Category Archives: Military

Issue 361 – The Vietnam War

logo-the-paregien-journal-2016-05-09-05-595-x-145-pix-x-400-dpi

The Paregien Journal  –  Issue 361  –  September 17, 2017

The Vietnam War

Tonight, Sept. 17, 2017 our local cable station will air on one of our PBS stations another new film series by master storyteller Ken Burns. Mr. Burns previously did such outstanding documentaries as “The Great Depression” and “The Civil War.” This one is no doubt his most controversial one of any he has done. It is titled “The Vietnam War.”

Vietnam War - Photos - 01 -- SV Police Chief killed Viet Cong suspect in Saigon in 1968

Vietnam War - Photos - 02 -- a SV plane Accidental dropped napalm on people, including 9 yr old Kim Phuc

Vietnam War - Photos - 03 -- American soldier in 1965 with 'War is Hell' on his helmet

Vietnam War - Photos - 04 -- Anti-war in Vietnam march in 1969 drew 400,000 people

Vietnam War - Photos - 05 -- American soldier saving 2 V children from danger

I plan to watch every hour of it, so that means a total investment over the next few weeks of 18 hours. Of course, if you miss it the first time around, it will be playing again in your area sometime in a year or two and periodically until Vietnam, . . . er, I mean . . . Hell freezes over.

There are lessons to be learned about our world, our nation and about ourselves if we will just pay attention. Here is some information about it:

New York Times - KEN BURNS' VIETNAM WAR -- Sept 17, 2017 -- Page 1

New York Times - KEN BURNS' VIETNAM WAR -- Sept 17, 2017 -- Page 2

New York Times - KEN BURNS' VIETNAM WAR -- Sept 17, 2017 -- Page 3

The Vietnam War by Ken Burns -- intro to 2017 series

 

logo-zia-the-end-300w-x-150dpi-pubdomain

 

 

 

Issue 355 – What Does July 4th Mean?

logo-the-paregien-journal-2016-05-09-05-595-x-145-pix-x-400-dpi

paregienjournal.com     –     Issue 355     –     June 29, 2017

Well, home owners in Manatee County are doing quite well, thank you. In May of 2017, the median sales price for an existing single-family home stood at $299,000. Folks, that was a 53 percent increase from the end of 2012. Of course, don’t forget there was a big-time real estate “bust” here from 2008 until early 2012. 

****

There was a fine little story in our local paper this morning. Reporter James A. Jones, Jr., did a little feature on a former Manatee County school educator named Bill O’Brien. Bill spends a lot of his time bowling these days, just as he has for the last 76 years. Hey, if I’m lyin’ I’m dyin’. Okay, technically like everyone else, I’m dying bit by bit. But I’m not lyin’. 

You see, Bill O’Brien is now 93 years old. He was first the principal of Prine Elementary, then of Pine View Elementary and then of Parrish Elementary School. A pretty darned good athlete himself in college, after World War II (he was wounded), 31 years ago he started presenting to Manatee County’s top cross country runners each year the “Bill O’Brien Trophy” and he is still doing it. Plus, he set up three endowed scholarship funds to help a few students each year. Bill is a pretty solid citizen, and I’d like to meet him one of these days.

****

Across the Manatee River in Palmetto, several remaining members of the Lincoln Memorial High School – Class of 1967 – met for their 50th reunion. What is really unusual about these people is they were about the last class to graduate from LMHS — an all-black school. There were 131 seniors in their class, but 42 have died. 

****

It has been quite a spell, but at 9:30 a.m. on  Thursday, June 22nd, I met friends Romolo (aka “Rom,” “Ron,” and “Youse guy”) Colella and Don (“The Poetry Machine”) Betts for a late breakfast at Leon’s House of Omelets in the shopping center just west of I-75 and on the south side of Highway 70 (53rd Avenue). We had some coffee and came up with solutions for most of the problems in the United States. Then after breakfast, we developed plans for solving Europe’s difficulties. Next time we’ll work on the energy crisis, I guess. Just routine stuff for old geezers. So if any of you want to join us, give me a call to make sure we’ll be there next time and not at our respective doctor appointments. Ah, yes, the “Golden Years of Life.” Between the three of us, we might have an ounce of gold and everybody is after it. Even if they have to pull it from our teeth.

