Glenwood’s life-saving ‘Pizza man’ continues to grow | PostIndependent.com

Glenwood’s life-saving ‘Pizza man’ continues to grow

In this Post Independent file photo, Anson Lemmer, right, receives the American Red Cross Lifesaver Award from Eric Meyers.
Colleen O’Neil / Post Independent |

The Glenwood Springs Post Independent checks in with the subject of our most-read story of the past decade, which received more than 300,000 page views since it was published in 2015.

On June 15, 2015, Anson Lemmer departed from Uncle Pizza in his 1998 Plymouth Breeze for his final delivery of the night. 

“I think one of them was the Italian sausage,” Lemmer said.  

However, upon pulling up to the Glenwood Springs residence on Valley View Road, Lemmer was greeted by a life-or-death situation: an unconscious man lying in the gutter as others stood around, evidently not knowing what to do.  

Luckily, the 19-year-old “pizza boy” knew exactly what to do. 

“I threw the pizzas on top of the car, ran over and helped,” Lemmer said.  

After instructing a specific bystander to immediately call 911, Lemmer searched for the man’s pulse, which he could not find. Remaining calm and collected, the young man began administering CPR to the unresponsive and blue in the face man. 

“I lost track of time, but it wasn’t very long that I was doing chest compressions before the first responders showed up,” Lemmer said. “The man in the gutter was starting to regain consciousness a little bit. He was breathing again.”

Lemmer does not exactly know how the man ended up in the gutter in the first place. Nor has he ever spoken to the man, who he believed was in his mid-40s at the time.  

What Lemmer does recall about that fateful night, though – “I left a pizza boy and came back a pizza man.”

Coincidentally, it would not be the last time Lemmer helped out during a potentially, life-threatening situation. 

A few years ago, while on a hiking trip, Lemmer performed the Heimlich maneuver on his friend who was choking on a piece of candy. 

“He just started smacking me on the back,” Lemmer said. “I turned around and he was holding his throat.”

After administering abdominal thrusts, his friend expelled the chunk of candy blocking his airway and was OK. 

FROM PIZZA MAN TO CANNABIS CULTIVATOR

Today, the 23-year-old Lemmer cultivates cannabis for Roots RX in the highest incorporated city in North America, Leadville. 

“I really love the properties of medicinal plants,” Lemmer said. “I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated the aspects of cannabis that are relaxing.” 

A self-taught grower, Lemmer hopes to continue studying horticulture in a university setting one day.

Anson Lemmer next to one of his cannabis plants in Leadville. Photo courtesy of Avery Lemmer
20191227_1733592

Lemmer’s love for plants does not end with Indica, Sativa and cannabis strains, either.

When not cultivating cannabis for work, Lemmer grows an assortment of leafy greens out of his own living room. 

“I really like sugar snap peas, they’re fun,” Lemmer said. “I like the way that they grow, too. They need a little bit of encouragement and help along the way.” 

A HUMBLE AND HOPEFUL HERO

During the last 10 years, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent has reported on countless issues ranging from the Grand Avenue Bridge project to Rocky Mountain Resources’ proposal to drastically increase its Transfer Trail mining operation just north of town.

However, coverage of the largest infrastructure project on the Western Slope in 25 years was not the local newspaper’s most read story of the decade.

That honor belongs to the tale of Lemmer administering CPR while enroute to deliver a few sausage pizzas.

In fact, Lemmer’s heroics led to 360,880 people reading the Post Independent’s original story.

“Wow.” Lemmer said when told about the article’s popularity. 

The story went viral and Lemmer’s face found its way onto ‘pizza boy becomes pizza man’ memes all across the Internet.

Lemmer, who hadn’t given the incident too much thought after the fact, simply hoped the story would inspire more people to learn CPR. 

“I’ve had people come up to me because of the memes,” Lemmer said. “But, I’ve also had people come up to me telling me that the story actually touched their life.”

Without question, on June 15, 2015, Lemmer, as a result of being trained in CPR, saved a life. 

Go to https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/cpr to find a nearby CPR certification class.

mabennett@postindependent.com

Ten most-read stories on the PI website from 2010-2019

  1. CPR delivered: ‘I left a pizza boy and came back a pizza man’
  2. Ruibal column: My high school classmate Otto Warmbier – charming and deeply caring
  3. Sportswear company faces investigation for photos in Hanging Lake waters
  4. Shooters in Rifle serves a big helping of Second Amendment
  5. Rockslide closes Glenwood Canyon; snowstorm causes I-70 closures, hazardous driving conditions in high country
  6. 101 mph through Glenwood Canyon??
  7. Photos of Ted Bundy found in cracked Glenwood Post safe
  8. Doc Holliday’s gun returning to Glenwood; museum buys derringer that was in his room when he died
  9. Three die after hitting bear on I-70 near Rifle
  10. Man arrested after claiming to be former NFL player

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