Category Archives: Californa

Issue 379 – 1984: A Vintage Year

Logo -- The Paregien Journal -- 2018--01--18 -- 800 X 195 pix X 400 dpi

Issue 379     –     Dec. 10, 2018     –     An Occasional Blog by Stan Paregien

I’ve been to a great many funerals over my lifetime and presided at many of ’em as the clergyman or one doing the eulogy. I can truthfully say that too many of them were either far too long and/or way too somber and formal. I know, ’cause I preached some like that in the early years of my ministry.

However, I learned a lot about what to do and not do and about what to say and what to avoid when I was an Associate Minister at the Mayfair Church of Christ in Oklahoma City from 1968 to 1970 or so. That is because I observed and learned from a master public speaker and encourager: Virgil R. Trout, the Minister of the congregation. His regular Sunday morning and evening sermons were 15 to 20 minutes long, and they were among the most therapeutic, encouraging and instructive I ever heard. 

Virgil was especially skilled at personalizing the funerals for which he was the officiant. I went with him a few times on occasions where a funeral home just needed someone to say a few words over the deceased, with few (if any) family or friends in attendance. Still, by the time he ended his short eulogy you felt the person in the casket was important, because Virgil reminded us God feels that way about each of us and believes in us right to the end. 

Okay, so what has all that to do with the title of this blog, “1984: A Vintage Year”? Good question.

This week, on Wednesday and Thursday, millions of us watched on TV as our nation and the world said goodbye to George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States and the father of the 43rd President. He was a remarkable man, not only for his many career achievements, but for his plain decency, his unfailing loyalty to friends, his sense of humor, and his strong love for his God, his country and his family. Quite a guy. 

The first funeral for Mr. Bush was in the magnificent National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Every detail was perfectly choreographed. It had to be with that many people and world-wide TV coverage. Yes, I think it was far too long (about 3 hours worth). If I had been there, I would have had to run to the nearest restroom at least twice during that three-hour extravaganza.

It was even a tad funny to see all those presidents (one present and three ex-presidents) and their wives sitting in the same pew. The Obamas and the Clintons were more than a little uncomfortable being so close to the guy who had been smearing them for the last three years. But it was good for all of them and for the nation to see them working through that moment.

But let it be said that the military and the police and Secret Service did there their just as they were trained. The musicians, singers and speakers were all in sync to produce a memorable experience. It was inspirational and instructive. It unapologetically showed all who were paying attention the importance President Bush and Barbara and their whole clan put on a personal walk with God and a real relationship with Jesus Christ.

The second funeral, at the Bush’s family Episcopal Church in Houston, was a replica of the first. Same officiating minister, for one thing. It was different in the details or ceremonies or length (mercifully, it was only about 90 minute), but no difference in the vivid witness of a grieving family who lost both Barbara and George within a seven month span and yet relied on faith, family and friends to make it through the long days and to move on.

Wow. It was all just a positive shot in the arm for me and I think for the nation. Their preacher, a Rev. Levenson from the Episcopal Church in Houston presided at both services, plus the burial. 

Our son Stan Jr. lives in the St. Louis, Missouri area. He called us that night a few hours after the body of President George H.W. Bush had been taken for burial next to his wife and their daughter inside the walls of the George Bush Library in College Station, Texas (our daughter, Stacy, lives and works just a hop, skip and a jump from there. She and her daughter, our granddaughter Christal Magness, drive by there every day). 

As Peggy and I visited with Stan Jr., I said: “You know, it seems like I went over to Tulsa one time to hear ol’ George speak. I couldn’t tell you a thing about it, but I believe it was right in downtown Tulsa and was some kind of a rally or fundraiser of some sort.”

“Hey, dad,” Stan Jr., said. “I went with you to that event. It was down there in the heart of Tulsa. And, yes, we got to see Mr. Bush.”

See there, all you doubters, I haven’t really lost as much of my brain power as you thought. More than I’d like, but just not that much. We did not get very close to Mr. Bush in Tulsa, but here is the one and only photo I took of him:

1984--065--OK--Tulsa---George Bush speaking in downtown plaza -- Copyrighted by Stan Paregien Sr

Quotes from George H.W. Bush

It is my considered judgment that you [sitting President Richard Nixon] should now resign. I expect in your lonely, embattled position this would seem to you as an act of disloyalty from one you have supported and helped in so many ways. My own view is that I would now ill serve a president, whose massive accomplishments I will always respect and whose family I love, if I did not now give you my judgment. — George H.W. Bush on August 1974, speaking to President Richard Nixon shortly before he resigned, when Bush was Republican national chairman.

And my opponent won’t rule out raising taxes. But I will. And the Congress will push me to raise taxes, and I’ll say no, and they’ll push, and I’ll say no, and they’ll push again. And I’ll say to them: Read my lips. No new taxes. — George H.W. Bush on Aug. 18, 1988, during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.

I do not like broccoli, and I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m president of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” — George H.W. Bush on March 22, 1990.

To those who say we no longer need a CIA, I say you’re nuts. To those who want to dismantle CIA or put it under some other department … you’re nuts, too. And to those who feel the right to know takes precedence over legitimate classification of documents or over protecting our most precious asset, our people, the same to you. You’re nuts, and so’s the horse you came in on.” — George H.W. Bush on Sept. 17, 1997, at ceremony marking the 50th birthday of the CIA.

I have opinions of my own, strong opinions, but I don’t always agree with them.—George H.W. Bush

I’m conservative, but I’m not a nut about it.   – George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the U.S.

We are a nation of communities… a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky. — George H. W. Bush

I’m not trying to get myself up a notch on the ladder by shoving somebody else down on the ladder, whether it’s a candidate or the president of the United States or anybody else. I just don’t believe that’s the way one oughta campaign, I’ve never done that.  – George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the U.S.

You know I vowed when I became President not to talk about the loneliest toughest job in the world and I didn’t. — George H. W. Bush

I have a form of Parkinson’s disease, which I don’t like. My legs don’t move when my brain tells them to. It’s very frustrating.  – George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the U.S.

We must act on what we know. I take as my guide the hope of a saint: In crucial things, unity; in important things, diversity; in all things, generosity. – George H. W. Bush in 1989.

I have climbed perhaps the highest mountain in the world [i.e., having been President of the United States], but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara’s husband. – George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the U.S.

There is a God and He is good, and his love, while free, has a self-imposed cost: We must be good to one another.  – George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the U.S.

In what has been deemed his “most devastating” quote of all time, the former president promised voters “no new taxes” during the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans: “Read my lips: no new taxes” (Aug. 18, 1988). It certainly wasn’t the first time a presidential candidate broke a campaign promise when he became president, but it proved catastrophic for Bush, who raised taxes on the wealthy and lost his re-election campaign in 1992.

Don’t forget: Old guys can still have fun and still do stuff. — – George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the U.S.  Mr. Bush met with Headline News anchor Robin Meade on June 16, 2009, just four days after his 85th birthday, Those words were addressed to Meade by Bush to explain what they were getting ready to do. Then they went up in a perfectly good airplane and each of them, joined to an expert jumper, parachuted safely to the ground. President George H.W. Bush did the same thing on his 90th birthday, too.

No nation can fully understand itself or find its place in the world if it does not look with clear eyes at all the glories and disgraces, too, of the past. We, in the United States, acknowledge such an injustice in our own history: The internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry was a great injustice, and it will never be repeated.  – George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the U.S.

The Class of 1959

We had a class reunion for our Class of 1959 (Fillmore Union High School in Fillmore, Calif.) in the summer of 1984. Here are a few photos of those who attended. Yep, I was there as well.

1984--002 Fillmore, CA -- Reunion of the HS Class of 1959

1984--002--A Fillmore, CA Reunion of the HS Class of 1959

 

1984--003 Fillmore, CA -- Reunion of the HS Class Of 1959

1984--004--A Reunion of the HS Class Of 1959

1984--004-C Reunion of the Class of 1959 -- Cartoon

1984--004-D Reunion of the Class of 1959 -- Cartoon

1984--004-E Fillmore, CA Reunion of the Class of 1959 -- Chili Blagg - Pat Brown - Mary Ann Shipley Real - Roger France

1984--005 Fillmore, CA - Reunion of Class of 1959 - poem by Stan Paregien

By now, many of those folks shown in the photos above have died. Next May, 2019 will mark the 60th anniversary of when we all graduated in 1959 from Fillmore High School. No, I have no plans to attend any reunion. 