****

Many may not be aware of the fact that the home headquarters and training center for Goodwill Industries is only a mile or so east of our hacienda. Those folks certainly do a lot of good for many disabled people, with training and jobs and such. Still, because the CEO at Goodwill makes a lot more money than the CEOs of any other similar charities, we prefer to make donations to the Salvation Army. And there are a couple of other Goodwill policies which bug me. They are skilled marketers, of course, taking donated items and marking them up as far as the market will allow. And around here they have donation centers about as common as McDonald’s.

In Manatee County and next-door Sarasota County they have established four stand-alone stores specializing in music and books, and these are very well-organized. But, simultaneously, they have junked the book departments in their regular stores. Once they, too, had books well-organized by topics. No more. In our regular stores, they are heaped together and making it a headache to wade through the mess. Oh, and one other thing I’ve noticed (which other thrift stores have started doing) is that on men’s shirts, for example, they still place price tags and sizes on the individual shirts . . . but then they throw them on the shirt racks with no size organization at all. I don’t get it, don’t like it and won’t shop at the regular stores for clothes or books. Very poor customer service, but easier for them, I guess. 

****

Our daughter, Mrs. John (Stacy) Magness, flew in from Houston on June 13th and left on June 20th. So we got to spend a lot of quality time with her. Of course, we had to work around those pesky afternoon thunderstorms and downpours virtually every day she was here. Still got to take her to both Manatee Beach (our preferred swimmin’ hole, with life guards and a cafe with mmmm, mmmm good pancakes each morning) and to Siesta Beach. Oh, and on her first afternoon, we took her to Clearwater Beach up in nearby Clearwater, Florida. So she got to see Florida’s most award-winning beaches. 

2017--06--13 03 - Clearwater, FL - Peggy and Stacy at CLEARWATER BEACH - by Stan Paregien2017--06--14 03 - Bradenton, FL - MANATEE BEACH -Stacy P Magness by Stan Paregien2017--06--14 08B - Bradenton, FL - MANATEE BEACH - by Stan Paregien2017--06--14 10A - Bradenton, FL - Peggy Paregien - by Stan Paregien

2017--06--14 10B - Bradenton, FL - Stan Paregien - by Stacy Magness

2017--06--14 11 - Bradenton, FL - Stacy P Magness - by Stan Paregien

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

We took a very nice luncheon cruise around Sarasota Bay one day. We got to see a couple of dolphin, plus many of the multi-million dollar mansions fronting the bay. 

2017--06--17 02 - Sarasota, FL - - Stacy P Magness

2017--06--17 04 - Sarasota, FL - - Ringling - panorama by S Magness

2017--06--17 07 - Sarasota, FL - - Ringling - Stacy Magness - by Peg Paregien

Peggy took Stacy down to the fabulous Ringling Mansion, Circus Museum and Art Museum in nearby Sarasota on June 17th. They spent the entire day there and had a great time. 

****

Surely this is not a sign of my memory failing or my advancing years, but . . . in the “Birthdays On This Date” section of our local rag for June 23rd I saw where Clarence Thomas– you know — a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Yep, I recognized him . . . but the long list of “younger” musicians, writers, singers, and actors meant nothing to me. Hmmm.

Rogers, Will and Wiley Post -- one of last photos before deaths on Aug 15, 1935

Will Rogers (top, left) & pilot Wiley Post

And in the longer “Today in History” column I only paid much attention to this note: “In 1931, aviators Wiley Post and Harold Gatty took off from New York on a round-the-world flight that lasted eight days and 15 hours.” Now Wiley Post, who had a wild hair or two as a teenager in Oklahoma, lost an eye when injured on an oil drilling rig in Oklahoma. So he used the insurance settlement to pay for flying lessons and with the rest he bought his very first airplane.

I read a fine biography of Post a few years back,and the author pointed out all of his successes in flying and in inventing high-altitude equipment for pilots. Because of his many ’round-the-world flights and publicity, it is true that when he and his close friend–movie and stage star Will Rogers–died in Alaska in a plane crash (flown by Post) on August 15, 1935, it was Wiley Post who was far better known outside of the United States. I have been to Rogers’ beautiful grave site and museum in Claremore, Oklahoma as well as to Post’s well-marked burial place in far north central Oklahoma City. Each man was exceptional in his own field of expertise.

