Category Archives: People

Issue 369 – Trouble in Florida

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The Paregien Journal     –     Issue 369     –     Nov. 10, 2017

Trouble in Florida

Yes, friends, Florida is a wonderful place to live. Its name even conjures up the good life: the Spanish word “florida” means “land of flowers.” And so it is. Plus the land of perpetual sunshine and gentle, warm surf. Ah, yes, the good life. 

Only Hawaii and Florida among the U.S. states have truly tropical climates. That is a tremendous draw for tourists from other states and around the world to visit Florida. Florida is the 3rd most populous state in the Union and is the 8th most densely populated state. As of July 1, 2015, our resident population stood at a whopping 20 million well-suntanned folks and a few sunburned ones. The bean counters say that was nearly an 8% increase just in five years (since the Census of 2010). And newcomers keep pouring in, a fact which keeps the pressure on increasing real estate prices.

Of course, we do have a few wee issues such as (1) we are the lightning capital of the United States; (3) we are usually hit by at least one significant hurricane during the season which runs from June 1 to November 30); and (3) if you include waterspouts (actually tornadic winds over a body of water), then we also are the tornado capital of the United States (no, we don’t get much press because our dinky tornadoes very seldom come close to the F5 monsters in Oklahoma and other southwest and midwest states).

 

Oh, and there is one other increasingly bothersome issue.  We have 1,350 miles of coastline with about half on the Gulf of Mexico to our west and half on the Atlantic Ocean to our east. Way back in pre-historical times, Florida was not just surrounded by water it was mostly underwater. Not so surprisingly, then, today most of Florida is at or very near sea level.

Ah, yes, and there is the really big rub.

Our local yellow sheet, the Bradenton (Florida) Herald, has this bold front-page headline this morning: “Rising seas could cost area $25.4 billion in homes.”

The rub, you see, is climate change and rising sea levels are already causing major problems in many cities in Florida (Miami, Tampa, Anna Maria Island, etc.). And a new study by the folks at Zillow.com (the real estate search engine folks) — based on the data released by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration —  warns that the following 10 cities nationwide will be in a catastrophic world of hurt within 100 years (that means being swamped by an additional 6 feet of water):

  1.  Miami, Florida
  2. New York City, NY
  3. Tampa, FL
  4. Fort Myers, FL
  5. Boston, Mass.
  6. Upper Township, New Jersey
  7.  Salisbury, Maryland
  8. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  9. Bradenton, FL  (yep, right here in Paradise)
  10. Naples, FL

 

Do you see a pattern here? Five of the ten listed cities are in Florida. Yikes.

Florida -- climate change - 'Visit While you Still Can'

More specifically, the study warned that the 15 or so cities and towns from the Bradenton area down to North Port could have more than $25 Billion in damages to our homes by the year 2100. Bradenton and beautiful Siesta Key would each have over 5,000 homes destroyed or heavily damaged.  

Because of that, I just won’t hang around for 100 years. I’m reminded of a joke about a scientist who was lecturing about how some distant planet would hit and destroy Mother Earth in 2,400,000 years. Some redneck in the audience widely raised his hand and asked the professor to repeat the timeline. “Yes, sir. Approximately 2,400,000 years.” And ol’ Bubba said, wiping his brow, “Oh, gee, I’m glad you cleared that up. I thought you said only 2,300,000 years.”

Put it in your “Facts to Remember” file.

Try a Little Kindness

2016--97--11 'Smile and Wave' - Bradenton Herald - Part 1 of 2

2016--97--11 'Smile and Wave' - Bradenton Herald - Part 2 of 2

A Last Word on Hurricane Irma

2017--11--08 House Prices Still Increasing in Manatee and Sarasota Counties

Aging -- Florida -- rooster saying, 'The older we got the less we care'

Amen, Brother!

Share this with your friends who just can’t wait for deer hunting season to start.

Animals - deer - hunting -- CLOSE TO HOME cartoon 2017-11-08

Smile . . . And Be Happy

Bradenton, FL -- 14th Happiest City in USA - 2017-10-25

[Bradenton, Florida named one of America’s happiest cities]

Florida -- we live where you vacation

 

2017--11--08 Waterloo, IL -- Stan Paregien Jr's 1937 Oldsmobile

[photo of Stan Paregien Jr.’s 1937 Oldsmobile in Waterloo, IL on Nov. 8, 2017]

2017--10--02 01 Scott AFB, Belleville, IL - Lt Col Stan Paregien and new recruit

Lt. Col. Stan Paregien Jr. helps induct a law enforcement officer into the Air Force Reserves. Scott AF Base in Belleville, IL.

2017--10--04 01 Peggy Paregien and Allie - Bradenton, FL

Some people and some pets have it rough . . . and some, like Queen Allie, above,

do not. Peggy bought this “doggie stroller” a while back.

2017--10--13 01 Palmetto, FL - Bob and Jean L'Hullier with Peggy & Stan Paregien on Peg's birthday

Stan & Peggy Paregien (right) with neighbors and friends Bob and Jean L’Hullier in Palmetto, Florida at a riverside restaurant in October.

2017--10--28 07 Bradenton, FL - Peggy Paregien at the Halloween party at Plantation MHP - by Stan Paregien

[Peggy Paregien in photo on Halloween]

One reason why I keep posting items on this account is because I enjoy reading the statistics on who is visiting my blog. Please understand, I don’t really get t-h-a-t many visitors per day. But, boy, I do get a variety. Just in the last two weeks, people from these nations have stopped by:  the United States, Germany, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Philippines, Latvia, Russia, Norway, China, Switzerland and Netherlands.

Pretty neat, huh? Welcome to all of my long-distance readers and . . . I hope . . . friends. Please stop by again, real soon.

Until next time,

Stan

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Issue 367 – Jacob Mac Paregien, Part 3

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The Paregien Journal    –     Issue 367     –     Oct. 27, 2027

 

Jacob Mac Paregien, Part 3:

1870 to 1902

[Note: Most of the information in this 3-part blog may be found in the research which I did for my self-published book, Paregien Family History: 1816 to 2006. That book, published in 2006 and having some 675 pages, covers the following related groups: Paregien, Paregine, Peargin and Pearigen. — SP]

The U.S. Federal Census of 1870 for Jackson County, Ill., lists an “Elizabeth Peregin”, age 22, born in 1847 in Missouri as living in Kincaid Township and her occupation as “Domestic”. It also lists a Melicy A. Peregin, age 2, born in 1867 in Illinois as living in the same Township. [RESEARCH NOTE: Did this child belong to Elizabeth Paregien??]

The St. Louis City Directory (which only lists the head of the household) for 1870-71 lists J.M. Paregien, “carpenter and builder,” with a business at 310 N. 7th St. and his residence at 1417 Cass Avenue. In December of 2004, Stan Paregien, Sr., tried to visit these spots. The business address is now part of a large area where the football stadium where the former St. Louis Rams team stands. And the residential address, close to the downtown area, is a vacant lot.

2004-104 St Louis, MO - Stan Paregien at the place where Jacob Paregien lived after 1865

Stan Paregien, Sr. in 2004 in front of 1417 Cass Ave., in St. Louis. The vacant lot to the left of this building was both the residence and business address for Jacob M. Paregien back in 1870. [Photo 2004-104]

The St. Louis City Directory for 1872-73 lists “Samuel M. Paregein” living on east Pennsylvania Ave., between Neosho and Itaska, in Carondelet. It gives the same address for “J.M. Paregien”

30 Oct., 1873   –   Marriage of Elizabeth Paregien  (daughter of Jacob & Nancy Paregien)  to Richard Connell in St. Louis (St. Louis County, Ill.) on 30 Oct., 1873.  William Powers, a Justice of the Peace, performed the ceremony.  [St. Louis County Wedding Records, filed and recorded on 29 Jan., 1874]

1874 -- 01 The Eads bridge was dedicated in St Louis on July 4, 1874and still operates in 2017

In 1874, the Eads Bridge, the very first bridge in St. Louis to cross the mighty Mississippi, was dedicated with famous  a famous Civil War soldier, General William T. Sherman presiding. It was Gen. Sherman who took his Union troops on the march across Georgia, destroying most everything in sight. That bridge is still there and in 2016 was carrying about 8,000 vehicles each day between St. Louis, Missouri and East St. Louis, Illinois.

14 Oct, 1874   –   Marriage of Nancy Paregien (daughter of Jacob Paregien and his second wife, Avis Paregien) at age 16 to 21 year old Antoine (“Ollie”) Guion in St. Louis, Missouri.

The St. Louis City Directory for 1874-75 Lists “Jacob Mac Paregien”, a carpenter, living on East Pennsylvania near Neosho St.

The Union Railroad Depot, a magnificent structure, opened at 12th and Poplar Streets. Today the old Depot houses dozens of upscale retail shops and restaurants and is still quite beautiful.

The 1876 directory lists him as “John M. Paregien, builder, Pennsylvania Ave. near Neosho. And it lists Jacob’s son, Samuel, as a laborer who boarded at the same address.

So, the last documentation we have of him living in St. Louis is in 1876.

28 Jan., 1876   –   Death of 5-yr old Melinda Paregien died of bronchitis at 1214 W. 9th St., St. Louis, Missouri. Who is she?? Could this have been a daughter of William and Huldah Paregien?  Melinda Paregien was buried at Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery, and the undertaker was listed as “Father,” meaning probably that he dug her grave and buried her. [St. Louis Death Registers — City, County, 1850-1908 — Vol. 7, p.57.  St. Louis County Library Film #RDSL 16 ]

According to other sources, Holy Trinity was a “poor man’s” Catholic Cemetery where mainly German and some Irish immigrants from north St. Louis were buried. In 1878 it was called “New Bremen Cemetery”. And in 1909 city fathers decided to use that land to create O’Fallon Park and they ordered the graves to be moved to Calvary Cemetery at 5239 W. Florissant (Calvary Cemetery Association, 5239 W. Florissant, St. Louis, MO 63115    Phone 381-1313). In July of 2005, I went there and they checked their computer and had no record of Melinda Paregien.

In 1876, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, itself, was located at 3519 N. 14th St. (14th St. & Mallinckrodt St.) in the community of New Bremen. It was just north of where the St. Louis city limits ended in that day.

On 19 Sept., 1877, the steamer Grand Republic burned down to the water’s edge as it lay at dock in the Mississippi River there at St. Louis. “The steamer Carondelet, laying alongside, was burned at the same time” (E. W. Gould, Fifty Years on the Mississippi. St. Louis, Mo: Nixon-Jones Printing Company, 1889, p. 436).

That second steamer, the Carondelet (named after a suburb of St. Louis), was one of the warships that James Alexander Paregien saw on the Tennessee River during the battles of Ft. Heiman and Ft. Donelson back in February of 1862.