1984--007--StacyParegien

Our lovely daughter, Stacy Paregien in 1984.

 

1984--008--WapanuckaOK--AlumniReunion

This is one of those vintage Wapanucka (Oklahoma) High School’s Reunions. This one in 1984 included my father Harold’s two sisters – Mrs. Alvin (Loretha) Young of Duncan, Okla., and Mrs. John (Eupel ) Higgenbotham of Santa Paula, Calif. – and my stepfather Chester Spradling and his wife (my mother, Evelyn Cauthen Paregien Spradling), plus my maternal uncle Harry Snell and his wife (my mother’s sister) Opal Cauthen Snell of Jay, Oklahoma. 

 

1984--009--StanParegien

Little ‘Ol Me in 1984

1984--023--GeneParegien-LisaShields-April13

Stan Paregien Jr. (better known as “Gene” until he went into the Air Force in 1985). He and his date for a prom or such at Stroud, Oklahoma in 1984

1984--025--StroudOK--BoysState-GirlsState

1984--026 Stroud, OK -- City Of Stroud, OK

We lived seven miles north and one mile west of Stroud, Oklahoma in 1984. We had 10 acres of land (our “farm”) which featured an old “shotgun” style house and a couple of nice barns. About 7 of those acres were a good stand of hay which we bailed once or twice a year.

1984--027---StanParegien--Evelyn--LosAngeles

The above photo is of me with my mother, Evelyn Cauthen Paregien Spradling, at the airport in Los Angeles in 1984. She was as lovely a person on the inside as she was pretty on the outside. She was a very strong person with a deep love for the Lord and his people . . . and for every person who came her way. She had a servant’s heart, to be sure.

1984--030--B Dallas, TX Evelyn Spradling with founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics

My mother did very well when she was a sales representative for Mary Kay Cosmetics. She worked really hard at it, and she liked to visit with everyone she met. So in 1984 she got to meet the Queen herself, Mary Kay.

1984--035--B Fillmore, CA -- Evelyn Spradling -- Eupel Higgenbotham

Here is a photo of my mom celebrating her 62nd birthday in Fillmore, Calif., by holding up a cake which her daughter, Roberta Paregien Loffswold Fournier, made for her. Looking on, at right, is my father Harold’s youngest sister – Eupel Paregien Higgenbotham of nearby Santa Paula, Calif.

1984--035--D Washinton, DC -- National History Day --- Gene Paregien

Our son, Stan Jr. (“Gene”), and his friend Dess Applegate won this competition two years in a road. So they made two trips to Washington, D.C. Much later, as the chief Public Affairs Officer at Scott Air Force Base in Belleville, ILL, Lt. Col. Stan Paregien, Jr. goes to Washington at least once a year with his base commander to meet with congressmen and senators and, over at the Pentagon, various military leaders. Kinda heady stuff.

1984--036--A Fillmore, CA-- Parade Float -- Spradling -- Gary

This 1984 photo was taken at the annual parade in Fillmore, Calif., sorta saluting “The Old Days.” That’s why my stepfather Chester Spradling and my mom Evelyn (at left) and her cousin Troy & Lucille Gary were dressed up this way. They were on their Mobile Home Park’s float and it won the trophy the unidentified man is holding. These four folks, whom we loved very much, left us several years back. Of all things, Chester Spradling actually grew up in the town of Fillmore. Nope, not Fillmore, California. He was born in tiny Fillmore, Oklahoma. He and his first wife lived in Oxnard, Calif., until she died and he married my mom and moved across the county to live with her. He was a great guy, a real gentleman.

I wrote the following poem, “Our Twenty-Second Anniversary,” in May of 1984. We are now in our 56th year of loving on and living with each other.  It has been quite a journey.

1984--041--A Stroud, OK -- May31 -- Stan Paregien -- poem for our 22nd anniversary

1984--041--B--StroudOK--May31--Peggy--StanParegien--22nd-anniversary

1984--042--StroudOK--StacyParegien--on-Paula

Stacy Paregien on one of the several horses we had at our little farm over the years. She was a very good rider and loved any and all animals (as her mother did/does).

I had Mr. Charles Mozley for Social Studies and as a drama teacher (I was in one play, for which I received an Emmy . . . or was it a Showoff Award. Heck, I forget. Anyway, Mrs. Mozley was a really wonderful teacher and a genuinely nice guy. He was a little funny looking, being a small leprechaun kind of guy with one blue eye and one brown eye. Hey, If I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’. He would stop lecturing every once in a while to state some something he hoped we’d remember. His only words I recall are when he smiled that impish smile and announced, “I have only two faults: I cannot resist pain . . . or temptation.” I’ve thought about that every once in a while over the years. He pretty well summed it up.

In 1984, he got to thinking about which of all our high school football teams was the best to ever play at Fillmore Union High School in Fillmore, Calif. He decided it was the team of 1958 — the team on which I held down the right end position. No, funny people, I was not just at the right end of the bench. I started almost every game. And we beat every doggone team we faced by a bunch. That is, until we played my old school where I went to junior high school, William S. Hart (the silent screen movie star) High School in Newhall (now known as Santa Clarita). Those guys, several of whom I still knew, kicked our butts all over that field in front of 6,000 folks. We lost 25 to zip. And that, dear readers, was the end of that.

1984--057--CA--Fillmore--Football Team of 1958--by Charles Mozley--Sept

1984--059--OK--Stroud--Stacy Paregien -- fall

1984--061--OK--Stroud--Stan 'Gene' Paregien Jr in Letterman jacket -- fall

 

1984--063--B--OK--Stroud--Stan Paregien Sr -- card from Richie Vallen's mother, Connie Valenzuela

When Business People Lie

If they ever put a photo next to “bald-faced lie” in the dictionary, I’d nominate this document. In 1982, the area of Oklahoma and surrounding oil-related states went into a deep recession. The rest of the nation barely noticed, but thousands of families in the area were hit hard. Many banks and oil-related businesses declared bankruptcy and/or went out of business. That included many of my clients when I was in the life & health insurance business. Pretty soon I found myself having to take another job. And that was as a lab technician at Allied Materials Company in Stroud, Okla. We refined crude oil and made and sold jet fuel as well as  roofing tar and related items.

Allied had been in business in Stroud for some 40 years. They provided many of the best-paying jobs in Lincoln County. Then rumors started going around that the company was in trouble. I still have a video recording of the president of our company being interviewed by radio and TV reports. He stood right there and told them there was no truth to the rumors, that the company was doing fine. And below is the letter which he addressed to we employees. He was lying through his teeth.

1984--069--OK--Stroud---Closing down in the fall of '84 the Allied Refinery--where Stan Paregien was working as a lab tech

Things rocked along. We shut down for our regular “turn around,” during which we did major updates and repairs to our equipment. We even had 40 or so certified contract welders taking the place apart and putting it back together. Very expensive job, of course. And then these news stories hit the newspapers and the end was near.

1984--070--OK--Stroud---Closing down in the fall of '84 the Allied Refinery--where Stan Paregien was working as a lab tech

Even our dear sweet, lying dog of a company leader had to admit they were closing the doors on most of our operation. It was terrible news for our community and the entire area.

1984--072--OK--Stroud---Closing down in the fall of '84 the Allied Refinery--where Stan Paregien was working as a lab tech

Even then, he did not tell us all of the truth. The fact is that the Environmental Health Department discovered and proved the company was illegally disposing of toxic materials and asbestos materials at their dump, which was on a creek which flowed right into nearby Deep Fork Creek. Numerous residents learned their water wells had been polluted for many years. So it was a sad, bitter day when 280 were terminated in November of 1984. 

All those refining towers, furnaces, tanks and lines that were updated or repaired a couple of months earlier? A year or two later Allied sold them for scrap metal at pennies on the dollar.

Well, as my all-time favorite radio newsman Paul Harvey used to say after telling a morbid story: “Wash your ears out with the following good news.”