****

“Paregien’s Bed & Breakfast & More” will be back in operation soon. We are expecting two of our Rwandan friends to visit us in early to mid-August. Then our son and his wife (Stan Jr. & Becky) and their son and his wife (Daniel and Leah) will be with us, from the St. Louis area, from about August 24th to Sept. 4th. We’re polishing up the horseshoe equipment and the shuffleboard stuff to keep them from getting bored here in Paradise.

****

Peggy and I watched another old movie the other night (the only kind our grandkids swear we watch, but there are a few things they don’t know). Anyway this U.S. Cavalry vs. Indians movie was titled “The Oregon Passage.” It was actually filmed in a forest over not far from Bend, Oregon. It was in color and starred a good-lookin’ dude named John Erickson, whom I had never seen before so I guess he went back to being a lifeguard or selling used cars. I noticed as they rolled the credits that the film script was actually based on a Western novel by someone we knew: Gordon D. Shirreffs.

I first met Gordon D. Shirreffs in about 1984, as I recall, at the annual convention of the members of the Western Writers of America. It was held that summer in Branson, Missouri and hosted by Jory Sherman and his wife, Charlotte. The first person I met as I entered the hotel lobby was one of my writing heroes, from the really old crowd, Thomas (“Tommy”) Thompson. He and I really hit it off, especially after we found out we had each known Harry Leichler (?), the grocer and honorary mayor of the little town of Piru, Calif., where I lived with my family my last three years of high school.

Anyway, over the next few years, we would get to visit with Gordon Shirreffs and his wife Alice, who were residents of Granada Hills, Calif. at the time. At least one day of each convention was taken up with a bus trip excursion somewhere not far away. Those were always great times to visit with big-league writing pros Like Tommy, Gordon and Jory, as well as other would-be-Louis-L’Amour like myself.  

Well, the host of Turner Classic Movies that night wrapped up the showing of the rather forgettable film with a funny story about Gordon Shirreffs. In 1957 he had written a Western novel titled “Rio Bravo.” John Wayne didn’t care much for the actual book, but he loved the title and wanted it for his next movie. So he and/or his Batjack production company paid Gordon some darned good money for the book, with the agreement that Gordon could sell the actual story to anybody else but not the title. So John Wayne got the title he wanted and Gordon got the money he wanted, . . . not once but twice, as the second buyer turned it into “The Oregon Passage.” And he would laugh as he told that true story and add, “That was by far the most money I ever earned for just selling two words (“Rio Bravo”). 

Gordon Shirreffs had been born in Chicago, Ill., on Jan. 15, 1914. His mother was a recent immigrant from Scotland, and he himself sometimes played in bagpipe bands in southern California. During his lifetime he wrote some 79 novels, much in the solid historical style of Louis L’Amour, and hundreds of short stores and a bunch of stories for comic book companies. He was still living in Granada Hills when he died on Feb. 9, 1996 at the age of 82.

2016--03--17 Food -- Florida -- The Recipe Box Eatery

Above is the business card for a really nice, fairly small “mom and pop” restaurant just north of the McDonald’s near 53rd Avenue East (Highway 70) and 33rd St. East. Give ’em a try.

We ran out of TV trays for everyone at our house the other night, but luckily we had a spare out in the shed. I think this guy is saying, “Very nice!” or something like that.

Senior Citizen TV Tray

 

A Crumbled Dream

by Gene Shelburne

Amarillo, Texas

Campbell, Alexander -- liknesses -- 04 at age 65

 

Does the name Alexander Campbell mean anything to you? If you grew up in any kind of Church of Christ or Christian Church, you need to know about him. He was the founder of our American denomination.

Let me confess that, although I did grow up in such a church, I knew little about the man until I was invited to join a host of church leaders at his home in Bethany, West Virginia—way back in 1966— to mark the one hundredth anniversary of Mr. Campbell’s death.

 During that memorable week I learned that Alexander Campbell did more than found churches. In the college he built, he educated the sons of U.S. presidents. Few people noticed when Campbell boosted American wool trade by importing new breeds of sheep. Nor were many folks impressed when he was elected to West Virginia’s legislature. But his star was slowly rising.