It was in 1878 that John Pulitzer bought the bankrupt St. Louis Dispatch newspaper at auction. His name is now best-known for the annual prizes in literature.

1880

The 1880 U.S. Federal Census lists Jacob M. Paregien as a farmer who was 64 years of age (born in 1816 in Kentucky) and his wife, “Avis” Paregien as living in Cold Spring (Phelps County), Missouri [main town in the area is Rolla, Mo.]. (Note the spelling of the first name for Jacob’s wife. That is the same spelling of her first name as given in the 1900 Census, when she was living with son Henry Pearigen and he listed her last name with the same variant spelling that he used. This is why we are now using the name of “Avis” as the first name for Jacob’s second wife. She listed her age, in 1880, as 52; occupation: “keeping house”)

The Census lists five of their children living with them:  Samuel (son, age 26), Nancy (daughter, age 22), Stephen (son, age 18), Mary (daughter, age 16 — would have been born in about 1864 — during the Civil War), and Henry B. (son, age 12; actually Henry Clay Paregien).  [RESEARCH NOTE:  Any school records available in Phelps County, Missouri?]

And it lists three of their GRANDCHILDREN living with them:  May Gion (female, age 4), Maud Gion (female, age 3) and Thomas Gion (male, age 1). We have a photo of a Mr. Guion with Henry Paregien.

Our Only Connection to Ireland

The 1880 Census says that both Jacob and his wife were born in Kentucky. His wife’s father was born in Georgia and her mother in South Carolina. SPECIAL NOTE: The Census says that Jacob’s father was born in IRELAND and his mother in SOUTH CAROLINA.

The 1880 U.S. Federal Census lists just above the Paregien entry the William H. Parmley family. This was Jacob Paregien’s stepson (son of  Avis Parmley Paregien and her first husband, Daniel Parmley).  William Parmley is listed as a 34-year-old farmer and his wife, Ellen as a 22-year-old “Keeping House”. They had a 1-month old child, William R. Parmley.

 [NOTE: There was a William Parmley born on 17 Nov., 1880 in Missouri. According to the SS Death Index, he received his Social Security card, # 494-40-4933, while living in Missouri. He died in zip code 64097, meaning the Wellington (Lafayette County), Missouri area — just east of Kansas City, Missouri. This may be our William Parmley.]

In addition, the 1880 U.S. Federal Census lists seven “Peregin” family members. One, an Ann C. Peregin, age 20 and born in about 1860 in Missouri, was a single white female living with her niece in Black River (Lawrence County), Arkansas.

Further, the 1880 U.S. Federal Census lists Antoni O. Guion (age 27, a laborer born in 1853) living with his mother Margaret Guion. Had he and Nancy divorced?

It is believed that Jacob Paregien worked as a Methodist minister and a carpenter during the last years of his life. [RESEARCH NOTE: Would there be a record of his ordination or other documentation with the Methodist Church?] 

Now, concerning the family connection with Ireland. We have found no other documentation, other than Jacob’s affirmation for the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, that any of the family came from Ireland. He did state that his father was from Ireland. Lillian Paregine Hughes (daughter of Doug Paregine) firmly believed that Jacob was from Ireland, as she said Doug told her that on many different occasions [Interview with Evelyn Paregien in 1970].

In about 1970, Lillian Paregine Hughes (daughter of Jacob’s son, Stephen Arnold Douglas Paregien – or “Paregine” as Doug spelled the name) said that her father (Doug) investigated and all the Paregiens that he could find were definitely related to them.

Further, Lillian said that Doug always told them that his father (Jacob Paregien) “went back to Ireland to try and find some of the Paregien family. All he could find in Ireland was a Catholic priest. He was kinda afraid he was an illegitimate child by ‘Father Paregien’. Ha-ha.”. [Interview with Evelyn Paregien in Ventura, Calif., in 1970]

1910--05 HouseBuiltBy JacobParegien

The photo on the previous page is of an unidentified woman standing in front of a house that Jacob M. Paregien supposedly built in St. Louis, Missouri (no date on photo). It was given to me by Melvin L. Pearigen in 1973. [Photo 1910-05]

In 1926, Lillian Paregine Hughes (daughter of Stephen Arnold Douglas Paregine) received a letter from her first cousin, Eldora (“Dora”) Pearigen. Lillian told Evelyn Paregien in 1970 that Dora told her in that letter about Dora’s father, Henry Clay Pearigen, going to St. Louis “to their old home place . . .  to see the house that his father built.” The house may have been the one pictured above, and Henry may very well have taken the photo.

Melvin L. Pearigen told me on Sept. 14, 1970 that his grandfather, Jacob Paregien, died in Rolla, Missouri.  That may be, but we just don’t have any proof. Ms. Corena Wegrzn, a volunteer genealogical researcher in Phelps County, Missouri sent an email to me on June 7, 2004. She said, “I did not locate Jacob Paregien (or near spellings) for a burial in Cemeteries of Phelps County, Missouri, Volume III. Nor did I locate him or any family in my records compiled for the state cemetery records. These records are not the complete records for all of Phelps.”

But then she added this: “I did locate a couple of marriages in the Phelps County (Missouri) Marriage book:

“(1)   “Stephen Arnold Douglas Parequin, age 19 and Miss Celia Lowe, age 18. July 24, 1881 (Record Book 3). Robert C. Adams, MG. Father of groom J.M. Pareqin. The wedding was held in Miller Township.” This is certainly our Doug Paregine. It was his first marriage. I spoke with one of his granddaughters, Marie Clark Palm, on Nov. 27, 2004 and she was not aware that he had been married before he met and married her grandmother. Nor did she know that he had at least one child by Celia Lowe.

“(2) Columbus F. Richardson, age 23 and Miss Mary A. Paregien, age 18. Jan. 19, 1883 (Book 3, pg. 092). Jonathan Harrison, Justice of the Peace (Rolla, Mo.) officiated. The groom was from West Plains (Howell County). J.M. Paregin was father of the bride.”

Jacob M. Paregien died sometime between Jan. 19, 1883 and 1900, perhaps in or near Rolla, Missouri.  The question remains: exactly when did he die and where is he buried?

1900

In the U.S. Federal Census for 1900 there is listed one   “Avis Pearigen” [this definitely is our Avis Paregien, second wife of Jacob Paregien, and mother of Henry Pearigen).

For some reason, Henry must have changed the spelling of his mother’s last name to match his own variation of the family name. The newspaper account of her death in the

Wapanucka, Oklahoma newspaper in 1902 lists her as ” Aries Pearrigen “. I guess if you’re going to get the spelling wrong, you might as well get both names wrong.

Is “Pearigen” the name under which she is buried and perhaps listed in a death certificate?

In the 1900 Census she is listed as 85 years of age and as having been born in Kentucky in about 1815. She is listed as the mother of the head of  the household (i.e., Henry Pearigen). She reported that she had given birth to 13 children, seven of which were living in 1900 (children by Daniel Parmley and by Jacob Paregien).

Further, Avis Paregien (i.e., Avis “Pearigen”) stated that she was a widow. That means Jacob M. Paregien died sometime between early 1883 and 1900. She also affirmed that she could neither read nor write.

(2)  Henry & Sarah Pearigen and children: Eldora Pearigen, Bird McKinley Pearigen, and Melvin L. Pearigen. Sarah reported that she had given birth to five children, three of which were still living. Henry’s occupation was listed as “farm manager” on rented land. Like many people of that day, he was a sharecropper. He worked the land and, in turn, gave a stipulated amount of the profits to the land owner.

That same 1900 Census listed in the same location  Thomas C. Guion, age 20 (son of Antoine Guion and wife Nancy Paregien Guion). He was listed as head of his own household. He would have been Henry Pearigen’s nephew (i.e., Henry’s sister’s son).  He had been born in Missouri, as had his mother and father. His occupation was given as a farm laborer and he could neither read nor write, while his wife could do both. He, too, was a sharecropper.

Thomas C. Guion’s wife was Lula M. Guion, age 18,  born  in Sept., 1881, in Arkansas (both of her parents had been born in Tenn.). No children were listed. They had been married for two years (since about 1898).  They apparently followed or moved with Henry Pearigen and his family from St. Louis, Missouri to the area around Boggy Depot, Indian Territory. By the 1930 Census Thomas and Lula Guion were back in St. Louis, Missouri.

When Did Jacob Mac Paregien Die?

When did Jacob Paregien die?  We don’t know, yet. However, he must have died sometime between Jan. 19, 1883 and 1900 . He was present at the marriage of his daughter Mary in 1883, but in 1900 Avis Paregien reported to the U.S. Federal Census taker that she was a widow.

In October, 2005, as I was doing a final review of the file on Jacob, I discovered a line that I had missed previously. My mother, Evelyn Paregien, had interviewed Lillian Paregine Hughes in 1970 and said that a letter from Dora Pearigen in 1926 stated her father—Henry Pearigen—told her that his father, Jacob Paregien, had died in Spadra, Arkansas (“near Coalhill or Clarksville”).  

At this date, I have no way to prove or disprove that assertion. I personally believe Henry must have been talking about his brother, Stephen Arnold Douglas Paregine, who certainly did die there. Here, again, it is something that the next generation of Paregien family genealogists will want to pursue.

Death of Mrs. Jacob (Avis Murdon Parmley)

Paregien

After the death of Jacob Paregien, his widow — Avis Murdon Parmley Paregien — moved to Wapanucka (Johnston County) to live with their son, Henry Clay Pearigen.

The Wapanucka Press newspaper on Feb. 6, 1902 gave this notice of her death:

Mrs. Aries Pearrigen, aged mother of H.C. Pearrigen, died at her home in this city Tuesday morning. The deceased was 76 years of age, was a member of the Methodist Church of long standing, and was loved and highly respected by all who knew her. Remains were interred in the cemetery in this city Tuesday evening amid a concourse of heart-broken relatives and sorrowing friends. The Press joins many friends in extending condolence to the bereaved family.

So she died on Tuesday, 4 February, 1902 in Wapanucka. Note that in this newspaper article her first name is spelled “Aries” and her last name is spelled sort of the way Henry spelled his last name. That was an error even at that, of course, because Henry spelled his name “Pearigen” with just one “r”.

Avis Murdon Parmley Paregien is buried in or near Wapanucka. The question remains as to which cemetery that may be. Later in 1902 the town decided to abandon their current cemetery (“by the school”) to adopt “the Brown cemetery” [1 1/2 miles south of town ] as the official city cemetery. Presumably, she was buried in the first cemetery, but we don’t know as yet. Still later the Brown Cemetery was abandoned and people used the Rose Hill Cemetery about 1 mile north of town.