So here is little poem which my sister, Roberta Paregien Loffswold Fournier (Class of 1961 at Fillmore; my wife graduated in the Class of 1961 at nearby Ventura High) wrote:

1984--089 A poem, 'My Home Town - Fillmore, Calif' - by Roberta Paregien Loffswold Fournier - died on June 5, 2015

There you have it, a roundup of reasons why I could say why 1984 was a “Vintage Year” for us in particular. A few hard knocks, but lots of wonderful times with friends and family. 

Thanks to the good Lord for helping us make it through another year. There were even bigger changes ahead. Stay tuned for more sometime down the road.

— Stan

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THE END. Or pert near it.

Issue 373 – Six Freebies for You

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The Paregien Journal  —  Issue 373  —  Feb. 24, 2018  —  Published Occasionally

Six Freebies for You

Free--002--round, red button

I have a number of free documents posted on my Google Drive storage account in a public folder.They are all in the popular PDF format, and all you have to do to read them is to go to the link below.

In addition, you may download any or all of them to your own PC’s hard drive . . . or upload them to your own cloud storage. One big advantage of a cloud account – such as Apple – iCloud; Google – Drive; Microsoft Outlook – OneDrive; etc. – is this: then you will be able to access that material through your PC, your tablet, your laptop, your smartphone, and so forth.

Here are the items I’ve posted there so far:

  1. Evelyn Cauthen Paregien Spradling: Her Story  (1922-2011)

Article cover -- 1975 Photo of Evelyn Paregien Spradling

This is my personal tribute to my mother. I completed this 179 page document and released it on the 7th anniversary of her death – Feb. 23, 2011. This is a remarkable story of her growing up in south-central Oklahoma during the Great Depression, the daughter of dirt-poor sharecroppers, getting married and moving to California where life became a whole lot easier and better. I worked hard to let her love, faith and integrity clearly show. 

This essay really amounts to a book, since it is 180 pages long. It contains well over 300 photos and documents, mainly from her total of 30+ years in Oklahoma and 52 years in Ventura County, California. Many of the stories and photos relate, specifically to towns in which we lived: Santa Paula, Fillmore, Piru and Newhall (in Los Angeles County).

  1. An Open Letter to Christian Friends  (May 18, 1972)

Book cover -- 02 - Open Letter -- May 18, 1972

This document will be of special interest to who grew up in (or are still in) religious groups which grew out of the “Restoration Movement” which started in the United States in about 1804 and rapidly grew. It was a recognition that followers of Christ by those days had divided into warring factions, and an effort to unite those Believers by using the Bible (not denominational creeds and disciples) as the standard for work and worship.

I wrote this letter to a few dozen friends way back on May 18, 1972 to explain why Peggy and I were changing from one Christian segment to another. Then in 2018 I rediscovered the letter and added an explanatory preface and a list of resources. It may also be of historical interest to those who study . . . or have to deal with . . . divisions within Christianity.

One of the factors in our leaving the group we’d been part of for our whole lives was their theological position regarding the use of instrumental music in worship. They were a’gin it. That is, they favored a cappella (voices only) in worship. There are other churches who advocate the same thing, though maybe not was loudly as we did. But that is only a part of the equation, as you will read.

  1. The Day Jesus Died (eBook in 2013)

1968-001 Cover of The Day Jesus Died

This book was published as a hardback in Austin, Texas in 1970. Back then I was a minister, first with the University Church of Christ in Las Cruces, New Mexico and then with the Mayfair Church of Christ in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It was a collection of my sermons and magazine articles. It went out of print, but in 2012 or so I started revising many of the chapters. So, as with the more than a dozen other eBooks of mine, you may find them and buy them by simply Googling “books by Stan Paregien.” This PDF copy, however, is free.

  1. Oklahoma Almanac of Facts & Humor: Part 1

Cover--Part 1 -- Oklahoma Almanac--2013 --- Nigh 1773w x 2400 x 95dpi

Published: May 21, 2013. Category: Nonfiction. Foreword by the Honorable George Nye, former Governor of Oklahoma. This eBook is Part 1 of 2 containing facts about the state of Oklahoma. Part 1 covers Achille to Nowata. It is not your grandpa’s boring history book. The author starts by telling the unique stories of 148 towns, including those which are a county seat in one of Oklahoma’s 77 counties. He includes photos, prominent people and humorous stories. Part 1 covers such towns as Ada, Atoka, Broken Arrow, Catoosa, Chandler, Claremore, Clinton, Del City, Durant, Eufaula, Elk City, Erick, Lawton, McAlester, Midwest City, Moore, and Norman.

  1. Manatee County, Florida: Facts, Folks and Photos

 

Master Cover -- Manatee County, FL -- Stan Paregien 01 1,900 X 2,561 X 600 dpi

This eBook is a combination of one part travel guide for the beaches and other attractions in Manatee County, one part who’s who of today’s leaders and yesterday’s heroes and heroines, one part family photo album, and one part a history book containing over 450 photos and 470 biographical sketches. It is written in a conversational style with touches of wit, wisdom, mystery and spice. There’s all kinds of factual information about our beautiful beaches and our vibrant history. But you’ll want to spent a lot of time in Chapter 3. There you’ll see photos and biographical sketches of hundreds of Manatee County people. Learn why the heck we do things like we do them (Hint: “Because that’s how grandma and grandpa used to do it.”) You’ll meet some of our wonderful pioneer families, a great many solid citizens, plus a lot of folks who work doggoned hard to make this County an even better place to live or to visit.

  1. A List of Stan Paregien’s eBooks

This lists the 16 eBooks by Stan Paregien which are available at various retailers online. Also a brief bio.

Here’s the magic link for any or all of the above:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1AYwU8g8IZo9v4nwXIBnDaXrpqmd6InRI

PLEASE NOTE:  The link above is subject to being changed at any time without notice.

Happy reading, my friends.

— Stan Paregien

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Issue 357 – We Enjoy Our Visitors

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The Paregien Journal   –   Issue 357   –   July 13, 2017

We Really Enjoy Our Visitors

During our marriage of 55+ years, Peggy and I have lived in several states and cities. I can safely say that none of them, except for our current home in Florida, has been known as a “tourist destination city.”  The region from Tampa, down through Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Bradenton, Sarasota, and Venice contains beautiful cities, beaches, museums and scores of other attractions. So hundreds of thousands of visitors flock here from all over the United States, Canada and Europe–especially during “the season” (November through April). 

Naturally, that old capitalism rule of “supply and demand” kicks in, with hotels raising their rates and still running at or near capacity, and restaurants hike their prices and still have waiting lines (even at . . . or maybe especially at . . . the “Early Bird Special” time of 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.). And then there is the additional traffic, . . . but don’t get me started on that.

So we are fortunate and happy to have a few more friends and relatives who come to visit us for a day several days. We are always glad host them and get caught up on their lives and the lives of our mutual friends. And we try to guide them to the best attractions in the area.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Martha and Darrell Russell are very special friends of ours and have been for many years. We all met when Peggy and Martha each worked in the Southwest Airlines Reservation Center north of the airport in Oklahoma City. For several years, Peggy and Martha shared rides back and forth to work from our respective homes about 25 miles from the airport (in Edmond, Okla.). Then when we decided to move to Florida in June of 2013, these two generous souls volunteered to make the trip with us. In fact, Darrell had driven business-sized trucks for years and he accepted the role of chief driver of our rental truck. Martha and Peggy drove our van. 

Then a couple of years later they retired, sold their house, bought a Recreational Vehicle and started roaming all over the U.S. Then their daughter and son-in-law got transferred to Jupiter (over on Florida’s east coast; also where the aging movie star Burt Reynolds still lives) and they started living with there when not RV-ing. And just a few weeks ago, the whole crew moved to new digs up in Social Circle, Georgia. Google that town and scroll out and look at how the town is platted — in a doggone circle. Pretty strange.

Anyway, I think you catch my drift that we very much appreciate and love these two wonderful folks.

And, speaking of wonderful folks, . . . that leads us to James and Glenda Cotton of Edmond, Okla. 