Even founding hundreds of congregations across our young, growing country didn’t catapult Campbell to fame. He became a household name after debating—while befriending—the famous atheist Robert Owen. At his prime, this school-founding, sheep-raising, church-planting country parson was invited to address the combined houses of the U.S. Congress. In many ways he had become the Billy Graham of his day.

During that 1966 gathering in Bethany, however, we also focused on the Civil War years right before Campbell’s death. The halls of Bethany College were quiet—almost deserted—while that brutal war was raging not far away. Most of the students were on the battle lines. Campbell’s heart was broken. His own family was split, with favorite nephews wearing uniforms both blue and gray. Still worse, from his view, Christian brothers from churches he had planted and nurtured now were slaughtering each other.

Civil War -- up-close fighting between Union and Rebel troops -- 02

The young nation that Campbell had mistaken for the eve of Christ’s thousand-year reign had morphed into a hell on earth. Campbell’s dream had become a nightmare.

As Will Durant would later write: “From barbarism to civilization requires a century; from civilization to barbarism needs but a day.” Campbell saw barbarism in his final days, and it made him mourn.

With July 4th just ahead, I rehearse this sad but true story to remind us that the peace and freedom and prosperity we cherish can dissolve over night into blood and hate and tears. It did once. It can again.

Logo for Gene Shelburne - 2017

July4th--05 Flag with 4th of July

Do your children and/or grandchildren understand this day?

Best wishes until next time,

Stan

logo-zia-the-end-300w-x-150dpi-pubdomain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

logo-zia-the-end-300w-x-150dpi-pubdomain

Issue 340 – Our 50-Year Old Son

The Paregien Journal  –  Issue 340  –  September 06, 2016  — Stan Paregien Sr., Editor

Our 50-Year Old Son

2016-07-28-illinois-stan-paregien-jr-with-a-friend-a-llama

You know you’re really getting some mileage on your ol’ speedometer when you wake up one day to discover that your baby boy just turned 50-years of age. 

Yikes. I have trouble believing that I am way over 50+ muchless that our son is five decades into his life (or will be at the end of September).

Time for a little reality check.

Peggy and I were married in Ventura, California on May 31, 1962. Yep, 54 years ago. We immediately rented a small U-Haul trailer and pulled it behind my customized 1955 Ford all the way to Nashville, Tenn. We moved there for me to study at David Lipscomb College (now known as Lipscomb University). I intended to eventually teach for a living while living in a mission field in the U.S. and preaching for a church part-time. To make that happen, Peggy went to work to earn our main income. Meanwhile, I preached on Sundays for various small churches (Mars Hill Church of Christ northwest of Bowling Green, Kentucky; Greenville Church of Christ, Greenville, KY.; and the Chestnut Ridge Church of Christ way out in the country east of Petersburg, Tenn.).

In 1965, I graduated from Lipscomb U with a major in Speech Communication and minors in History and Bible. My goal was to teach speech courses in a college somewhere, and to do that I needed at least a master’s degree. So with the help of Dr. Bill Banowsky and Dr. Carol Ellis, I applied for and was accepted for graduate study at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. So we rented a slighly larger U-Hall  trailer and headed west.

Peggy, again, took a full-time job to help support us while I worked on my master’s degree. She worked as a customer service person at a branch of the Bank of New Mexico out on the east side of Central Avenue (old 66 Highway). And I was awarded an “Assistantship” for a pittance each month to work with the UNM debate team and to teach a beginning speech class. We worshiped with the good folks at the Netherwood Park Church of Christ not far from the UNM campus, and for a time I worked as the Associate Minister with Minister Darrell Rickard.

All was chugging along like clockwork as we lived in a rented duplex near the airport. Then one of life’s little detours happened early in 1966. We found out Peggy was pregnant and would be having our first child in September or so. Well, I finished my course work at UNM and late that summer I began looking for a full-time job. I couldn’t teach on the college level until I had completed my masters, so I talk with a few churches in southern New Mexico about working with them. And the elders of the College Church of Christ (now the University Church of Christ) in Las Cruces invited me to preach for them.

1966-009 PegParegien-Albuquerque--01

That’s how it all came about that in September of 1966 I was preaching for the 250-member congregation in Las Cruces and starting to write my master’s thesis on “A Rhetorical Analysis of the Speeches of Robert G. Ingersoll.” Then one night I spoke at a little dinner for our congregation’s college-age students at nearby New Mexico State University. Peggy went with me.