Adding to the mystery is a note I recently found from when I talked on the telephone with Melvin L. Pearigen (Henry’s son) on Sept. 14, 1970. I was in Stroud, Oklahoma and he was at 1625 Madrona Ave., St. Helena, Calif. He said that his grandfather, Jacob Paregien, died in Rolla, Missouri. And he said his grandmother was buried in the church yard of the old Presbyterian church near Wapanucka. So where is that?

In July of 2005, I made a trip to Wapanucka and actually visited the Brown Cemetery located about 1 1/2 miles south of town and east of the highway. Unfortunately, the cemetery is abandoned and has been vandalized. The few tombstones that remain have been knocked over and it is covered with tall brush. I would not recommend going there. I could not find her tombstone.

Then in August, 2005 I  re-read a brochure by Letha Channell Clark titled, “Wapanucka: Glory Days — Early 1900s”. In that she states that “The first church was a Presbyterian church built south and west of Button Springs. It was also used as the first school . . .  This was the first subscription school started in this area . . . and only those who paid could attend.”

Ah, ha!  It would appear, then, that Mrs. Jacob (Avis Murdon Parmley) Paregien [ perhaps known as “Pearigen” while living with son Henry Pearigen in Wapanucka] was buried in the original cemetery on the grounds of the Presbyterian church south of town — but that cemetery apparently is not the same as the Brown Cemetery. The mystery continues.

In October of 2005, I discovered Button Springs listed on the internet as one of the “ghost towns of Oklahoma”. It suggests that Button Springs was the original town site for what is now Wapanucka, but that it was moved sometime before 1900 to the present-day Wapanucka site and gave up the name Button Springs for Wapanucka.

That web site gave the directions to the Button Springs town site as follows: From Highway 69, take Highway 7 west into Wapanucka. Turn left at the stop sign and go south (toward Coleman and Durant). Turn into the last school road and park. Walk up the hill and you are now in Button Springs.

Well, here is something else. In making my final review of my file on Jacob and Avis Paregien, I found a small note from a short interview I had done at least 12 years ago with my aunt, Loretha Paregien Young of Duncan, Okla. I asked here where her great-grandmother was buried. She said the location was one mile south of Wapanucka, on the west side of the highway, in the corner of the property and that there were only a couple of other graves there.

And, to make it even more interesting, I recently spoke with Mrs. Louise Faulk of Wapanucka. She has lived there virtually all of her life. She remembers where the Presbyterian Church and the school were located. She says they were just south of town, on the right (west) side of the road. She says there is a hay barn near the few remaining tombstones.

So, there is still plenty of work to do to resolve the seemingly conflicting information and to find the tombstone (if one every existed).

FOOTNOTES

 The 1880 U.S. Census lists Jacob Paregien’s second wife name as “Avis” Paregien. It says she was born in 1828 in  Kentucky, that her father’s birthplace was Georgia and her mother’s birthplace was South Carolina. One document dated 10 Feb., 1857 lists her first name as “Arias”.

The 1860 U.S. Census for Jackson County spells the Parmley name as “Parmlee”.

The database of the Illinois Land Sales shows that Daniel Parmley purchased some land on 13 Sept., 1853. Record ID #429949 shows that he bought 40 acres of lace at $1.25 per acre in a Federal sale. The description was: County 39, Section 15, Section Pat SWSE, Township 09S, Range 03W, Meridian 3. Archive: Volume #32, page 173.

Daniel Parmley’s father was Hiel Parmlee and his mother was Rebecca Hardin. No doubt that Rebecca Parmley was named after her paternal-grandmother.

The Jackson County, Ill., Index of Cemeteries indicates there is a “Paregin” buried in “21”. That can refer to one of the following cemeteries:  (1) McBride Cemetery – this cemetery is not accessible (private land; swampy; or something). It is located in Kinkaid Township, Section 34, SW corner of SW Quarter.  (2) Christ Lutheran Cemetery – located in Fountain Bluff Township, Section 35.      (3) Modglin Cemetery – located in Bradly Township, Section 26, far west “26”.  (4) Morris-Creath Cemetery – Sand Ridge Township, Section 9. We were warned not to visit this cemetery during the warm months, as it is awfully “snaky”. However, Daniel Parmley’s first home was on Big Muddy River “between Swallow Rock and Sand Ridge” until they moved “further north, in the same county”.

There is a Worthen Cemetery in Jackson County. In Murphysboro, go south on 20th for 4 or 5 miles (will be on the right). Several families moved together to Jackson County from Kentucky, including the Worthen and Parmley families. In fact, Robert Worthen married Daniel W. Parmley’s sister, Rebecca).

RESOURCES

Jacob M. Paregien is listed in the Family Search International Genealogical Index as Film Number 1904030. He is also listed as Jacob M. Paregin under #1903907.

Jackson County Historical Society Museum in Murphysboro, Ill.

Illinois State Historical Library, Newspaper Microfilm Section, Old State Capital, Springfield, IL. 62701-1507.  217-785-7941.

Southern Illinois University Library at Carbondale, Ill.

U.S. Federal Census Records 1800  to 1930.

I did an Internet search on every name in this section in February, 2005.

 

______________________   End of Part 3 of 3   ________________________

 

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Issue 366 – Jacob Mac Paregien, Part 2

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       The Paregien Journal     –     Issue 366     –     Oct. 27, 2017

Jacob Mac Paregien, Part 2:

1857 to 1869

by Stan Paregien

 

Second Marriage: 

Avis  Murdon Parmley

On Feb. 10, 1857, widower Jacob Mac Paregien married a widow named Avis Murdon Parmley, of Jackson County, Ill. (His name is listed as McPerigirn” and her’s as Arvas Parmley” and the Justice of the Peace who performed the ceremony was Benjamin M. Redfield. –Register of Marriages: 1843-1958, Jackson County Courthouse). See the notes on the 1880 and 1900 U.S. Federal Census for why we have chosen to consistently use “Avis” as her first name.

Avis Murdon was born in about 1828 in Kentucky. Her father was born in Georgia and her mother was born in South Carolina (according to the 1880 U.S. Federal Census record, showing her at age 52 living with Jacob M. Paregien in Cold Spring (Phelps County), Missouri).

Avis Murdon Parmley had six children by her first husband (Daniel Webster Parmley–he is buried in the Looney Springs Cemetery (Block 64, Lot 64) in Jackson County, ILL. It is located 3 miles west of Ava, Illinois on the north side of the highway. Stan and Peggy Paregien visited there, but could not find a tombstone).

Three of her children–John Wesley Parmley (born about 1842 in Ill.), Sarah Parmley and Robert  “Bob” Parmley (born about 1848 in Ill.)–died of typhoid fever in 1850.

So at the time of their marriage, Jacob brought seven (7) children to the dining table and  Avis Parmley brought three kids — for a total family of two adults and ten children.

Three of the children born to Daniel Parmley and Avis Parmley were still living when she married Jacob Paregien. Those children were:

  1. Rebecca Ann Parmley

Rebecca Ann Parmley was born about  1 Feb., 1846 in Ill.; (according to a letter by his daughter, Mrs. J.A. [Eldora Pearigen] Taylor, from Ardmore, Okla., on April 18, 1954. Addressed to a Rev. William Harris Pearigen in Water Valley, Kentucky –far southwest Kentucky. She notes that Rebecca Parmley died “not too long ago”.)

The following information is from a booklet written by Mrs. Robert (Francis) Caudel (Rebecca’s daughter-in-law) on Feb. 1, 1940 to commemorate the life of Rebecca Ann Parmley. Lillian Mary Paregine Hughes, oldest daughter of Stephen Arnold Douglas Paregine, gave a copy of the booklet to Stan Paregien back in about 1970.

“On her ninety-third birthday, February the first, 1940, Mrs. Rebecca Ann Parmley Caudel was the guest of honor at a large gathering of relatives and friends at the home of her son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Frances Caudel, 3028 West 36th St., Los Angeles, California, with whom she has made her home for twenty-six years.

“These pleasant birthday parties and the occasional meeting of the ‘Becky Ann’ Club arranged by her daughters, Mrs. Ida Wheatley, Mrs. Birdie Soloman and Mrs. Frances Caudel.

“This story of the ‘little old lady in lavender’ was prepared by Mrs. Frances Caudel, and presented to aunt Rebecca in printed form by Margaret and Fred M. Rolens.

“While California was still Mexican territory and gold had not been discovered on the Pacific Coast and the United States and Mexico were at war, a baby girl, Rebecca Ann Parmley, was born in Jackson County, Illinois, February 1st, 1847.

“James K. Polk was President of the United States, the eleventh in line, but that day in the snow-covered home all that mattered was that the tiny baby girl had been born prematurely and the parents and neighborhood midwife, Aunty Polly Worthen, had a struggle ahead to keep her alive.

“There was neither a Dr. Dafoe of Dionne Quintuplet fame nor a telephone to summon aid, but just the common methods used in those days.

“So in place of the modern baby incubator, little Rebecca was kept wrapped in sweet-oil soaked linen clothes for two months while the firmer skin, finger and toe nails, eyebrows and other accessories could grow for her future use as she traveled down the long trail.

“Her father was Daniel Webster Parmley, son of Ezekiel Parmley of Kentucky. Rebecca Ann’s mother was Arys Murdon Parmley. The mother [Avis] with her sisters Mary, Nancy, Charita Ann and brother Edward Murdon were also from Kentucky.

“The Parmley, Murdon, Hyres, Boone, Will and Worthen families had come about 1830 from Kentucky and settled in rich bottom lands and on hills of Jackson County, Illinois, staying close to the creeks and rivers when possible.

“Daniel Parmley had his home on the banks of Big Muddy River between Swallow Rock and Sand Ridge. It was a pretty spot for a home in this heavily timbered section, a few scattered meadows and the Kincaid Hills and Fountain Bluff nearby, with fertile sandy ridges for their garden and feed crops.

“Daniel Parmley built a tight, warm long home, with puncheon floors and Rebecca Ann could be kept very comfortable though she had arrived during a big snowstorm. Maybe that is the reason she still likes snow, though she is now content to just remember ‘Beautiful Snow’.

“When Rebecca Ann was about three years old [i.e., about 1850], an epidemic of typhoid fever broke out, which with malarial complications was the menace of the lowlands. She, with her sister and three brothers were very sick at the same time. Their mother cared for them day and night, but three of her children died, leaving only Rebecca and Harvey to comfort her parents, as they looked the last time on the three little ones, John, Sarah and Bob.

“Rebecca’s father decided to move his family to a healthier location further north, in the same county.

“Two years later [about 1852], when Rebecca was five years old, she had an attack of typhoid pneumonia and this time she was given up for dead and laid out in the ‘other room,’ and a messenger sent for a coffin. Her broken hearted father, mourning the loss of his daughter named for his two sisters (Rebecca and Ann), on removing the sheet from her face, detected signs of life and a feeble heart beat and overjoyed recalled the messenger. She was tenderly nursed back to health.

