender) and his profile comes up every time I check into a school.
Typically this isn’t a problem. I have been screened about half a dozen times since the system was setup and all but one of the schools looked at the man’s profile, his picture, his different middle initial and his different birthday, and confirmed, “this is clearly not you.”
Thank you very much!
But last year I was hired to play trumpet with a choir at a Houston inner city school where they detained me for ten minutes. They called the police and spent a good deal of time trying to figure out what to do. They kept saying, repeatedly, “I don’t know, you really look alike.” Ha! If the situation was reversed and it was a couple of white guys saying, “I don’t know, you really look alike”, man oh man there would be trouble. He he he…
They eventually let me through (good thing I’m professional enough to always be early), but it was only because the birthday and middle initials didn’t match. As far as they were concerned, I looked just like the white guy in the profile.
Three Namesake Trumpet Players
There are other Eddie Lewises that pop up now and again. There’s a famous soccer player and a character from the movie Pretty Woman. But what I find very interesting is that there are at least three established trumpet players with our name.
There was an Ed Lewis who played for some time with the Count Basie band.
There is an orchestral player named Ed Lewis who went to Juliard and Eastman:
But the most remarkable namesake was a Mr. Ed ‘Tiger’ Lewis.
It’s one thing to share trumpet and formal names with someone, but for us both to have the same nick name? How unlikely is that?
My father started calling me Tiger before I was born. My name at home was always Tiger and even Pearl and her family call me Tiger today. So I obviously didn’t copy cat Mr. Ed Tiger Lewis. But you have to wonder how this could have happened. It seems like a very unlikely coincidence. Is it possible that there is a deeper connection?
What’s In a Name?
Edward Lewis is a good name to have. Edward means happy/prosperous guard, and Lewis means fame and war. So us “tocallos” are famous, happy and vigilant. Our great trumpet playing is all wrapped up in our name.