2017--03--05 01A Palmetto, FL - James and Glenda Cotton - by S Paregien

We first met James and Glenda Cotton (of Marshall, Okla.) in a congregation in Oklahoma City where we were all attending. Since then, they have moved from her family farm to just on the far north side of Oklahoma City. We all four laugh all the time about how we were mismatched somewhere back in time, as Peggy and James share a great passion for searching for seashells and tinkering with stuff while Glenda and I are happy to watch the sunsets and read books. Last year Peggy and I rode with them from Edmond all the way through Texas and New Mexico up to Westcliffe, Colorado . . . to a friend’s cabin . . . and then took the long way home. Quite an adventure. And quite fantastic friends.

2017--03--26 02 Brian, Ruth, Muriel, Peg - Venice, FL - by Stan Paregien

Two of our newer retired friends who live in Venice are Dr. Brian and Ruth Smith, R.N. Before they were married, they each independently went to separate medical missions in Africa. A series of twists and turns took place, finally causing them to meet and to get married. They spent the last 20 years of their careers working in McAllen, Texas, moving to Venice in late 2015 or so for his health.

The photo above shows them with my cousin/brother Jerry Paregien (blue shirt) and his wife Muriel and with Peggy.  Both Jerry and I grew up a few miles apart in the wilds of Ventura County (just north of Malibu, etc.). He graduated (as did Peggy) from Ventura High School, while I graduated from Fillmore High School.  I had one sister, Roberta (“Berta”), but nary a single brother. Jerry has certainly filled that slot for me over the years, so I love him as my substitute physical brother and as my brother in Christ. It just doesn’t get much closer than that. 

Muriel and Peggy just seemed to hit it off from the first time they met. For one thing, they are both “P.K.’s.” Now those of you insiders in church circles know what that means. Each of them was a “preacher’s kid.” Muriel’s father, Dale Knowles, preached for ultra-conservative independent Christian Churches (and her brother, Victor Knowles, is a preacher and the long-time editor of ONE BODY, a magazine advocating Christian unity).  Peggy’s father, W.W. (“Woody”) Allen, preached for ultra-conservative Churches of Christ, mainly in Nebraska and in Ventura, Calif. But Muriel and Peggy share so many other interests that their relationship is very similar to that which Jerry and I have. 

2017--06--01 02 - Woody, Lisa, Ella King - Bradenton, FL - by Stan Paregien

Woody King is a son of Paula King and the late Bill King, making him a nephew to Peggy and to me. Woody’s parents farmed in Arizona and Texas, then moved to California and soon to Oklahoma’s oil patch(s), and in his adult life out to Portland, Oregon. Lisa’s parents live in Sarasota and it was Woody and Lisa’s wedding on beautiful Siesta Beach — attended by Peggy — that was a major influence in our moving to Florida. They have the one daughter, cute and smart little Ella. They work together as independent entrepreneurs.

Hey, here is a “blast from the past.”  This photo of Woody and others was taken at our little 10-acre “farm” northwest of Stroud, Okla., in 1981. I added the captions, of course.

1981--048--B---Woody-Gene-Evelyn-Chester-Jeff---StroudOK

That is my mom and step-father in back, and Woody’s younger brother Jeff at right.

2017--06--15 12 - Sarasota, FL - luncheon cruises - by Stan Paregien

Luncheon cruise on Sarasota Bay in mid-June, 2017

This photo is of Stan and Peggy Paregien with their one and only daughter, Mrs. John (Stacy Evelyn Paregien) Magness. Stacy (cook in a nursing home) and John (foreman for a company in the oil field service business) and their adult daughter Christal live in tiny Snook, Texas just west of Bryan/College Station (think “Texas A&M”).  They have lived in Texas all of their married lives. This was Stacy’s first trip to Florida. We hope someday, since her husband John refuses to fly at all, to hog-tie him and load him on a plane and get him here, too. Stacy, by the way, is our greatly loved “chosen child,” as we adopted her in Oklahoma when she was two years old. Their older child, Dylan, works with his father and lives in College Station with his girlfriend. Their first baby is a beautiful girl named Presleigh.

That is Stacy’s picture on the left, at about the same age as Presleigh.

The note in my newspaper for July 7th’s “Birthdays” included the one and only . . . Doc Sevrinsen. Okay, if you’re under 40 years of age you have probably never heard of him. But ol’ Doc, whose real name was Carl, turned 90 this year. He was the band leader during most of the years that Johnny Carson hosted “The Tonight Show” on TV. At one time he owned a horse ranch in Purcell, Oklahoma (which likes to call itself “The Quarter Horse Capital of the World”). He lives up in Webbed Foot Country (i.e., Oregon), and he still performs once in a while. He was especially noted for his wacky stage outfits and for his kinda “wacked out” stage persona, which I don’t know was for real or just an act. He was different, though.

Severinsen, Doc -- about 2016 -- trumpet player and band leader on NBC

Oh, and on July 7, 1954, that nobody truck driver from Tupelo, Mississippi actually conned some D.J. at WHBQ in Memphis to play his first record, “That’s All Right,” for the very first time. And the song was a heck of a lot more than “All Right.” Neither Sun Records nor the world of music would be the same for very long after that. I remember that this “rock ‘n roller” (or hillbilly rocker) in about 1955, when I was a student at Roosevelt Junior High School in Tulsa, came to town for a show. The place was mobbed. And the newspaper the next day on their front page had a photo of two or three of my female classmates trying to climb into Elvis Presley’s dressing room from a window on the outside wall. Ah, yes, the good ol’ days.

Presley, Elvis -- with his guitar in about 1955 - it is a 1955 Martin D-28 guitar

We had been giving some serious thought and discussion about flying to Japan to see that nation and to spent some time with our daughter-in-law Becky Paregien’s brother and sister-in-law, Mike and Tomoko McClain in the Hitachi coastal area north-east of Tokyo. . . .  . . Then, one of our Rwandan friends invited us to his wedding in September there in Rwanda, Africa. So we (mainly Peggy) shifted gears and started researching that trip, instead. The Rwanda trip was just too cost-prohibitive. So we (mainly Peggy) turned our attention back to that possible trip to Japan. After visiting with a travel agent, we decided the possible Japan trip was impossible for us. And for the same reasons:  $$$$$

So we have regrouped and are thinking of going two places instead of one: Paris and Rome.

Doesn’t that sound just wonderful?

Well, don’t get too excited. We’re talking (mostly joking) about driving to both Paris, Tennessee and Rome, Georgia. It would give us some bragging rights, if we just left off the state names. Then on second thought, . . . naw. Back to the drawing board.

Hey, we have a heck of a lot of fun with all of the folks here in our 55+ gated MHP, including such folks as long-time resident Pat Goeller. Read the sign on her shirt.

 

2017--04--11 01 Bradenton, FL - Pat Goeller - by S Paregien

Well, friends and neighbors, that’s it for this time. Thanks for stopping by and “Y’all come, ya hear?”

— Stan Paregien

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Issue 331 – Music: Merle Haggard & More

The Paregien Journal  –  Issue 331  –  April 25, 2016  – Stan Paregien, Sr., Editor

 

Merle Haggard: One of a Kind

by Stan Paregien Sr

Copyrighted April 25, 2016

One of country music’s brightest stars died on his birthday—as he had predicted—on April 6, 2016. Merle Ronald Haggard’s death was due to complications of pneumonia. He died at his ranch estate near Palo Cedro, California, surrounded by family members and close friends. He was 79.
Haggard, Merle  -- young  -  02

Merle Haggard was a multi-talented dynamo of energy and determination. Much like folksinger Woody Guthrie from the 1930s and 1940s, Merle was a singer who reflected the hurts and dreams of the common working people in the United States. He was, indeed, a poet of the people.  He was a skilled guitar player and fiddle player who could hold his own in any band or jam. He was even a pretty good impersonator of other country stars such as Buck Owens and Conway Twitty.

Most of all, he was an earthy, honky-tonk songwriting machine who penned many hundreds, if not 10,000 as he sometimes claimed, of songs. Merle’s songwriting could be ignited by something he saw traveling across the country on his tour bus. Or he might get a great idea from a story in the newspaper. Or he might be fishing on Lake Shasta in northern California and reel in a whopper of a song concept.

He told one interviewer in 2003 that he wrote each song with the audience in mind: “The idea is for them to go home with a belly full of what they came for.” And he added, “You’ve got to remember songs are meant to be sung. You are not writing poetry.” Ironically, in 2008 the Academy of Country Music gave The Hag its “Poet of the Year” award.