Early the next morning, before sunup, Peggy awoke me complaining about a stomach ache. “I think it may be that spinach we ate last night,” she suggested.

Nope. It wasn’t the spinach. It was our baby and it was on the way. Somehow I got her to Dona Anna Hospital and watched as the nurses wisked her away to begin preparations. I, meanwhile, did the hard part: waiting nervously for our firstborn to make his or her appearance. Okay, okay. I’m kidding. Peggy had quite a long struggle with the birth, but . . . Shazam! Our first child made his grand entry and we slapped on him the exalted (but cumbersome) name of Stanley Eugene Paregien, Jr. After experimenting with various nicknames–such as “Little Stan” and “Junior”–we settled on “Gene.” And that’s what folks called him until he graduated from high school in 1985. However, that same year he joined the Air Force Reserves, where they call you by your first name, regardless. So folks who met him from the start of his college days until now only know him as “Stan.” 

One thing about it, I did not have any trouble indentifying my prodigy in the busy hospital nursery. He was the only baby there with a thin crop of blond hair, while there were about a dozen Hispanic babies there with beautiful and full crops of coal-black hair.

1966-025 StanJr in hospital

Stan Jr. (“Gene”) days after his birth in 1966.

1966-036-B  --Stan - Peg Pargien -- Stan Jr -- LasCruces

1966-046 Poem-GodBlessYouMySon--01

 

Alright, now lets “fast forward” to the fact that Stan Jr. started kindergarden at Stroud, Oklahoma and graduated from high school there in 1985.

1972-033-GeneParegien-schbus

Stan Jr.’s very first day of school — Stroud, OK — Sept., 1972

1985--010--I--StroudOK--HSgraduation---AcademicLeaders

In addition, Gene (as he was known in high school) was a self-motivated kid. That was so whether he was in the classroom or playing in sports. He was a darned good running back in football, and he set two or three school records as a runner in track. 

1985--045--LaverneOK--Thanksgiving

He spent the summer of 1985 going through basic training in San Antonio with the U.S. Air Force (Reserves), and that fall he started college at Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City.

That’s when the plot thickened. At OCU he met a pretty and vivacious little gal named Becky McLain from Gallup, New Mexico. By early in 1986 they were talking about getting married. And they did so in Stroud, Oklahoma on May 10, 1986. Stan Jr. became an instant father, as Becky and a beautiful three-year old daughter named Jodi.

1986--018  Stroud, OK  wedding of Becky McLaine and Stan Paregien

The ceremony was performed by Gene/Stan’s maternal grandfather, W.W. (“Woody”) Allen. Becky worked at Hertz’s big reservation center on Northwest Highway to support them while Stan worked on his degree in Public Relations. He worked at a couple of radio stations and also for OCU and got a few grants.

It was a proud moment for all concerned when Stan Jr. in 1989 graduated from Oklahoma Christian University with a degree in Public Relations. He went to work for OCU recruiting students, so for two or three years he traveled out of state a lot. Then he became the Public Relations Director for the “Enterprise Square Museum” right there on the OCU campus. The museum featured the history of and games related to how the U.S. economy works.  

1993--009--GeneParegien--Becky--Jodi

By Easter of 1993, it was obvious that another family member was on the way. Stan Jr. and Becky with Jodi at Edmond, Okla. 

1993--033--OklahomaCity-- Stan Paregien Jr - Becky - Jodi -- Daniel Justin -- born April 27

 

1993--018--StanJr-Becky--Hawaii

The Oklahoma City Bombing

1995--053--OK--OKC--Bombing--StanParegienJr

The Air Force sent Stan Jr. from Tinker Air Force Base to the site to document the work that the Air Force was doing to help in the rescue/recovery effort. Even the national media were kept more than a hundred yards away, but he was right up in the carnage. He later went on a local TV show showing the photos that he had taken.

1997--009--xmas-StanJr-Becky-Jodi-Dan--EdmondOK

Stan Jr., Becky, Jodi and Daniel at Christmas time in Edmond, OK.

