I was born in Wapanucka, Oklahoma with a pen in my right hand.
It seems as though I have been writing something or other all my life. The truth behind that illusion is that I had my first article published in an honest-to-God real magazine when I was a freshman in college in Portland, Oregon in 1961. And from that time to this moment I have been writing my fool head off in one venue or another.
My parents, Harold and Evelyn Paregien, and others of the Paregien clan moved west in 1942 to “the Promised Land” of California. Soon my father and my paternal grandparents, Frank and Mattie Paregien, were working at the U.S. Navy base at Port Hueneme, a long stone’s throw from Oxnard, Calif.
After World War II ended, my father went back to doing what he had grown up doing and that was farming. This time, though, it was not as a “share cropper” hoping against high odds for a successful cotton crop. He worked as a laborer for family/corporate farms where he actually got a steady salary and a house with all the finer things (i.e., electricity and indoor plumbing). It was a big step up for us.
So I grew up as an Okie in exile in beautiful southern California. We lived mostly in Ventura County (except for about four years on the Newhall Ranch, west of the town of Newhall . . . or as it is called now, Santa Clarita) living in or a few miles from Santa Paula, Saticoy, Oxnard and Piru (just east of Fillmore). I graduated from Fillmore Union High School back in the Dark Ages (i.e., 1959). It was a good life, though lived often on the edge of povery. And that is where I really fell in love with the history, both romantic and real, of the cowboy life.
In May of 1962 I married my sweetheart, Peggy Ruth Allen of Ventura, Calif. And, yes, we are still married and still sweethearts. We had two children — Stan Paregien Jr and Stacy Evelyn Paregien. Both have been married to their respective mates for over two decades. We also have four grandchildren and we now have two great-grandchildren.
Time does move right along.
So I’ll wrap this up by saying that I received my undergraduate degree from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., and my master’s from the University of New Mexico (Albuqueque). Plus I successfully completed all of the class work toward a Ph.D. at the University of Oklahoma, but ran out of money and energy about the same time. I dropped out and never did not look back.
I have worked in several different professions over the years, some very enjoyable and some only a temporary means of putting bread on the table for my family. That varied career included work as a minister, as a salesman, as a director of three different mental health centers, as a radio morning talk show host, as a lab technician, as a newspaper reporter and, later, as an editor of three weekly newspapers.
Through it all, I continued to write my own stuff. Newspaper articles. My various web sites. Three blogs. Religious articles for Christian magazines. Poetry. Cowboy poetry and stories. Stories for kids. Songs ranging from cowboy to the blues. Three traditional books published by religious presses. And, more recently, fifteen (15) eBooks. You’ll find most of my eBooks for sale at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/StanParegien. Another depository of my more esoteric writings is at https://www.issuu.com/cowboystan/docs.
In June of 2013, after more than 20 years in the Edmond, Oklahoma (in the Oklahoma City area), Peggy and I moved to Bradenton, Florida. We like it here a lot. Especially lying on one of our nearby beautiful beaches when our former haunts are locked down by snow and/or ice.
Anyway, that kinda hits the highlights of my 73+ years on Mother Earth. I hope you’ll come back soon, and that we’ll find something in common.
— Stan (Jan. 19, 2015)