Haggard, Merle  --  late in life  -- a quote -- 02

It all started when the Haggard family of Okie dust-bowl refugees left Checotah, Oklahoma about 1934 for a chance of a better life out in the Golden State. His father was James Francis Haggard and his mother was Flossie Mae (Harp), and his two older siblings were a brother Lowell and a sister Lillian (Merle would be born three years later). When they arrived in Bakersfield, Calif., Mr. Haggard luckily found a steady job with the Santa Fe Railroad. They were living in a small apartment when Mr. Haggard bought an old railroad boxcar, bought a small lot in Oildale and put the boxcar on it. He remodeled it into a home, minus a bathroom and any luxuries. Over the years he kept adding on to it until it was a fairly decent home for the family. [On July 29, 2015, movers hauled that old “boxcar/house” over to the Kern County Museum in Oildale where it will reside in the “Pioneer Village” section and can be seen by Haggard’s fans.]

It was in that boxcar in Oildale, California that Merle Ronald Haggard was born on April 6, 1937. Mr. Haggard died in 1945 from a brain hemorrhage when Merle was just nine years old. That left his mother, a devoutly religious woman, alone to try to train and discipline this head-strong boy. She worked full-time as a bookkeeper, but she had even more of a job tending to Merle. He kept getting into trouble at school and she kept cleaning up his messes and trying to corral him. Then came his teen years and he was way out of control. That provided the sad storyline for his song, “Momma Tried.” [NOTE: It turns out, according to Ancestry.com, that there were some distance relatives of mine also living in Oildale about that time. –SP]

YOUTUBE:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=loT_pYzi3Vw

Back when Haggard was twelve-years old, his brother Lowell gave his much-used guitar to him. Merle taught himself to play by listening to records made by Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell and Bob Wills. Haggard’s first paying gig was in about 1950 with his childhood friend Bob Teague. They played a set at “The Fun Center,” a seedy bar in Modesto. The two of them received free beer and a $5.00 bill.

The Hag grew up as a juvenile delinquent and petty criminal. He hit the big time, though, when he got drunk and tried to burglarizing a roadside bar and café. He was sent to the big house – the really big house — San Quentin prison. That was on Feb. 21, 1958, and he became Inmate 845200. There, in 1958, he sat with hundreds of his fellow inmates and watched Johnny Cash put on a dazzling, high-energy show. Then and there, Merle decided he would learn to do the same thing.

Anyway, when Merle was released from San Quentin in 1960, he went from bar to bar and honky-tonk to honky-tonk pestering the owners until they let him perform. He once said it was either go back to digging ditches in the oil fields or working like a dog in the cotton fields surrounded Bakersfield, . . . or scratch out a living singing his songs. It was an easy decision, but a difficult plan to execute.  

Later, Merle went to a Lefty Frizzell show. The producer allowed Haggard backstage to watch Frizzell. In doing so, he also sang along with Lefty, albeit out of sight of the audience. But the star heard him and like it, so he talked the producer into allowing Merle to step on stage and sing three songs. The audience applauded enthusiastically, and that made him dream more about being a professional singer and musician.

Soon the word got around that, convicted felon or not, this guy had grit and determination. And, heck, he had a style and a message which resonated with folks in the San Joaquin Valley. In 1962, his friend and mentor Wynn Stewart was performing six-nights a week at his own nightclub, “The Nashville Nevada,” in Las Vegas and had a local TV show. Stewart asked Haggard to join him. There Merle heard Stewart’s plaintiff tune, “Sing a Sad Song.” He asked his friend’s permission to record it. And in 1964 that single became a nation-wide hit for Merle.

YOUTUBE:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwGIncz-7fM

The very next year, he recorded “My Friends Are Gonna Be Strangers” written by Liz Anderson (mother of Lynn Anderson) and it vaulted all the way up to the top 10 list in the country. His career was officially off and running.

Another Liz Anderson tune, “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive” (co-written with her husband Casey Anderson) became The Hag’s very first, certified Number 1 hit. And the money and offers began to be thrown at him, big time.

YOUTUBE:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejmDQp13YII

It was Merle Haggard and The Strangers band who, with Buck Owens and The Buckaroos, perfected “The Bakersfield Sound” of straight-shooting, no holds barred, twangy music made with Fender Telecaster guitars, weepy steel guitars and pounding drums.  In Haggard’s band, it was Ralph Mooney playing the steel guitar and Roy Nichols teasing hot-licks out of his Fender Telecaster guitar.

My late cousin, Roger K. Paregien, grew up in Bakersfield. He told me of how he knew Haggard fairly well when he was struggling to make a name for himself playing in the bars and clubs in the area. And my cousin Jerry R. Paregien, while living in Yuba City, Calif., often went fishing and camping at Lake Shasta. He and his wife often saw Merle fishing from his unusual houseboat which he called “Hotel Thermadore.”

The Hag ordered his houseboat specifically for use on Lake Shasta. The official park and lake regulations specified that no vessel could be larger than 15 feet wide and no longer than 50 feet. Well, Merle had his own specifications. His houseboat, launched in 1982, was a three-story vessel that, with catwalks along the sides, measured 18 feet wide and 50 feet long. The rangers protested and, eventually, Merle removed the side catwalks. It was a well-designed party boat which even had a private fishing well inside, where he and his guests could fish day or night without being viewed. He sold his houseboat in 2006. The new owners removed the third story and did extensive updates. It is now called “The Shasta Queen” and can be seen cruising the waters of Lake Shasta. 

Haggard, Merle -- his former houseboat, now called 'The Shasta Queen'

The “Okie from Muskogee” man was at his peak of popularity from about 1965 to 1990.  Merle wrote “Okie from Muskogee” in 1969 while traveling on his tour bus, and it was nothing but his own poke-in-the-eye of the hippies and protesters of that period. However, folks interpreted it as a patriotic piece of Americana and made it one of his best-selling songs. A watershed moment for the Hag came when the Country Music Association in 1970 named his song “Okie From Muskogee” the best single of the year and the album from which it came was the album of the year. Best of all, they name Merle Haggard the Entertainer of the Year.”

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68cbjlLFl4U

In 1972, the sitting Governor of California—a former actor named Ronald Reagan—gave Haggard a full pardon.

Haggard, Merle  --  with Governor Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy

Merle Haggard shares a laugh with California Governor Ronald Reagan and wife Nancy.

And nearly as sweet, Merle had an unprecedented run of nine consecutive Number 1 hits between 1973 and 1976. In 1980, he had another Number 1 hit with “Bar Room Buddies” featuring a duet between himself and mega-star actor Clint Eastwood (for the movie “Bronco Billy”). 

YOUTUBE:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7l0luZHf_yg

Haggard, Merle  --  with Clint Eastwood  'Barroom Buddies'

Then in Haggard’s autobiography, Sing Me Back Home, was published in 1981. Another musical streak started for Merle that year. From then to 1985, he produced 12 more songs that jumped right into the Top 10 barrel. Heck, 9 of those 12 climbed all the way to Uno Numero. Those number one recordings included “Someday When Things are Good,” “Natural High,” and “Going Where the Lonely Go.” And in 1982 he and George Jones worked together to drive “Yesterday’s Wine” to the top of the chart. Then he repeated that duet thing with “Pancho and Lefty” with Willie Nelson in 1983 and rode it to the top of the heap. He was hot. Very hot.

However, his marriage was not. Not hot, that is. He and Leona Williams, after only five years, split the sheets. The next ten years of wild partying became mostly a blur for The Hag, as he abused both alcohol and drugs and sex. But early on, in 1984, he cranked out the great song, “That’s the Way Love Goes” and for it won a “Best Male County Vocal Performance” award from the Grammy folks.

YOUTUBE:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcUZst4vcAM

The last song he would ever have ring the Number 1 bell was one of my personal favorites: “Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star.”

YOUTUBE:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfGqJzacgQU

My wife, Peggy, says her favorite Merle Haggard song is “Rainbow Stew.”

YOUTUBE:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEDT7QGDzsE

The Country Music Hall of Fame inducted Haggard in 1994. And soon, amazingly enough, he took his honky-tonk Bakersfield music on a highly successful tour with The Rolling Stones and with Bob Dylan.