1997--060--OK--Jay--Rhonda-StanJr--Diane--Judy--Oct25

1997--062--OK--Edmond---Thanksgiving--group

1998--005-- Bosnia - Stan Paregien Sr, USAF-Reserves

 

1998--042 -- former Oklahoma Governor George Nigh -- with 2nd Lt StanParegien Jr, USAF Reserves

1998--072--StanParegienJr---Becky-Jodi-Daniel---KnoxvilleTN

1999-014-- Midwest City, OK - 2nd Lt Stan Paregien Jr, USAF - tornado hit Tinker AFB

1999-028--family

L to R, FRONT:  Jodi (McLain) Paregien & brother Daniel. BACK:  Peggy Paregien, Evelyn Cauthen Paregien Spradling (Stan Jr.’s grandmother), Becky Paregien, and Stacy (Paregien) and husband John Magness . . . at our house on Neptune Road in Edmond, OK.

1999-067- Oklahoma City - Lt Gov Mary Fallin - 'Fergie,' Dutchess Of York - Stan Paregien Jr

1999-069- Midwest City, OK - Oklahoma Senator James Inhoff - Stan Paregien Jr - Tinker AFB

1999-081-- Edmond, OK -- xmas -- Paregien - Magness families

Front row: Christal & Stacy (Paregien) Magness, Dylan Magness, Daniel Paregien with his sister Jodi.  2nd Row: Stan Paregien Jr., John Magness, Evelyn (Cauthen) Paregien Spradling [Stan Sr.’s mom], & Becky Paregien. 3rd Row: Stan Paregien Sr. and Peggy. At the home of Stan Sr. on South Neptune Road in Edmond, OK.

Soon the Air Force moved Stan Jr. to an assignment as the Public Information Officer for Scott Air Force Base in Belleville, IL. Becky found a good job in the Information Technology department at the world headquarters of Enterprise Car Rental in nearby St. Louis, Missouri. The family first bought a home due south of there out in the country near Barnhart, Missouri.

After two or three years, they moved across the Mississippi River to the little farm community of Waterloo, Illinois. They bought a large two-story house south of town.

2001-041-- Wagonner, Okla -- jam-Thanksgiving at the state lodge

2002-013  Edmond, OK -- 80th birthday for Evelyn Cauthen Paregien Spradling

2002-095-- Edmond, OK - Christmas Stan Paregien, Sr - Peggy - Stacy P Magness - StanJr

Daniel Paregien and his father, Stan Jr., playing music in their Union Army uniforms (Civil War vintage) at an encampment and festival south of St. Louis, Missouri.

2002-163 - Daniel and Stan Paregien Jr in their Civil War uniforms

2003-022--MO-Barnhart--StanParegienJr--StanSr

2003--295  Iraq -Stan Paregien Jr in Iraq at Christmas

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2003--339--  IRAQ -- Kirkuk -- Senator Hillary Clinton with Stan Paregien Jr in December

2003--340  IRAQ -- Kirkuk -- Captain Stan Pregien Jr with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in December

2003--341--IRAQ--Kirkuk--flooding-in-camp--Dec

2004-045 OKC - Stan Paregien Sr family - S P Jr family - John Magness family

Then, in 2004, the Stan Paregien Jr. family expanded even more. Daughter Jodi and her husband Brandon Barrow had a baby they named Dominic. Stan and Becky’s first grandchild.

2004-079 Long Beach, CA  -  Jodi and Brandon Barrrow with baby son Dominic

2004-147-- IRAQ -- Kirkuk --- Stan Paregien Jr -- snowman -- Feb 20

2006-248 Daniel and family

2007-0957-waterloo-il-stan-paregienjr-stan-sr2007-1436-b-edmond-ok-paregien-family-thanksgiving2008-0232-afb-airplane-peg-stanjr-promotion-to-major2008-0296-b-group-boarding-ship

2008-1335-xmas-family

Christmas time in Waterloo, IL. Brandon Barrow family–Jodi and childdren Dominic and Bailee, and the Stan Paregien Sr. family–Becky and Daniel.

2010-0863-reunion-stanjr-group-stroud-ok-class-of-85

Several of the folks in the 2010 photo above were little kids that Stan Jr. started Kindergarden with at Stroud (Okla.), in 1972. It says something good about one’s character and integrity when you are loyal to them and they to you for 38 years .

2010-2596-paregiens-xmas-tree-edmondok

This was my dear mother’s last Christmas on this earth. She died from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease just a few weeks later, on Feb. 23, 2011.

