Category Archives: Californa

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.

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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