I remember a stressful time in my own life when my wife and I were in financial stress. And I recall latching onto Haggard’s sad-but-hopeful song, “If We Make It Through December.” It still brings tears to my eyes.

YOUTUBE:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGDo1Jybs_I

Other demons in Haggard’s life included the bottle, drugs and a long list of broken relationships of the female variety. He was married five times. The first was Leona Hobbs Williams, a singer, which ran from 1956 to 1964. The second was Bonnie Owens, former wife of Buck Owens, who sang harmony, and they were together as mates from 1965 to 1978.

Haggard, Merle with wife Bonnie Owens H and George Jones and Tammy Wynette

Tammy Wynette and George Jones with Mr. & Mrs. Merle Haggard (Bonnie Owens Haggard)

That same year, Haggard married his fourth lady, Debbie Parret, but they divorced in 1991. His fifth wife, and the one who was still with him at the time of his death, was Theresa Lane. He had a total of six children. 

Haggard was so in touch with the hearts of his fans that he had 38 songs reach Number 1 on the charts. At one point in his career he released nine songs in a row that made it to Number 1. Over 100 of his songs were successful enough to at least make it on the charts, no small accomplishment for any entertainer.

Here is the list of his thirty-eight (yes, 38) Number 1 hits and the year each was honored: (1) “I’m a Lonesome Fugitive” in 1966; (2) “Branded Man” in 1967; (3) “Sing Me Back Home” in 1968; (4) “The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde” in 1968; (5) “Mama Tried” in 1968; (6) “Hungry Eyes” in 1969; (7) “Workin’ Man Blues” in 1969; (8) “Okie from Muskogee” in 1969; (9) “The Fightin’ Side of me” in 1970; (10) “Daddy Frank” in 1971; (11) “Carolyn” in 1971; (12) “Grandma Harp” in 1972; (13) “It’s Not Love (But It’s Not Bad)” in 1972; (14) “I Wonder If They Ever Think of Me” in 1972; (15) “Everybody’s Had the Blues” in 1973; (16) “If We Make It through December” in 1973; (17) “Things Aren’t Funny Anymore” in 1974; (18) “Old Man from the Mountain” in 1974; and (19) “Kentucky Gambler” in 1974.

And (20) “Always Wanting You” in 1975; (21) “Movin’ On” in 1975; (22) “It’s All in the Movies” in 1975; (23) “The Roots of My Raising” in 1975; (24) “Cherokee Maiden” in 1976; (25) “Bar Room Buddies” with Clint Eastwood in 1980; (26) “I Think I’ll Just Say Here and Drink” in 1980; (27) “My Favorite Memory” in 1981; (28) “Big City” in 1981; (29) “Yesterday’s Wine” with George Jones in 1982; (30) “Going Where the Lonely Go” in 1982; (31) “You Take Me for Granted” in 1982; (32) “Pancho and Lefty” with Willie Nelson in 1983; (33) “That’s the Way Love Goes” in 1984; (35) “Let’s Chase Each Other Around the Room” in 1984; (36) “A Place to Fall Apart” with Janie Frickie in 1984; (37) “Natural High” in 1985; and (38) his very last Number 1 song of his whole career, “Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star” in 1987. 

Merle Haggard achieved those 38 Number 1 records in a span of just 15 years. He would continue performing around the world for another 29 years, but would never again have a Number 1 hit.

On stage, he preferred to sing his songs rather than to talk much to his audiences. My wife and I went to a concert in Las Vegas in 1986 which featured George Jones, Merle Haggard and Conway Twitty doing their individual sets. Merle, like George Jones, came out and said little; but delivered a solid performance of his hit songs. The evening was stolen by Conway Twitty. The hormones of the women in the audience went into overdrive when he came out and said, “Hello, darlin'” in his deep, sexy voice. Then throughout the program he shared stories about his career, his long friendships with other performers, and such. The concert featuring these three legends was a moment to remember, but Twitty best connected with the audience.

Merle Haggard’s standard practice, during the last two decades of his career, was to approach each concert and live audience was to go with the flow. He no longer worked for a set-in-concrete set list. With an inventory of some 300 songs he could easily draw from at any moment, he liked just winging the show and following the applause of the audience as a good signal of the type of songs they wanted. Not many performers are comfortable with that arrangement.

Merle and his wife Bonnie Owens in 1965 were selected for the “Best Vocal Group” for their duet songs in a whole album, and in 1967 that won “Top Duo.” In 1970, the Academy of Country Music named him “Entertainer of the Year.” In 1977, Merle Haggard was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1982 his song, “Are the Good Times Really Over” won the “Song of the Year” award. In 1995, he walked away from the Academy of Country Music awards show with their “Pioneer Award.” In 1997, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. In 2006, he was honored with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Grammy organization and he also won the BMI “Icon Award.”  In 2010, he went to Washington, D.C., where he was given a Kennedy Center Award. The Academy of Country Music in 2013 bestowed on him its “Crystal Milestone Award.”

In 2015, Merle joined forces with old-friend Willie Nelson, again. This time they did a duet on video titled “It’s All Going to Pot.” Both Haggard and Nelson were both shown smoking marijuana joints. That was no surprise for Willie’s followers, but probably was for a lot of people who love Merle’s music.

YOUTUBE:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6c6eUeoa9Q

There were clues, however, in various interviews when Haggard poopooed the efforts of the Federal government to enforce anti-pot laws. In a magazine interview in 2003, he said: “I had different views in the ’70s. As a human being, I’ve learned [more]. I have more culture now. I was dumb as a rock when I wrote ‘Okie From Muskogee’. That’s being honest with you at the moment, and a lot of things that I said [then] I sing with a different intention now. My views on marijuana have totally changed. I think we were brainwashed and I think anybody that doesn’t know that needs to get up and read and look around, get their own information. It’s a cooperative government project to make us think marijuana should be outlawed.”

 

Haggard, Merle  -- and Willie Nelson  --  01

Merle & Willie

Now, one little-known talent that ol’ Merle had was in impersonating other country music stars. In the video below, he is on the Glen Campbell Show and impersonates Marty Robbins, Hank Snow, Buck Owens and Johnny Cash (with Owens and Cash appearing with them).

YOUTUBE:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4V3S7kGNjY

Haggard, Merle  --  with Buck Owens, Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell

Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens & Glen Campbell

Then here is another impersonation session on live TV in which Merle Haggard and wife Bonnie Owens Haggard sing together, and Marty Robbins is there.

YOUTUBE:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ng5bPhCHAIs

On April 9, 2016, a private funeral service was conducted at the Haggard estate in northern California. Nashville star and long-time friend Connie Smith sang “Precious Memories,” while she and husband Marty Stuart sang a duet of “Silver Wings.” The Hag’s old buddy Kris Kristoffersen sang “Sing Me Back Home, Again” and “For a Moment of Forever.” Then Willie Nelson’s son, Micah Nelson, joined Kristoffersen in singing the Willie-Merle hit song, “Pancho and Lefty.” After that, Haggard’s own sons—Ben, Marty and Noel—joined Kristoffersen in singing “Today I Started Loving You, Again,” a song written by Merle Haggard and wife Bonnie Owens Haggard in 1968.

Haggard, Merle  -- with Kris Kristoffersen  --  01

Merle & Kris a few years back

The tired, worn-out body of Merle Haggard was thus laid to rest. However, his large inventory of music CD’s and DVD’s and videos will help keep his legendary talent in the public’s mind for decades and decades to come. Real estate sales people, particularly in California, always like to say, “Buy property now, ’cause they ain’t making any more.” They’re not making any more Merle Haggards, either. So it is hard to guess what young country music star might one day over-shadow the career of Merle Haggard, but we know that eventually it will happen.

Still, ‘ol Merle’s music will be heard across America as long as the grass grows and the water flows.

End.

2016--03--20--B     Dion DiMucci of 'Dion and the Belmonts'

2016--02--22   Death of country singer SONNY JAMES at age 87

2016--03--20    Neil Young, 'My Defining Moment'

House concerts reappearing - by Ginny Beagan -- Page 1 of 2

House concerts reappearing - by Ginny Beagan -- Page 2 of 2

Alright, friends and internet neighbors, here are a few songs that some of you may want to learn and share with your own friends.