“Rebecca’s father, Daniel Parmley, had three sisters: Rebecca, who married Robert Worthen; Sarah, who married a Mr. Kirkendow; and Ann, who married William Hyres and at his death married James Plummer Watson. Daniel Parmley also had two brothers, Richard Parmley and Mathew Parmley.

“Her father purchased a farm, the deed to which was signed by President Buchanan, the 15th President of the United States.

“The father’s newly acquired farm in the higher part of the county had a fine stand of virgin pine, hickory, walnut and oak timber. Daniel and his partner, known to Rebecca only as ‘Dan’, cut logs and hauled them to the river, making it into rafts and floating them down the Mississippi river to New Orleans, Louisiana.

“It was a long journey. The return trip on flat boats was slow and tedious, but all was repaid by the well-filled bags of  silver they had received for the timber.

“Rebecca remembers welcoming the travelers and watching them divide the money, saying ‘This one for Dan, this one for Dan.’

“Also bright in her memory now are pictures of  the activities on that farm and the passing of the boats on the lower Big Muddy and Mississippi rivers (particularly the ones named, ‘Walk on the Water’ and ‘Silver Lake’). She also remembers walks with her father through the garden seeing ‘Love Apples’ (now known as tomatoes, but then considered rank poison) and she well remembers the time they shared their first tomato.

“In the meanwhile Mathew was born. A few years later, the father [Daniel Parmley], while away from home contracted pneumonia. The mother and three children on hearing of his sickness traveled overland by wagon and team, reaching him shortly before his death. He was buried in the Looney Springs burial ground, Jackson County, Illinois. [RESEARCH NOTE: Does anyone have a location in the cemetery or a photo of his tombstone? I visited there in about 2002, but could not find his grave. — SP]

“The widowed mother Arys Parmley left the farm, taking her three children, and lived with one of her brothers. Three years later the mother met Jacob McParegien, a widower with nine children. They fell in love as folks do. [Emphasis, mine. — SP]

“Rebecca’s little brother Harvey opposed the idea of any man taking his mother, and laid up a store of rocks, which he intended to use to chase the man away. But love won out.

“So Arys Parmley and Jacob McParegien were married and went to live on his farm nearby [emphasis mine, SP] where Rebecca and all the other eleven children helped their parents with the chores. One of the constant ones was to go down the hill a quarter of a mile to the spring to get water for the household uses.

“Rebecca could carry a full pail of water on her head and a full pail in each hand, the long path up hill from the spring. Perhaps that accounts for her erect carriage and fine poise to this day.

“The children carried corn and other feed to the hogs which were penned in, under an overhanging rock, which made a cave-like dry shelter.

“At night the children picked seed from the cotton bolls, each child having to fill one of his own shoes with seed each night. Lucky for Rebecca that her feet were tiny. They carded the cotton and spun it into thread. They also spun wool into yarn.

“Rebecca made the material which was woven into her first plaid dress of cotton and wool mixed, and the threads were dyed red, green, black and yellow.

“So their busy days hurried by until she was about thirteen years old, when the rumble of war was heard and all the young men and fathers, too, were called to the colors. [1861 — SP]  Then Rebecca and her half-sisters had to do the plowing, harvesting and all the rest of the hard work on the farm.

“Abraham Lincoln was now the President of the United States and had issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the Negro slaves. Many times the escaped run-away slaves appeared at the farmhouse.

“One time two of them had come to the smoke-house where the cured hams, bacon and other smoked meats were kept. One of the young lads in the family got his gun and with Rebecca at his side said he was going to ‘shoot that nigger’. Thrusting the gun through the wall, he was ready to shoot, when the Negro grabbed the gun and pulled it on through the wall and took it away with him, and the boy’s bravery suddenly melted into tears. The black men were harmless and only took two hams. Evidently they were too heavy, for they left one hanging on a tree near the farm.

“Rebecca’s step-father, Jacob McParagien [sic – SP], organized a company of soldiers and trained them for service, but he was denied the privilege of entering actual service on account of defective hearing.  [Emphasis mine — SP]

“While Rebecca was still in her early teens, her uncle and aunt, James P. Watson and Ann Parmley Watson, of Murphysboro, Illinois, invited her to come and make her home with them where there were better school advantages. She remained with them and their family, consisting of her cousins Bob, Mary, Carrie and Frankie, for many happy years.

“In the school she attended thee were two boys, John Haltwick and Don Ozburn, who did not like the grammar lessons. So when the time came to hear these classes, out through the window went the books, followed by the two boys, to the astonishment of the crippled school-master, Mr. McClarey, who crossed the room with the assistance of his faithful cane, and closed the window.

“About this time Rebecca commenced having her little love affairs, aided and abetted by her cousin Bob [Watson], who placed the ladder against the upstairs bedroom window and helped Beccy [sic – SP] escape to attend parties with him where she met and danced away the happy hours with the young soldier who afterward became her husband.

“Near the close of the Civil War the people of Murphysboro heard that a regiment of Union soldiers were to march through the town. Everyone was decorating their homes with flags and bunting, so Rebecca and her cousins thought they should do their patriotic bit. But in their home was a Confederate flag and Rebecca, not realizing the danger or the significance, waved the flag out an upper window. Her uncle [James P.] Watson, standing in the nearby courthouse door, where he was County Circuit Clerk, hastened home and disposed of the flag before the Union soldiers came by.

“While a young woman in the Watson home, she attended the Northern Methodist Church where she was converted and began the ‘Heavenly path that shineth more and more unto the Perfect Day’.

“When only seventeen, she had a class of younger girls in the Methodist Sunday School. She still can remember the names of them, Mary Butcher, Amelia Kennedy, Margaret Wilson and Anna Williams.

“When the Civil War was over and Rebecca twenty years of age, she was married to John Haltwick [on 30 March, 1867 in Jackson County, Illinois — Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, M731435, 1843-1879, 0968927  IT 2-3, Film]. And a very pretty picture she must have made with her curly black hair arranged into forty-two curls hanging down to her shoulders. The wedding dress was made of white swiss made with full skirt and full sleeves with a narrow band holding the fullness in at the hand.

“To them came four children, two boys and two girls. The two little boys were taken back into Heaven, one at two years of age, the other at fifteen months.

“The little girls, Ada and Carrie [born in 1875], grew to womanhood. The older one, Ada, passed away May 20, 1900. Carrie [Haltwick] Pigott is living today [1940] , in Murphysboro, Illinois.

“On April 20, 1877, after a married life of only ten years, Mr. Haltwick died. Rebecca was left a widow with two little daughters.

“In those days women were not trained to make their own way as they now are. So Rebecca, very well trained in the homemaking art, turned her hand to dress making and other things she could find to do.

“She was hostess in the town’s public library or reading room as it was known in those days. There she met Mr. Sion R. Caudel, a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and the son of a Tennessee Baptist preacher. A few years later they were married. To them were born three children: Ida, Bob and Birdie Caudel.

“Life went on with its varied interests and tasks, such as housekeeping, tending babies, washing necks and ears, wiping bloody noses, wrapping up stubbed toes, kissing cut fingers, patching skinned shins and all the other joys of motherhood.

“She sent them to school and took them to Methodist Sunday School and sat with them in the pew at the Sunday morning service, at the same time serving four years as a Stewardess in the Church, an honored position.

“Again the Grim Reaper reached out his sickle for the ripened grain and the husband and father was gathered into the fold of the Redeemer above.

“One more Rebecca with faith and courage took up the burden and carried it cheerfully and well. Until one day the postman brought a letter from the Golden West, from her son Bob [Caudel], in Los Angeles, containing a railroad ticket and Pullman reservations and an invitation to ‘come up and see us sometime.’ She came, she saw, she conquered.

“That was twenty-six years ago. Today she is very happy to greet you, each and every one, on this occasion of  her ninety-third birthday, February 1st, 1940.”

The 1930 Federal Census states that Rebecca A. Caudel was living with her son, Robert W. Caudel and his wife Frances, in Los Angeles, Calif. Rebecca Ann Parmley Caudel died in California in about 1941 at the age of 94, we think. [RESEARCH NOTE: No record for her in the California Death Record index.]

According to the California Death Records, Robert Watson Caudel was born in Missouri on 2 June, 1881. He died in Los Angeles, Calif., on 20 Sept., 1950 at age 71. His wife, Frances Caudel, was born 23 Feb., 1876 in Kansas. She died in Los Angeles, Calif., on 25 Oct., 1950 at age 74.

  1. William Harvey Parmley

William Harvey Parmley was born to Daniel and Avis Parmley in June, 1845 in Missouri. He married in about 1879 to Ellen _________________.

The 1880 U.S. Federal Census lists Jacob M. Paregien and his wife, “Avis” Paregien as living in Cold Spring (Phelps County), Missouri. The Census lists five of their children living with them:  Samuel (son, age 26), Nancy (daughter, age 22), Stephen (son, age 18), Mary (daughter, age 16 — would have been born in about 1864 — during the Civil War), and Henry B. (son, age 12; actually Henry Clay Paregien).  And it lists three of their GRANDCHILDREN living with them:  May Gion (female, age 4), Maud Gion (female, age 3) and Thomas Gion (male, age 1). We have a photo of a Mr. Guion with Henry Clay Pearigen.

The 1880 U.S. Federal Census also lists just above the Paregien entry the William H. Parmley family. This was Jacob Paregien’s stepson (son of  Avis Parmley Paregien and her first husband, Daniel Parmley).  William Parmley is listed as a 34 year old farmer and his wife, Ellen as a 22 year old “Keeping House”. They had a 1-month old child, William R. Parmley.

[NOTE: There was a William Parmley born on 17 Nov., 1880 in Missouri. According to the SS Death Index, he received his Social Security card while living in Missouri. He died in zip code 64097, meaning the Wellington (Lafayette County), Missouri area — just east of Kansas City, Missouri. This may be our William R. Parmley, son of William H. Parmley.]

  1. Matthew Parmley

Matthew Parmley was born to Daniel and Avis Parmley in Feb., 1853. He married Carrie ________________. Lillian Paregien Hughes said that Matthew  was blind.

Jacob and his second wife and their large number of children lived on his farm. They hauled water to the house from a spring about one-quarter of a mile away.

 

CHILDREN BORN TO

JACOB  &  AVIS PAREGIEN

Jacob and Avis Paregien went on to have four children of their own (That made a total of 14 children sired by Jacob Paregien). Their four children were:

  1. Nancy Paregien

Nancy Paregien was born to Jacob Paregien and his second wife, Avis Murdon Parmley Paregien, in about 1858, probably in Jackson County, Illinois. [See family photo: 1892-02.]