2011-0248-ok-wapy-enterprisecemetery-feb26

2011-0241-b-ok-wapy-enterprisecemetery-feb26

Stan Jr, Daniel, Stan Sr, Christal & Rindiro

Becky Paregien & son Daniel & husband Stan Jr

 

 

2012-2216-waterloo-il-stan-paregien-jr-dan-becky

2012-3117-e-tx-sanantonio-airman-dan-paregien-and-father-major-stan-paregien-jr-aug-17

2012-3544-il-waterloo-nov-stan-paregien-jr-and-yes-his-batmobile

2013-2392-waterloo-il-dec-30-stan-paregien-sr-and-stan-jr

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2014-0416-b2-st-louis-mo-stan-paregien-jr-and-becky-with-william-shatner

2014-1312-n-greenville-il-june-actor-james-rosco-best-and-stan-paregien-jr

2015-10-27-2590-illinois-stan-paregien-jr-and-his-deloreon-time-machine

Hey, there has never been any doubt that our son knows how to have a lot of fun himself and how to make a lot of other folks smile, too.

2016-05-29-c-waterloo-il-30th-anniversary-renewal-of-wedding-vows-of-becky-and-stan-paregien-jr-married-may-10-1986

Whew, well folks, there you have it. After looking at the previous photos, you’ll understand why Peggy and I are so proud of our son. He has become a professional soldier, a fine writer and photographer, and a  loving husband, father and grandfather. He has also proven himself to be a dedicated Christian who is active in their local congregation, and he has demonstrated a compassionate spirit for those who are down and nearly out. 

Is he perfect? Heck, no. Not by a long shot. But Stan Jr. keeps chugging along and trying to be a better person and to help others do the same.

So . . . won’t you join his mother and me as we wish him a very happy 50th birthday? 

birthday-happy-birthday-2016-01

 

 

 

Issue 262 — Airman Daniel J. Paregien

Issue 262    —    The Paregien Journal    —    August 24, 2012

Airman Daniel J. Paregien, USAF Reserves

by Stan Paregien Sr. (aka “Grandpa”)

Peggy and I spent Friday, Aug. 10th through Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012 in the little foreign country south of Oklahoma’s Red River. Right, deep in the heart of Texas.

We spent a couple of days helping our daughter, Stacy Magness, and her family move across to a different home in Caldwell, Texas. Short-haul moving trips are the hardest, and I speak from vast experience in making dozens of runs from House A to House B with car loads or pickup loads of this and that. It was no different this time, and that ol’ hot Texas sun and humidity was mite near boiling point. But we got ‘er done, and we able to visit with John and Stacy and their daughter Christal (a SENIOR this year) and their son Dylan and his new bride, Brittany.

Then we moved on down the road to sprawling San Antonio. On our first full day there, we spent most of it visiting two of the very old Catholic missions — Mission Concepcion and Mission San Juan. Very interesting and, to a dyed-in-wool couple of history buffs, very interesting. We got some great photos and I’ll tell that story and show some photos another time.

The major point of this trip to San Antonio was to attend our grandson Daniel J. Paregien’s graduation from Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base. Dan is the son of Becky and Major Stan Paregien Jr (full-time with the Air Force Reserves at Scott Air Force Base in Belleville, IL). Ironically, Dan’s father went through the same training at the same base way back in 1985, just after he graduated from high school in Stroud, OK. Daniel graduated from high school in Illinois last May and completed his 8-week basic training course with two ceremonies, one on Thursday, Aug. 16th and the other on Friday, Aug. 17th. Our daughter and her daughter were able to join us for the ceremony on Friday. And Daniel’s girlfriend, Haley Goodfellow, flew down from Illinois to attend.

I have posted several photos from those days, though because of uploading problems (my doggone AT&T internet flubbing up, I think). So the very last photo below is actually of when Daniel graduated from high school back in May in Illinois. The rest are fairly self-explanatory, but there are titles on each photo.