Somebody Make Trump Go Away -- a song copyrighted 2016--03--10 by Stan Paregien Sr

Banjos  --  Music  -- Maestro spends eternity in the banjo room in hell

 

 

Atheists Don't Have No Songs  -- by comedian Steve Martin -- page 1 of  2

'I got the ain't nobody reading my tweets blues.'

Big Boss Man  --  by Al Smith and Luther Dixon  -- Blues

Blue Ridge Mountain Blues  --  by Bill Clifton and Buddy Dee  -- bluegrass

Gift, The -- by Garth Brooks -- page 1 of 2 -- Christmas songGift, The -- by Garth Brooks -- page 2 of 2 -- Christmas song

He's In the Jailhouse Now  --  blues, bluegrass

Isle of Innisfree   --  by Richard Farrelly of Ireland -- Irish song

Music -- banjo - he told me he's a musician, but he's a banjo player

1900s -- early  --  All-Girl Orchestra in Manatee County, Florida

Music  --  Mother Grimm cartoon 'Doe, a female dear, - - -' buzzards sing

Thank you, so much, for stopping by and spending part of your day with me here at the ol’ cowboy bunkhouse. See ya the next time.

— Stan

AA  Fair Use Disclaimer - 01 -- designed on by Stan Paregien Sr on 2016-02-01

 

Issue 317 – Family & Friends in 2015

The Paregien Journal   –   Issue 317    –    Dec. 18, 2015

Stan Paregien, Editor

FAMILY AND FRIENDS IN 2015

In the course of a year, a person who travels even a little bit will meet a lot of interesting folks. Some are witting and charming, others are self-centered and obnoxious, while most are somewhere in between.

The fact is, though, that the really important people in our lives are a fairly small number of family members and friends. And it is to those precious few that I dedicate this page.

NOTE: Please know that those who fit into one or both of those categories of “family” and “friends”  are not necessarily in the photos below. I did not have recent photos of many of you, nor did I have space enough to include all. Kind of a nice problem to have, really. 

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Becky & Stan Paregien Jr in Waterloo, Illinois – March, 2015

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0465   2015-03--28   -- Little Gasparilla Island  - Jean Pendergrass - Shirley Cook  -- by Peggy Paregien

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0045   2015--02--12   - Bradenton,  FL - Don Betts' 83rd birthday - by Jim Parker

This is a group of Christian men who meet in Bradenton each Thursday morning for a “show and tell” brunch. The man at left is a visitor, then (clockwise) are Jim Waid, Clay Landes, Mike Cook (sunglasses), Stan Paregien, Don Betts, Mike Sirus and Rom “Hollywood” Colella. 

 

0041   2015--01--31 - Abe Guillermo and Jean Pendergrass, friends since 1953 - he died Feb 10, 2015

Abe was a native of Hawaii. As a 9-year-old boy, he watched from his family’s farm as the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Abe graduated to heaven this year.

Guillermo, Abraham M  -- Memorial Service -- 2015--03--17  Page 1 of 5Guillermo, Abraham M  -- Memorial Service -- 2015--03--17  Page 2 of 5

2015--04--05--A10    Bradenton, FL - Easter Sunrise on the Riverwalk -- Bonnie Hamill and P Paregien by S Paregien2015--04--05--B1 -- Washington, DC -- Major Stan Paregien Jr - USAFR2015--04--22   02   Bradenton, FL -- Al Good turned 90 -- by Virgina Corbin

Geri Mack watches as husband Al Mack cuts the cake on his 90th birthday. Bradenton, FL – 2015 –  Photo by Stan Paregien

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2015--04--18   B05  Sheridan, AR --  Dominic, Jodi, Peg, Bailee -  by Stan Paregien2015--04--21   D-04  Tulsa, Ok - Peg Paregien, Maynard and Sue Hammans - by S Paregien2015--04--22  A01B  Cleveland, OK -- Verdonn and Sharron Blevins2015--04--23  A05  Edmond, OK - Paregiens and Arringtons and Sengs

2015--04--24  A28  Edmond, OK -   -- Jean Ndayisaba with relatives and P and S Paregien

2015--04--27   2   Stratford, OK  -- David and Patsy Bryan - by Peggy Paregien2015--04--27   3   Stratford, OK  -- David and Patsy Bryan - by Peggy Paregien2015--04--28   A01B  Snook, TX  -- Stacy P Magness - by Stan Paregien2015--04--28   A02  Snook, TX  -- Christal - Peg - Dylan - Stan - by Stacy Magness

2015--05--08   B03   Bradenton, FL -- Clay Landes and others at a jam -- by Peggy Paregien2015--05--08   B06   Bradenton, FL -- Rod Myers at a jam -- by Peggy Paregien

2015--05--17    A01   Bradenton, FL  --  Ronnie and Carole Colella2015--05--18  B1   Joplin, MO -- Victor and Evelyn Knowles

Victor and Evelyn Knowles – Joplin, MO – 2015

V2015--05--07   03   Rwanda, Africa  -- Bryan and Holly Hixson - 24 Anniversary2015--05--25   B05 -- Bradenton, FL  --  Virginia Corbin, P Paregien and dogs  -- by S Paregien

Our dear neighbor, Virginia Corbin with her dog Buddy, and Peggy Paregien with her dog Allie. 2015 – Bradenton, FL – by Stan Paregien

2015--05--08   A01-2   Anna Maria Island, FL -- Martha and Darrell Russell -- by Peggy Paregien

2015--05--23   A07   Stroud, OK - 30th Reunion of the Class of 1985  - Stan JR - Joe Bob Cornett

2015--06--05   A02-A  -- Roberta Fournier's obituary, 1943 to 20152015--06--05   A02-B  -- Roberta Fournier's obituary, 1943 to 2015

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2015--07--04   A02   Bradenton, FL  -- PG MHP luncheon -- Jean and Bob L'Hullier  -- by Stan Paregien

1876  --  2015--06   Bradenton, FL -- DJ and Ray Multer  -- by Peggy Paregien

1822 -- 2015--08--04  A04  Bradenton, FL -  neighbor Ray Multer died at age 75

1933  2015-08-13 --  Bradenton, FL -- Rom Colella, Don Betts -- by S Paregien

1966  --  St Petersburg, FL - Ft Desoto Park -- Sept 2, 2015 -- Lynne and Ed Hutchinson with Peggy Paregien  - by Stan Paregien1992  --  2015--09--05  Sarasota, FL - Rod Myers presiding at Clay and Pat Landes' 50th Anniversary --  by Stan Paregien2002  --  2015--09--05  Sarasota, FL - Clay and Pat Landes' 50th Anniversary --  by Stan Paregien2011  --  2015--09--05  Sarasota, FL - Clay and Pat Landes' 50th Anniversary --  by Stan Paregien2012  --  2015--09--05  Sarasota, FL - Clay Landes with Peggy Paregien --  by Stan Paregien2031  --  2015--09--06   Waterloo, IL  - Stan Paregien and new toy, a Delorean

Our Number One Son with a new toy: a DeLorean

2035  --  2015--09--23   Bradenton, FL - Smiths - Karin - Jean Pendergrass2037  --  2015--09--22  Jennifer B Morton, Carol B Tiger and Jami B McDonald2037  --  2015--09--22D  Carol Bond Tiger and her children2046  --  2015 - Marilyn and Kent Abel on a cruise2047  --  2015 - Oregon -- Paula King and sons Kevin, Karsen, Woody and Jeff

2015--10--12   2086  Sedona, AZ -- Judy and Don Betts  - by Stan Paregient2015--10--12   2135--C  Sedona, AZ  -  Courthouse Butte   -  copyrighted by Stan Paregien2015--10--13   2167--N   Sedona, AZ  -   Stan Paregien and Don Betts -  copyrighted by Peg Paregien2015--10--14   2209   Sedona, AZ  -   Slide Rock Park  -  copyrighted by Stan Paregien2015--10--16   2442--F    Cottonwood, AZ  - Blazin' M Ranch - Stan Paregien, Don Betts - by Peg Paregien

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2015--12--12   2726    Bradenton, FL --  Christmas Dinner

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Issue 284 — Our Trip to California

Issue 284    —    The Paregien Journal    —    June 13, 2014

Our Trip to California

by Stan Paregien Sr.