At age 16 she  married Anton (or Antoine) Guion (age 21) on 14 Oct., 1874 in St. Louis, Ill. by  Charles Picken, Justice of the Peace. Official witnesses were C.W. Guion and Lizzie Smith. [Marriage Index of St. Louis County. The marriage was filed and recorded on 29 Dec., 1874].  He definitely was of French heritage, as there are lots of Guion’s in Canada and France.

In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census the above three children were living with their grandparents, Jacob & Avis Paregien, at Cold Spring (Phelps County), Missouri.

The children were listed, with an error in spelling, as  May Gion (female, age 4), Maud Gion (female, age 3) and Thomas Gion (male, age 1). The correct spelling of their last name is “Guion”.

1880--03--B -- Nancy Paregien Guion - daughters May and Maud Guion

ABOVE:  Nancy Paregien Guion and daughters and an unidentified child. Date unknown. [Photo 1880-03]

1898--03 Nancy Paregien Guion-family

ABOVE:  Nancy Paregien Guion with family (and son-in-law??). Date unknown. [Photo 1898-03]

1898-02-NancyParegienGuion--StLouis

I’m a little confused about this photo. Taken in about 1898 (??), the label I put on it in about 1973 says it “shows (l to r) Nancy Paregien Guion (daughter of Jacob & Avis Paregien) and her mother Mrs. Jacob (Avis Murdon Parmley) Paregien. The woman on the right is Nancy’s daughter-in-law, Mrs. Thomas (Lula) Guion.  [Photo 1898-02]”. Now, I don’t know if that is correct. Instead, I belived the woman on the left is May Guion and the woman in the center is May’s mother, Nancy Paregien Guion. At first, I thought maybe the woman on the right was May’s sister, Maud. However, looking at the two previous photos of the sisters, they appear to be about the same height . . . but the woman at right in this photo is considerably shorter than May Guion. So she may indeed be Nancy’s daughter-in-law, Mrs. Thomas (Lula) Guion. That’s my best guess.

One source indicates that Antoine Guion was born in 1853 and his parents were Barthelmi Guion and Marguerite Barada. [http://www.stlgs.org/efdb/d238.htm#P27037 ]. This Mr. Guion’s age would be about right. [There was a much older Antoine Guion born in 1832 in Carondelet, St. Louis, Missouri. His father or maybe an uncle??]

Nancy and Mr. Guion had at least three children:  May Guion, Maud Guion and Thomas Guion.

Melvin L. Pearigen wrote me in on 30 April, 1973 and said: “I was through St. Louis in 1922. Her [“Aunt Nancy’] and her husband, he’s a Frenchman by the name of Guion, . . . owned a rooming house and was selling it to buy a chicken ranch near Springfield, Missouri. And that’s the last I ever heard of them.”

The St. Louis City Directory for 1880 lists Antoine Guion as a gardener (or a guard; “ard.”) and living on 4th Street near Fillmore.  We have a photo of a Mr. Guion with Henry Paregien. Further, the 1880 U.S. Federal Census lists Antoni O. Guion (age 27, a laborer born in 1853) living with his mother Margaret Guion. Had he and Nancy divorced or simply were not listed?

The 1900 U.S. Federal Census shows Thomas C. Guion, age 20 (son of Antoine Guion and wife Nancy Paregien Guion) living in Township 3, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory (Atoka County, Okla.). He was listed as head of his own household. He would have been Henry Pearigen’s nephew (i.e., Henry’s sister’s son).

Thomas C. Guion had been born in Missouri, as had his mother and father. His occupation was given as a farm laborer and he could neither read nor write, while his wife could do both. He, too, was a sharecropper.

His wife was Lula M. ________ Guion, age 18. She was  born  in Sept., 1881, in  Arkansas (both of her parents had been born in Tenn.). No children were listed. They had been married for two years (since about 1898).  They apparently followed or moved with Henry Pearigen and his family from St. Louis, Missouri to the area around Boggy Depot, Indian Territory. By the 1930 Census Thomas and Lula Guion were back in St. Louis, Missouri.

The St. Louis City Directory for 1905 lists one “Nannie Guion” living at 1401 Chauteau Ave. Could this “Nannie” be our Nancy?

1910--04 HenryPearigen-OllieGuion Family

In the photo above, Henry Pearigen stands between his brother-in-law, Anton Guion, and his sister, Nancy Paregien Guion [Photo 1910-04]

1910--05 HouseBuiltBy JacobParegien

The 1930 U.S. Federal Census shows a Thomas Guion, age 51,  living with his wife, Lula Guion in the Independent City section of St. Louis (St. Louis County), Missouri. He was born to Antoine Guion & Nancy Paregien Guion in about 1879.

NOTE: A certain “Filbert Antoine Guion” died in Lincoln County, Missouri on 17, June, 1903. He had been born about 1854 in Missouri. [Source: Lincoln County, Missouri Deaths: 1866-1896, an online database created by Kenneth E. Weant.] 

 

  1. Stephen Arnold Douglas Paregien (later “Paregine”)

Doug Paregien was born to Jacob Paregien and his second wife, Avis Murdon Parmley, on 31 May, 1861 at Murphysboro (Jackson County, Illinois). 

Like his full-brother, Henry Clay Paregien,  Doug began using an alternate spelling of the family name. And while Henry spelled it “Pearigen” Doug spelled it  “Paregine.”  The big unanswered question is this: why they would take on such spellings, even when living close to other relatives who maintained the original spelling? Strange, indeed.

Apparently Jacob and Avis Paregien must have been impressed by Illinois politician and U.S. Senator Stephen Arnold Douglas so much so that they named their second child after him. It makes one wonder whether they ever heard the famous Senator speak in person. He debated his little-known Republican opponent Abraham Lincoln in many cities across Illinois in 1858 for the U.S. Senate seat. Douglas won that contest, but Lincoln beat him for the job of President of the United States in 1860.

Were the Paregiens registered Democrats?

The Phelps County, Missouri Marriage Book  lists one  “Stephen Arnold Douglas Parequin, age 19 and Miss Celia Lowe, age 18. July 24, 1881 (Record Book 3). Robert C. Adams, MG. Father of groom J.M. Pareqin. The wedding was held in Miller Township.” This was his first marriage. I spoke with one of his granddaughters, Marie Clark Palm, on Nov. 27, 2004 and she was not aware that he had been married before he wed her grandmother. Nor did she know that he had at least one child by Celia Lowe.

  1. Mary A. Paregien

Mary A. Paregien was born to Jacob Paregien and his second wife, Avis Paregien, in about 1864, near the end of the Civil War. This Mary Paregien is not to be confused with the Mary Paregien born to Jacob Paregien and his first wife, Nancy Morgan Paregien.

The 1880 Census for Cold Spring (Phelps County), Missouri has Mary A. Paregien as age 16 and living with their mom and dad, Jacob and Avis Paregien.

Mary A. Paregien married Columbus F. Richardson, age 23, on 19 Jan., 1883. Jonathan Harrison, a Justice of Peace in Rolla, Missouri performed the ceremony. Columbus Richardson was from West Plains (Howell County), Missouri. The record states “J.M. Paregin was father of the bride.”(Phelps County Missouri Marriages, Book 3, p. 092).

As it turns out, Columbus Richardson is a very common name in the United States. And often the Census records show that the so-named person of a Black or Mulatto. In the 1930 U.S. Federal Census there was a Columbus Richardson (age 70, born about 1860 in Missouri) living in the Kansas City (Jackson County), Missouri area as a boarder.

  1. Henry Clay Paregien (later “Pearigen”)

Henry Clay Paregien  was born to Jacob Paregien and his second wife, Avis Murdon Parmley Paregien in St. Louis, Missouri on 4 Aug., 1867 (according to a letter by his daughter, Mrs. J.A. [Eldora Pearigen] Taylor, from Ardmore, Okla., on April 18, 1954. It was addressed to a Rev. William Harris Pearigen in Water Valley, Kentucky [far southwest Kentucky]).

For some unknown reason, Henry spelled his last name as “Pearigen”. So there is now an entire line of the family spelling it that way. And there are a great number of other folks, who may or may not be related, who spell their name that way (lots of them in Tennessee and Kentucky).

And to just make it more confusing, Henry Clay Paregien’s full-brother, Stephen Arnold Douglas Paregien, also started using a variant spelling of the last name — and it was even different from the one Henry used! Doug Paregien became Doug “Paregine”.

 

______________ Miscellaneous Notes ________________

Lillian Paregien Hughes told Evelyn Paregien in 1970 that she remembered seeing her grandmother Avis Paregien. She said that Avis smoked a pipe, and she swept the floors with a short-handled broom, which she had to stoop to use. Lillian also recalled seeing her wash their clothes. They had a tree stump which they would beat their clothes on, after soaking them, to get them clean. She wore her hair slicked back in a knot.

In later life, Avis lived with her son, Henry Clay Pearigen, at Wapanucka (Johnston County), Okla.

On 1 March, 1859, there was a “James Parigen” of Iron County, Missouri who purchased 120 acres of land at or near Jackson (Cape Giradeau County), Missouri. The official land description was: The south half of the SE quarter and the NE quarter of the SE quarter of Section 22, in Township 32N of R4E, in the District of Sands.” This land is located only about 30 miles from the Paregien home base of Murphysboro (Jackson County), Illinois.  Was this our James A. Paregien, who would have turned 18 on 21 March, 1859?

1860

The 8th Census of the United States, done in 1860, for Jackson County, Illinois shows two Paregien-related families living in Township 8, Range 3W.

  1. William H. “Paragen” – #748 listing — a day laborer, age 23, born in Missouri. Also lists a female named Huldy Paragen, age 21, born in Illinois. Also lists Eliza J Paragen, born in Illinois and her age shown as “8/12”, meaning she was only 8 months of age. William H. Paregien was the eldest son of Jacob and his first wife, Nancy (or “Nanley”) Morgan, born on Nov. 23, 1837. Apparently he was living in his own home, with his wife and a child. [RESEARCH NOTE: Is there a birth certificate available in Missouri? ]
  2. Jacob “Paragen” – #749 listing — a farmer, age 44, born in Kentucky and married to Arris (or perhaps, “Avis”; hard to read the writing) Paragen”, age 34, born in Kentucky. Others living in that household included Jacob’s children by his first wife :(a) James Paragen – age 19, born in Ill; (b) Elizabeth Paragen – age 14, born in Missouri; (c) Sarah – age 10, born in Missouri; (d) Samuel – age 8, born in Illinois; and (e) Nancy – age 2, born in Illinois. It also included the children of his second wife “Erris” (or Aryns or Avis) — (a) William H. Parmlee – age 15, born in Missouri; (b) Rebecca Parmlee – age 12, born in Missouri; and (c) Matthew Parmlee – age 5, born in Illinois. And then there was a man living with them named Tobias Penrod, age 75, born in Pennsylvania.[Who the heck was he? ]

During the Civil War, Jacob M. Paregien organized a trained a company of soldiers for the Union Army. However, he was so hard of hearing that he himself could not enlist. His son, James Alexander Paregien, did join the service.