After being on the air base for three days (including chapel on Sunday morning), I certainly have a greater appreciation for the military and–especially for the young men and women who commit their lives to serving their country. Amazingly, Lackland AFB processes over 35,000 trainees each and every year. Not all of them graduate, of course, but mechanisms are in place to give each trainee a high change of succeeding. Of the some 725 graduates last Friday, the top honor for any Airman went to . . . the envelope, please . . . well, it went to . . . a young lady. Good for her! That was quite an accomplishment on her behalf. And we were/are proud of her and our grandson Daniel and each of those 725 graduates. It was also inspiring to see some 4,000 or more family members and friends of those new Airmen take the time come for the ceremony and to hug and kiss their special graduate. There was a lot of love going on those days.

The chapel experience is worth nothing. Each trainee had been assigned to a specific chapel service at a particular time, depending on their religious preference. There were many, many chapel services during the day. Of course, they were not required to attend and some did not. I was encouraged, though, by the fact the vast majority of those bright young people did voluntarily attend chapel week after week. Daniel had been to the 8 am protestant worship in the Gateway Chapel. So that is the one we attended with him.

There were lots of parents, family members and friends with many of the cadets. Some cadets, of course, were by themselves (the vast majority, since many folks had to return home after the ceremony on Friday). It was not a “Pentecostal” style of worship; but it was loud and enthusiastic. The chapel (I’m guessing) could seat about 400 or more, and it was crammed full with a sea of blue uniforms. And, incidentally, I was also impressed when–during the “coining” ceremony on Thursday, the Air Force band played two patriotic/religious songs: “God Bless America” and Lee Greenwood’s “I’m Proud to Be An American” (or whatever the exact title is). I spent quite a bit of time in my latest E-book, WOODY GUTHRIE: HIS LIFE, MUSIC AND MYTH (for sale at Amazon.com), telling the intriguing story of how folk singer-songwriter and Oklahoman Guthrie was so angered by Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” (because he thought it glossed over the problems of the poor and unemployed people) that he sat down and wrote a song to tell the truth (i.e., his socialist or, some would say, his communist ideas). That song was the beloved “This Land Is Your Land,” but that is because most people have never heard or read the last three verses of his song. More about that, another time.

Anyway, it was a joyous and inspiring few days that with got to spend in San Antonio. We even got to eat Spanish food (ah, heck, make that Mexican) at the Mi Tierra restaurant in the El Mercado area west of downtown and on Friday at noon at the Maria Mia Mexican Bistro on the Riverwalk in the downtown area.

However, the best part was the pride we felt as another member of our family joined the military. We are proud of our son and, now, of our grandson. And we Paregiens were well-represented in Iraq, Vietnam, World War II, World War I, and the Civil War. My great-great grandfather, James Alexander Paregien, and his brother William both served in the Union Army from Illinois. And James Paregien fought at the Battle of Shiloh and several other major battles, then served as a drill instructor at Benton Barracks in St. Louis Missouri.

So we end by simply saying thank you to all military people, men and women, who in the past have honorably served their country and thank you to those who are currently doing so.

NOTE: Please click on each photo or graphic to ENLARGE it.

Issue 259 — Tribute to Gen. Revere A. Young, USAF

Issue 259    —    The Paregien Journal    —  July 12, 2012

Tribute to General Revere A. Young, USAF (Retired)

by Stan Paregien Sr.

Peggy and I had the deep pleasure of meeting General Revere A. Young (USAF, Retired) and his lovely wife Mary back in April of 2012. We met them while we were all attending the annual meeting of the Oklahoma History Society, this year at the beautifully restored Coleman Theater in Miami, OK. We had the opportunity to visit with them two or three times during the course of the meeting, and they both were just as delightful and friendly as they could possibly be.

When he found out that I have been performing storytelling and cowboy poetry for over 20 years, he brought up the fact that he is a long-time member of a local “corral” of Westerners International. He wanted me to come perform at one of their meetings in Oklahoma City, but we were preparing for a fairly long over-seas trip and some other obligations, so I begged off until maybe the fall (the organization does not meet during the summer). I’m sorry, now, that I never got to show him my little cowboy dog and pony show.

Gen. Young had been in the military, holding high ranks and doing important jobs, viritually all of his adult life. It was obvious that he loved his military life, and he certainly had completed a distinguished career spanning several decades of service to America. And, of course, they were proud to be known as Oklahomans. And we are proud of them.

As you read of his accomplishments in his obiuary, just pause and say a thank you for his life and service and to remember his wife during this difficult time for her.

[ Click on each graphic to increase the size. ]