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Peggy and I flew west on Monday, May 12, 2014. We flew from Tampa, Florida to Houston, where we stopped but did not get off. We continued on to Los Angels International, where we did change planes. For about two hours we got to watch the crowded zoo of late/early/stranded passengers milling around. We got on our plane, okay, and continued on to Sacramento.

We arrived at Ione, California (35ish miles southeast of Sacramento) about 3 pm. We got to visit with my only sibling, my sister Roberta P. Fournier, who is two years younger than I. A heavy smoker for most of her life, she had to give the cancer sticks up when she found it harder and harder to breathe, even being on oxygen 24-hours per day. She has come close to dying several times since about 2007, so we feel that each day is a real bonus day for her.

Roberta, known better to me as “Bert” or “Berta,” lives with her younger son, Brad Loffswold, and his family. She is basically confined to the house, except for an occasional mandatory visit to one of her doctors and a rare trip out to a restaurant or such. On those occasions, she has to be pushed in a wheel chair as any walking quickly saps her energy and breath. So she depends a lot on her computer as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family. But there are days, due to rheumatoid arthritis in her fingers, when she is in too much pain to even use the keyboard.

After Brad’s family arrived, we loaded up in two cars and drove to the old gold-mining town of Jackson. It is at the base of the Sierra Nevadas and the terrain always reminds me of those scenes in the TV western “Big Valley,” with rolling hills and lush open range and lots of big oak trees. This time, though, the lack of rain had parched the grass and made prime material for a fire. Roberta and her late husband, Norm Fournier, ran a used record shop (and fan store) on Main Street in Jackson for many years. Even yet, you can ask her anything about records from 1940 to 1975 or so and she can recite book, chapter and verse about it. With me, though, when I hear one of those songs about all I can say is, “Gee, that song by whoever it is kinda sounds familiar, maybe.”

Anyway, we ate supper at “Mel’s Diner” in Jackson. We have eaten there several times in the past. Whether breakfast (which they serve all day), lunch or dinner, they set a fine meal with excellent service. I’m sorry, but when I go there I keep waiting for ol’ Flo (the waitress in the very old TV comedy, “Mel’s Diner”) to strut through the door, yelling back at Mel in the kitchen, “Well, just kiss my grits!!” Ah, that was my kind of sophistical humor and I miss it.

Roberta wanted to go to Mel’s Diner for one particular menu item: a great big chocolate sundae. If I’m lyin,’ I’m dyin’. She and our late mom often went to the local Indian casino for their terrific buffet. And the two of them always started at the important end: the desert bar. So tonight the sundae was her meal. And, what the hey, I was glad to see her enjoy it so much.

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Peggy and I usually stay up in the foothills at the Sutter Creek Days Inn in Sutter Creek, Calif. They have a decent continental breakfast, the staff are always helpful and the rooms clean and the environment quiet. The only drawbacks to that arrangement are the rooms do not have microwaves and no pool . . . and not even a single computer for guests. It is a very small former gold-mining town, but they draw lots and lots of tourists–especially on the weekends and holidays. And the roads in most of the area are narrow, winding and up and down the hills–so it is easy to get locked behind any slow driver.

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One of a half-dozen or so stone carvings in a car-sized plot of land on the south end of town.

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The above building was the Western terminus of the famous, but short-lived, pony express which carried mail between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacrament, California in what was in that day a record quick time.

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Well, friends, that’s a wrap for this post. Hope you enjoyed the photos.

Oh, hey, one more thing: I am now juggling three different blogs. This one, “The Paregien Journal,” plus my “Stan’s Paradise Report” about live in Florida, plus my newly resurrected blog, “The Cowboy Way: Then and Now.” That third one will feature stories, poems and photos about the Old West and the New West and the people in each. I just posted information about and dozens of photos of the 1987 convention of the Western Writers of America. You may see photos there of your favorite Western historian or novelist.

So when you finish this blog, I invite you to mosey over to the others to see what is new.

–Stan

Issue 279 – Photos from 1959, Part 02

Issue 279    —    The Paregien Journal    —    May 7, 2014

Photos from 1959 (Part 2)

by Stan Paregien Sr.

Here are some more photos from the Class of 1959 at Fillmore Union High School in Fillmore, California. Even after 55 years, these photos bring back a flood of memories for me . . . and mostly good ones. Hope you enjoy them.

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FUHS Faculty Members

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1959-010 FillmoreSrs  BardsdaleCA - Copy

Above: Orbie Ingersoll pushing Linda Burke and Ferrell (“Shorty”) Williams pushing Janet McDowell at Bardsdale School late one night. Photo by Stan Paregien

1959-092--EvelynParegien-cafeteriaStaff

1959-073--LetterwomensClub

1959-120--Hi-Y-Club---FillmoreCA

1959-121 Hi-Y-Officers--StanParegien

1959-126 PepClub-StanParegien

1959-127 IndustrialArts-StanP

1959-123 FUHS Chorus - StanParegien

1959-134--A  BASKETBALL  -- FillmoreCA - 1959 Yearbook

1959-134--B--BASKETBALL-- FillmoreCA--1959Yearbook

1959-134--C--BASKETBALL-- FillmoreCA--1959Yearbook

1959-134--D--BASKETBALL-- FillmoreCA--1959Yearbook

1959-134--E--BASKETBALL-- FillmoreCA--1959Yearbook

1959-134--G--BASKETBALL-- FillmoreCA--1959Yearbook

1959-134--H--BASKETBALL-- FillmoreCA--1959Yearbook

1959-135 SeniorPlay-StanP

1959-136--C--TRACK

1959-136--D--TRACK

1959-137--A--BASEBALL

1959-137--B--BASEBALL

1959-138--A--TENNIS--TooliePalmer

1959-191 FUHS-HouseOfRep

1959-193 FUHS-CafeteriaAssistants

1959-192 FUHS-OfficeAssistants

1959-194 FUHS-Custodians 1959-195 FUHS-CafeteriaStaff

1959-196 FUHS-PiTheta 1959-197 FUHS-CalifScholarshipFed

1959-198 FUHS-ArtClub 1959-199 FUHS-ThetaAlpha

1959-200 FUHS-TriHi-Y-01 1959-201 FUHS-TriHi-Y-02

1959-202---FUHS-Band--FillmoreCA 1959-203---FUHS-Band--FillmoreCA

1959-206 FUHS-Majorettes 1959-207 FUHS-CommercialClub-01

1959-208 FUHS-CommercialClub-02 1959-209 FUHS-SpanishClub-02

1959-210 FUHS-SpanishClub-01 1959-211 FUHS-ScienceClub

1959-212--A--FUHS-NewsFlashes 1959-212--B--FUHS-NewsFlashes

1959-214 FUHS-FFA-01 1959-215 FUHS-FFA-02

1959-216 FUHS-GirlsLeague-01 1959-217 FUHS-GirlsLeague-02

1959-218 FUHS-AssemblyCommittee 1959-220 FUHS-Printers

1959-221 FUHS-Projectionists 1959-222 FUHS-FutureNurses

1959-223 FUHS-FutureNurses-02 1959-229 FUHS-VarsityCheerleaders

1959-230 FUHS-SongLeaders 1959-247 FUHS-GirlsAthleticAssn-01

1959-251--A FUHS-plan-Stardust-01 1959-251--C--- FUHS-plan-Stardust

1959-251--F--- FUHS-play-Stardust 1959-257 FUHS-ScienceClub-01

1959-261 FUHS-CalifScholarFoundation 1959-262 FUHS-SafeDrivers

1959-268--PoliceChiefEarlHume--FillmoreCA 1959-284--CULTURE-----1959FordEdsel

On May 6, 2014, I received my official notice that the Class of 1959 will have tables reserved for the annual Fillmore Alumni Banquet on June 14, 2014 at the Veteran’s Memorial Building in Fillmore, Calif. It was mailed by class members Bob Morris and Glenda DeJarnette.

That’s all for today, my friends. I’ll post many more photos from 1959 another time. In fact, the next batch will be the graduation photos for each member of our class.

— Stan