There is, however, a record of one “Jacob Peargin” (also spelled “Pergin”) being in the 7th Missouri Infantry, serving as a Private in Company G. (Box 000390, Extraction 0037)

The Military Census of 1862 for Jackson County recorded two Union soldiers who hailed from Levan Township (Town 8 South, Range 3 West):   (1)  William Perigan, age 27, born in Illinois, a farmer, serving in the 81st Regiment; and (2) James Perigan, age 22, born in Illinois, a farmer, serving in the 27th Regiment.

1865  –  End of the Civil War between the northern states and the southern states.

1868  –   The approximate year when Jacob Mac Paregien and his second wife, Avis Murdon Parmley Paregien moved to St. Louis, Missouri.

The St. Louis (Missouri) City Directory for 1868-69 lists “Jacob Perigan,” carpenter, living at 1417 Cass Ave. It also lists his son, William H. Perigan, as a laborer and living at the same address.

Louise E. Paregien,  one of  the daughters of Jacob & Nancy Paregien, married Jonathan W. Moore in St. Louis (St. Louis County, Ill.) on 18 Feb., 1869. [Her name may also be read as “Louisa E. Pariagein”]

   ________________________   End of Part 2  of 3  ____________________

Oh, hey, a couple of other things.

I am now publishing a free newsletter titled “An Encouraging Word.” It is a periodic publication, sent only once or twice a month. Our goal: “To share positive ideas and to encourage acts of kindness.” To be added to my mailing list, just write to me at paregien@gmail.com and in the subject line put “Encouraging Word.” Easy, huh?

Also, my most recent music video can be found online at YouTube. After I read how the Boy Scouts organization (reeling from large membership losses) was mounting an agressive campaign to recruit Girl Scout employees, troop leaders and girls. So I sat down and wrote a song titled, “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Girls Grow Up to Be Boy Scouts.” It is at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-_iMT3rPgk

Thanks.

 

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Issue 364 – Fleeing Hurricane Irma, Part 3

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The Paregien Journal    —    Issue 364    —    September 21, 2017

Fleeing Hurricane Irma, Part 3 of 3

[See Parts 1 and 2 for earlier portions of the story of our evacuation from Bradenton, Florida due to the imminent arrival of Hurricane Irma.]

On Thursday, Sept. 14th, we made a mad dash from our motel in Lexington, Kentucky about 20 miles west to visit Frankfort, Kentucky. That is where the state’s capital is, plus that is where the grave of he one-of-a-kind American hero Daniel Boone is buried. The first place we went was to the final resting place of Daniel Boone and his beloved wife Rebecca. A tall, impressively carved marker stands in the beautiful and historic cemetery across the Kentucky River on a bluff which looks out upon the State Capital.

2017--09--14 06--D Frankfort, KY - Stan Paregien at grave of Daniel Boone - by Peggy Paregien

2017--09--14 06--A Frankfort, KY - grave stone of Daniel Boone -2017--09--14 06--B Frankfort, KY - Stan Paregien at grave of Daniel Boone - by Peggy Paregien2017--09--14 06--C Frankfort, KY - Stan Paregien at grave of Daniel Boone - by Peggy Paregien2017--09--14 06--F Frankfort, KY - Stan Paregien at grave of Daniel Boone - by Peggy Paregien2017--09--14 06--G Frankfort, KY - grave of Daniel Boone - by Stan Paregien2017--09--14 06--H Frankfort, KY - grave of Daniel Boone - by Stan Paregien2017--09--14 06--J Frankfort, KY - grave of Daniel Boone - by Stan Paregien2017--09--14 07--A Frankfort, KY - State Capital Building - by Sttan Paregien2017--09--14 07--B Frankfort, KY - State Capital Building - by Sttan Paregien2017--09--14 07--C Frankfort, KY - Ky Historical Society Bldg Quote from Happy Chandler - by Sttan Paregien2017--09--14 07--D Frankfort, KY - First Baptist Church building - by Sttan Paregien

Then we drove up to Williamstown, Kentucky. Never got to see the town itself. But we saw what draws many hundreds of people every day to the edge of town. Just off I-75 is an attraction named “Ark Encounter.” A bunch of some bodies invested a ton of money in this project. Taking the actual dimensions given in the Old Testament of Noah’s Ark, they built a 510 foot arch, with a ground floor devoted to a huge gift shop, some meeting room, etc. Then the ark itself — with all the birds and beasts and such all arranged two by two — takes up three full floors. We walked ourselves silly and were amazed by all of the displays and exhibits. We probably spent three hours or so there.

However, if you’re a serious student of the Bible and/or archeology and such, you really ought to buy a two-day pass. Then pace yourself by maybe spending two hours there on the first morning and after lunch another two hours. Same thing for the second day. My bet is you won’t even be able to see it all even then. It is H-U-G-E, as a car dealer in the Tampa area likes to shout in his commercials.

2017--09--14 11 Williamstown, KY - replica of Noah's Ark2017--09--14 12 Williamstown, KY - replica of Noah's Ark2017--09--14 13 Williamstown, KY - replica of Noah's Ark2017--09--14 14 Williamstown, KY - replica of Noah's Ark2017--09--14 15 Williamstown, KY - replica of Noah's Ark2017--09--14 16--A Williamstown, KY - Noah's Ark - by Peg Paregien2017--09--14 16--B Williamstown, KY - Noah's Ark - Stan and Peg Paregien2017--09--14 16--C Williamstown, KY - Noah's Ark - Peg Paregien2017--09--14 17 Williamstown, KY - Noah's Ark - Peg Paregien2017--09--14 18--A Williamstown, KY - Noah's Ark - Peg Paregien2017--09--14 18--B Williamstown, KY - Noah's Ark - Peg Paregien2017--09--14 18--C Williamstown, KY - Noah's Ark - Peg Paregien

After seeing the Ark Encounter, we had planned on driving on up to Indianapolis to visit Peggy’s eldest sister, Mrs. Charlotte Allen Richardson and her husband Bill. We thought we might spent a couple of nights there, then wander west to our son’s house near St. Louis for the duration of our evacuation from Florida. That is, we did not want to start back until we were sure we had our electricity back on and that food and gas supplies were adequate.

However, about then we got a call from a neighbor back home in Bradenton. She gave us the exciting news that our electricity had been restored (it had been off since last Sunday night). And she said it looked like our house had only very minor damages.

Hallelujah! Those were the words we were waiting to hear. We did a quick u-turn and headed back to Florida. However, I did not want to drive down I-75 again. So we went slightly west toward Nashville and I-65. We spent Thursday night in a very busy, small town named Franklin, Kentucky, right on I-65. We had perhaps the best night of sleep since we had been forced out of our home by Hurricane Irma.

On Friday, Sept. 15th, we left Franklin, Kentucky about 8:30 pm and drove through some patches of fog on the way down to Nashville. Getting through congested “Music City” was no easy task, but I guess it did prepare us for what was coming next.

After actually looking at a map and seeing that the lower part of I-65 took us way west toward Mississippi, we decided to boogie back over to Chattanooga and join back up with . . . yep, . . . I-75. There is some major road construction going on in Chattanooga, so it was stop and go all the way.

When we got to I-75. the pace of the hordes of southbound traffic moved along pretty well for the most part. That is, until we got to Hell. Yeah, you know — Hell, Georgia. Oh, okay, you may know it better as Atlanta. But I’m here to tell you that driving through Atlanta from 2:15 pm to 5:30 pm is as close as I want to get to hell.

2017--09--15 10 Atlanta, GA -- hell on wheels - by Peg Paregien

2017--09--15 11 Atlanta, GA -- hell on wheels - by Peg Paregien

There were six lanes of traffic going each direction, but it all was going at the speed of a senior citizen snail. It was bad. No it was downright awful. I have driven in a lot of big cities — Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, St. Louis, Montgomery, Indianapolis, Columbus, and more. But I ain’t never in all my born days driven in anything that could compare to the helter-skelter of Atlanta. I came away from that white-knuckle experience crying, “No mas! No more! Never again!” Or to paraphrase the great Chief Joseph of Idaho’s Nez Pierce tribe who finally admitted defeat at the hands of the U.S. Army. He said, “As long as the grass grows and the water flows, I will fight no more forever.” And I said as I exited Atlanta, “As long as I am half-way sane, I will drive no more forever in Atlanta.” Amen and Amen!

We were physically and emotionally exhausted when we finally got to our . . . eh, well . . . 3rd rate motel in Macon, Georgia. After a few $160 per night hotels we just had to take something cheaper. It turned out to be okay. Certainly nothing fancy about the room, and the continental breakfast the next morning left much to be desired. But it was a bed and the room was air-conditioned . . . and they allowed pets. 

We set our alarm for 5:30 am on Saturday, Sept. 16th. And we hit the blacktop on I-75 at 6:40 am. We were going home. Nothing quite like that feeling after so many one-or-two night stands. There were pockets of very heavy traffic, especially about 11 am at all six exits or so to Gainesville. We wondered why the heck the traffic was backed up so far. And, bingo, we remember that the University of Florida “Gators” had a home football game that afternoon.

Amazingly, we managed to average about 66 mph on Saturday’s travel. We drove into our driveway about 2:00 pm.

2017--07--17 03 Cartoon - even anti-government folks ask for help after a disaster

2017--09--17 01 Bradenton, FL - Cartoon - linemen were heroes

2017--09--17 02 Bradenton, FL - home damaged - by Peggy Paregien

2017--09--19 01 Bradenton, FL - tree damage - by Stan Paregien

2017--09--19 02 Bradenton, FL - tree damage - by Stan Paregien

Yes, we did see a lot of trees down along the roads, all the way from central Georgia to Bradenton. And some of the residents in our 55+ community had some significant damage, with maybe 25 families still without electricity. Florida’s sauna-like summer heat and humidity are terrible for anyone without air conditioning, but it is especially hard on young children and on seniors. But, all in all, we were thankful the hurricane had not made a direct landing here.

Be it ever so humble, it is always a good feeling to get back home. And it is especially wonderful when the house that you half-way expected to lose in a massive storm surge of water is still in tact. Thank you, Lord.

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Issue 348 – This Land Is Your Land

 

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Issue 348     –    February 6, 2017

This Land Is Your Land

I did not watch the Super Bowl football game on Feb. 5, 2017. Half-time entertainer Lady Gaga seems to have gotten favorable reviews from lots of folks. I did catch a news clip of her singing a portion of Woody Guthrie’s popular song, “This Land Is Your Land.” It is a populist, kind of get-together-and-sing-Kumbaya song. 

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However, as the late radio broadcaster Paul Harvey used to say, . . . here is the rest of the story.

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I made the following statements about the history of the song, “This Land Is Your Land.” in my 2012 eBook, WOODY GUTHRIE: HIS LIFE, MUSIC AND MYTH (Chapter 5):  

“On Feb. 23, 1940, Woody wrote ‘This Land Is Your Land’ while living with friend and fellow folksinger Burl Ives at the Hanover House in New York City. He wrote it to counteract what he considered the mindless sentimentality of ‘God Bless America,’ penned by the great Irving Berlin. That song just really irritated him something awful.

“Slowly but surely he worked out the words of his own song and, as usual, simply matched the lyrics up with an existing song. In this case it was the melody of a gospel song, ‘Oh, My Loving Brother,’ a melody that was also borrowed by the Carter Family for their song, ‘Little Darling, Pal of Mine’. Woody titled his song, ‘This Land Is Your Land’ and pretty much forgot about it until April of 1944.

“When the song finally surfaced and was recorded, it only included the first four verses (see below). And it quickly gained traction. Today the first few verses are sung by people all over the world, sometimes with a few adaptations to fit the Canadian or Japanese or Irish or whatever culture. It has been recorded by virtually everyone under the sun, from Bing Crosby to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. In the 1960s President Lyndon Baines Johnson was one of the first to wonder if maybe it should replace our national anthem. And various big-name corporations, including United Airlines and the Ford Motor Company, have used bits of it for their sales pitches on TV and radio.

“Here is how those first four verses read:

1   This land is your land, This land is my land
From California to the New York island;
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me.

 2  As I was walking that ribbon of highway,
I saw above me that endless skyway:
I saw below me that golden valley:
This land was made for you and me.

 3  I’ve roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts;
And all around me a voice was sounding:
This land was made for you and me.

 4  When the sun came shining, and I was strolling,
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling,
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting:
This land was made for you and me.

“The problem with most of the admiration for this song is that the four-verses-only version hides or at least ignores the whole point of the complete song. With all of its verses intact, ‘This Land is Your Land’ stands as a Marxist chant for communal property. Here is how those last three verses read:

5   As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

6   In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

7  Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.

“Now, go back and read the first line of the first verse. Doesn’t it take on a much darker meaning? It should because this song is, in fact, radical leftist Guthrie’s most clear challenge to life as most American’s know it.

“He understood that private property rights were, more often than not in the United States, used by land-owning corporations to put down the workers. They and their henchmen, the courts and law enforcement, constantly trampled on workers’ constitutional-granted rights of freedom of speech and freedom to assemble.

“So he was calling on people to join the fight against the concept of private ownership of property which, historically, has been the lynchpin of American politics and economics. Woody reasoned that he was taking the high moral ground in advocating that all Americans should share equally in America’s wealth and property.

“Keep in mind, too, that one of the reasons Guthrie wrote this song was to protest the idealism of the big hit song of 1939-1940, ‘God Bless America.’ And it is in verse 6 that he makes the point that the America he saw, from sea to shining sea, was filled with poor and unemployed people standing in welfare lines. And he felt that capitalism and its innate greed were responsible for the awful situation in which there was a great gulf between the bankers and the guys digging ditches or even those who just wish they had a job of any kind. So nothing would change—the poor will continue to be with us en mass—until we change capitalism to communism. And, though not stated in the song, it was his belief that the labor movement—and unions, in particular—could accomplish that goal.

 “Was Woody a Communist Party Member?

 “Was Woody Guthrie a member of the official Communist Party or was he just a sympathizer on the outside looking in or was he just a guy who sympathized and identified with poor, hard-hit people and sought help from any source?

“Guy Logsdon expressed his point of view when I interviewed him in 2006: ‘Woody loved the United States of America. He loved Oklahoma. And he loved Okemah. He never wrote anything bad against them. He wrote against greed and anything having to do with the suppression of innocent people. If that makes him a Communist, then Jesus was a Communist. Woody was the poet philosopher of the people, the voice of the ordinary person.

“’However, Woody was not radical enough to be a communist. The Almanac Singers, some of whom later became stars as a group called The Weavers, wrote and performed pro-labor and anti-war songs. You know Franklin Roosevelt had a program to rebuild the economy and get production and prices stabilized. It involved killing every fourth cow and plowing under every fourth acre. So the Almanac Singers recorded a song called, ‘Plow Under Every Fourth Soldier’ in protest to the war. That offended a lot of people.

“’And the public sentiment changed radically when Germany waged war against Russia. So the Almanac Singers dropped that song from their programs very quickly. And they started writing and performing anti-Hitler songs.

“’When Woody went to New York City, he was in awe of what they were doing. And he sometimes attended meetings of the Communist Party but, as Pete Seeger has often said, ‘Woody was not a Communist. The Communist Party was a tightly structured organization. And Woody Guthrie wouldn’t join anything like that, because his nature was too independent and unstructured.’”

“Perhaps so. But as we have quoted previously, Woody made that admission or assertion of membership himself. And he did it in what my dear ol’ English teacher at Fillmore (California) High School—Mrs. Percy—would call a simple declarative sentence: “The best thing I did in 1936 [he got the actual date wrong; it was 1939] was to sign up with the Communist Party . . . ” (see Chapter 4.)

“When all views are heard, it seems clear that Woody Guthrie was at the least a solid sympathizer and supporter of the Communist Party. He was a man of his times, and those times were very hard for the working class. So whether he was a card-carrying member of the Party seems immaterial today. And it seems to me that, in the final analysis, Guthrie really had more faith in the unions than he did in Communism. In 1944 he said, ‘I live union. I eat union. I think union. I see union. I walk it and I talk it. I sing it and I preach it’ (Quoted by Ed Cray, Ramblin’ Man: The Life and Times of Woody Guthrie [2011], page 283).

 “Well, as I said, he filed the song away and pretty much forgot about it for several years. But it would finally end up as his signature song and in its four-verse form one of the most sung songs in the world.”

One more thing. The big news right now is about our immigration and deportation policies (or lack thereof). It is old news, really.

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Woody Guthrie had a big place in his heart for the frequently abused immigrant workers and their families. He spent a great deal of time traveling around to make-shift worker’s camps to listen to their problems and to encourage them with his songs. 

In 1948, an event happened that triggered a great deal of anger in Woody.  The U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Department had chartered a DC-3 airplane to deport back to Mexico both illegal immigrants and those Mexicans whose work permits had expired. They left Oakland, Calif., on Jan. 28th with 28 such deportees on board, plus the pilot, a co-pilot, a guard and a stewardess. The plane crashed in a ball of fire near Los Gatos, California.The news reports mentioned the staff members by name and said 28 deportees were also killed. No mention of their names, leaving the impression they were of no importance.

Guthrie took that as a personal insult and an outrage. He went into a writing frenzy, pouring his heart and soul in a song he titled, “Deportees” (also known as “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos”):

Plane Wreck at Los Gatos

(also known as “Deportees”)
by Woody Guthrie

The crops are all in and the peaches are rott’ning,
The oranges piled in their creosote dumps;
They’re flying ’em back to the Mexican border
To pay all their money to wade back again

Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;
You won’t have your names when you ride the big airplane,
All they will call you will be “deportees”

My father’s own father, he waded that river,
They took all the money he made in his life;
My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees,
And they rode the truck till they took down and died.

Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,
Our work contract’s out and we have to move on;
Six hundred miles to that Mexican border,
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

We died in your hills, we died in your deserts,
We died in your valleys and died on your plains.
We died ‘neath your trees and we died in your bushes,
Both sides of the river, we died just the same.

The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
A fireball of lightning, and shook all our hills,
Who are all these friends, all scattered like dry leaves?
The radio says, “They are just deportees”

Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
To fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil
And be called by no name except “deportees”?

Sad to say that the practice of devaluing other people is still alive and well. We often find fault with those who are different from ourselves — morally, culturally, racially, religiously and politically. The list goes on.

Now, friends, if you look at this thing strictly logically and scientifically (not morally or religiously) the woes and injustices to the poor, the weak and sickly and the disenfranchised should be of no concern to those of us who are winners in the lottery of life. After all, scientist Charles Darwin preached the survival of the fittest as being in the best interest of the world. So why should one glob of atoms (a human) give a flip about another glob (another human)? You know the routine: (1) Look out for Number 1; (2) What’s mine is mine and I’m after yours; (3) The real “Golden Rule” is that whoever has the gold rules; (4) Greed is good; and (5) Don’t get involved.

Well, . . . if you buy that premise, then it is kinda irrational to do otherwise, don’t you think? Maybe that’s why you’re never seen anywhere a hospital founded and funded by the American Association of Atheists. That’s why there are no major philanthropic foundations operated by the American Humanist Association. That’s what the Society for Humanistic Judaism sits around gazing at their navels. 

Thankfully, however, there are people of goodwill and generous acts of kindness in every group and country. Concern for others, whether a friend or a neighbor or an enemy, is still alive and well.

For example, loving concern is a fundamental theme in the sacred Jewish texts. Here is a sampling from Exodus 23:1-9: “(1) Don’t spread rumors. Don’t plot with evil people to act as a lying witness. (2) Don’t take sides with important people to do wrong. When you act as a witness, don’t stretch the truth to favor important people. (3) But don’t privilege unimportant people in their lawsuits either. (4) When you happen to come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey that has wandered off, you should bring it back to them. (5) When you see a donkey that belongs to someone who hates you and it’s lying down under its load and you are included not to help set it free, you must help set it free. (6) Don’t undermine the justice that your poor deserve in their lawsuits. (7) Stay away from making a false charge. Don’t put an innocent person who is in the right to death, because I will not consider innocent those who do such evil. (8) Don’t take a bribe, because a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right. (9) Don’t oppress an immigrant. You know what it’s like to be an immigrant, because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt.” — from the COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE (used with permission)

Christians, too, recognize their duty and honor to serve others who have hit hard times. John the Baptist, who was in prison at the time, sent word to this new teacher named Jesus and asked him for some proof that the was the longed-for Messiah. Jesus did not cite as evidence that he had formed a large anti-Roman army, nor that he had a large political campaign war chest, nor that the Who’s Who of Israel were his backers. Amazingly, Jesus told the messengers, “Go, report to John what you hear and see. Those who were blind are able to see. Those who are crippled are walking. People with skin diseases are cleansed. Those who were deaf now hear. Those who were dead are raised up. The poor have good news proclaimed to them.” (Matthew 11:4-5, CEB)

A lawyer with the Pharisee sect of Judaism tried to trap Jesus one time by asking him what the greatest commandment was in the Law of Moses. Jesus said, ” (37) You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. (38) This is the first and greatest commandment. (39) And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” (Matthew 22:37-39, CEB)

It is clear in both Judaism and in Christianity that love for others–not just a good feeling but positive, practical help–is fundamental to religious faith.

The apostle James chided his peers by saying, “(2) Imagine two people coming into your meeting. One has a gold ring and fine clothes, while the other is poor, dressed in filthy rags. (3) Then suppose that you were to take special notice of the one wearing fine clothes, saying, ‘Here’s an excellent place. Sit here.’ But to the poor person you say, ‘Stand over there’; or, ‘Here, sit at my feet.’ (4) Wouldn’t you have shown favoritism among yourselves and become evil-minded judges?

“(5) My dear brothers and sisters, listen! Hasn’t God chosen those who are poor by worldly standards to be rich in terms of faith? Hasn’t God chosen the poor as heirs of the kingdom he has promised to those who love him? (6) But you have dishonored the poor. Don’t the wealthy make life difficult for you? Aren’t they the ones who drag you into court? (7) Aren’t they the ones who insult the good name spoken over you at your baptism?

“(8) You do well when you really fulfill the royal law found in scripture, Love your neighbor as yourself.” (James 2:2-8, CEB)

That, my friends, is why you see hundreds of hospitals and universities and homes for the needy founded by and funded by the faith community. Highly respected Jewish hospitals and Christian hospitals are found across America, as are homes for the homeless and abused. Back in my old stomping ground, Oklahoma City, we had the Baptist Hospital, Deaconess Hospital (Methodist), and Mercy Hospital (Catholic), each of them a fine facility caring for anyone who walked through the door. Other religious organizations work every day to help migrants with legal work or with learning English, or helping pregnant women save their babies from abortions, or rescuing young men and women from sex traffickers and drug dealers. And the list of good works goes on and on.

“This Land is Your Land” is a nice song title and sorta give us a warm, fuzzy feeling. In fact, I have personally adapted it to create songs for the people of Rwanda (“Rwandans, This Land Is Our Land”), for the people of Honduras (“Hondurans, This Land Is Your Land”), and for the people of Ireland (“Ireland Is Your Land).  View videos of those songs and 50 others on my “Stan Paregien’s Studio” on YouTube at:https://www.youtube.com/user/CowboyStan/videos

My point is this: it takes that “good feeling” and $5.00 to get you a cup of java at Starbucks. Fact is, it is up to you and to me to look for opportunities to honor God by doing good wherever we go and by teaching others to do the same.  

So if you are looking for hope and purpose in your life, please take a serious look around you. Observe how your neighbors are living. Is it the Believers who are more happy and fulfilled . . . and busy helping others . . . or is it the Non-Believers? There are exceptions, of course, for no one is perfect in practicing their philosophy of life. But my 75+ years of experience has shown me that people of faith actually believe that history is headed somewhere and they are not just sitting hopelessly on a spinning earth.

Just sayin’.

[NOTE: My eBook, WOODY GUTHRIE: HIS LIFE, MUSIC AND MYTH, is available in seven popular formats at:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/StanParegien . You’ll find over a dozen more of my eBooks there as well. And before long there will be another one on the list, right now tentatively titled MANATEE COUNTY, FLORIDA: FACTS, FOLKS AND PHOTOS. Stay tuned.]

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Issue 344 – Adios 2016, Ola 2017

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Issue 344  –   January 3, 2017  –  Bradenton, Florida

Well, folks, we had quite a nice New Year’s Eve Celebration at our 55+ retirement community down here in Paradise. We ended this 31st day of December, 2016 basking in the sunshine of an 82 degree day. And then we gathered in our clubhouse for a catered dinner, followed by a dance. Pretty doggoned nice, we thought.

Peggy and I stuck around the festivities until about 10:00 pm. We home and started watching an old black-and-white movie about 10:30 p.m. The next thing I knew I woke up and the clock above our TV said 12:09. Peggy had fallen asleep, too. So I awoke her to tell her “Happy New Year!” And then we saundered off to bed. The best part of the day was this part, when I thanked God for being able to start another year with the love of my life.

One of the members of our Home Owners Association had asked me to take photos of our folks as they came through the door for the New Year’s Eve Party. So Peggy took down their names as they lined up and I took two shots of each group or individual. All of the 65+ pictures turned out well, except for four or five, and I appologize for that. I can blame those few  photos on my camera, not the camera operator. For, as you will see, the photo which someone else snapped of Peggy and me with my camera was one of those which was a bit off. Well, at least the price was right (i.e., free). 

I have posted below most of the photos that I took that evening. I hope you enjoy them. 

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That’s about it for now. My best wishes to each and every one of you for a wonderful year of 2017.

— Stan Paregien

 

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Issue 343 – ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

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Issue 343 – ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – December 10, 2016

Lest I forget, let me say to all of you that Peggy and I wish for our family and our friends, as well as our followers around the world, a blessed Christmas Day. 

In this issue, I just want to share some Christmas-related poems, essays and cartoons. Happy reading.

 

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

(aka “A Visit from St. Nicholas “)

[A copy of the first publication of this poetic account of a child’s happy visit from St. Nicholas in the Troy (NY) Sentinel (1823) is reprinted and analyzed by English literature scholar MacDonald P. Jackson on the InterMedia Enterprises website. While authorship credit is debatable, some experts agree that the original poem was the work of a Mr. Henry Livingston (according to the Huffington Post).

[A later publication attributes the poem to writer Clement Clark Moore, who claimed to have written it in 1822. Unbeknownst to Moore, the poem was published anonymously in a newspaper in upstate New York in December 1823. Additionally, Moore, who was a professor of Oriental and Greek literature at General Theological Seminary in New York City, is thought to have written “A Visit from St. Nicholas” for his children, without any intention of publishing it. He first published it under his name in 1844 after others tried to take credit for it. So . . . the true authorship is debatable.

[Note: the following version is a modern English version, whereas the original was written in somewhat archaic English.]

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

 Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

 The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

 In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

 

 The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

 While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

 And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

 Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

 

 When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

 I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

 Away to the window I flew like a flash,

 Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

 

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

 Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

 When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

 But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

 

 With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

 I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

 More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

 And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

 

 “Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!

 On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONDER and BLITZEN!

 To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

 Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

 

 As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

 When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

 So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

 With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

 

 And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

 The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

 As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,

 Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

 

 He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

 And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

 A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

 And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

 

 His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

 His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

 His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

 And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

  

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

 

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

 

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

 

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

 

Santa Claus: Man or Myth?

by Stan Paregien Sr.

 

Here is the story of one man’s answer to be the classic childhood question as to whether Santa Claus is real or not. It is not the only answer, of course, and there are some who raise legitimate concerns about problems an answer like this might cause to children as they grow older. However, those issues are for another occasion. Right now we go back more than 100 years in time to see how one man dealt with the issue.

In September of 1897, a little girl wrote a letter to Mr. Francis P. Church, the editor of the New York Sun newspaper. She asked him to please answer an important question for her. And, after considering her dilemma for some time, on September 21, 1897, Mr. Church published the little girl’s question and gave his answer.

Here is what the little girl named Virginia wrote:

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“Dear Editor: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun [newspaper], it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus? — Virginia O’Hanlon, 115 West Ninety Fifth Street”

What the editor, Mr. Church, told her has become the most widely reprinted newspaper editorial in the entire English speaking world. It is an established part of Christmas folklore in many parts of the world. Here is what he said:

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“Viginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little.

 

“In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.

“We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

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“Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

“You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else more real and abiding.

“No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”

You may be interested to learn that young Virginia O’Hanlon later earned a doctorate degree and spent her life teaching and serving as a school administrator. She died at the age of 81. Mr. Church, the newspaper editor, died in 1906 at the age of 67.

 

So far this editorial written in 1897 by Mr. Church is the only one ever set to music. That happened in 1932 when NBC radio commissioned and broadcasted a “Yes, Virginia” cantata set to classical music. On Dec. 8, 1991 a made-for-TV movie titled, “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus” was shown. It starred actors Richard Thomas (“John Boy Walton” in the TV series “The Waltons”), Ed Asner and tough-guy Charles Bronson.

In fact, the expression “Yes, Virginia, There Is A . . . ” has become a common way of saying that a certain thing or person is real and does exist. Such as, “Yes, Virginia, there is an honest politician.” Well, okay, that may not be the best example but you catch my drift.

There remains the deeper question of how or when children should be properly educated about such “make-believe” characters as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny Rabbit, and fairies tiptoeing through the tulips. One rather sarcastic and know-it-all eleven year old told a questioning younger child, “Aw, heck. Santa Claus is just like the Devil. He is your old man.”

That is probably not the best approach.

Here is a better one, especially when they suspect that their mom or dad is really Santa Claus. Just relax and be honest with them. Here is my general letter to kids about ol’ Santa, a letter that would be appropriate for most families:

“Dear Kids,

“You may be wondering whether Santa Claus is a real person under that red hat and long, white beard. Well, let me help you understand.

“First, your mom and dad are not Santa Claus. Oh, yes, they are the ones who shop for your gifts, pay for them, wrap them and put them under your Christmas tree. After all, a fat Santa couldn’t drag a big bag of gifts down a chimney. But when your parents do all of that it does not make them Santa Claus. And, you know what, their own parents and grandparents probably blessed them the same way with the legend about a wonderful man who was just full of love and generosity.

“The tradition of a Santa Claus is a wonderful experience for most families, but that doesn’t really make any of us Santa Claus. Playing like Santa is real, you see, is a fun way of reminding all of us — parents and children — that there are times when it is important to believe in things we cannot see with our eyes or touch with our hands or measure with a ruler. Things like love, God, trusting in others, cooperation in getting everything done, hope when life is hard, thankfulness for being together as family and friends, joy in giving to others and happiness in receiving gifts and best wishes from others.

That is really what the idea of Santa Claus is all about. Santa is an attitude, a happy and good way of thinking, rather than a person. The job of spreading cheer around the world is too big and wonderful for just one person to do. So most of us are part of “Team Santa.”

“Next year you can help us find the right gifts for other people, and you can enjoy wrapping them and giving them away. Maybe someday you will decide to bless your own children by passing on this tradition, but that choice will be entirely up to you.” 

 

Well, friends, I hope that is helpful to some of you.

Some of my Christian brothers and sisters may seriously object to “playing Santa” and putting an emphasis upon a mythical man rather than on “the reason for the season” – the birth of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Frankly, my wife and I went through a cycle of beliefs and behaviors when our children and grandchildren were young. Early on we observed a deep appreciation for this period as a time of celebrating the birth of Jesus and we included the Santa myth as something distinct from that holy celebration.

Then at some point we decided that the “distinct” part may not have been understandable at all by our children. So, much to the dismay of both sets of our parents, we went through one or two Christmases without Santa and without gifts. Then we returned to our normal practice.

So, . . . I would suggest adding this statement to the letter above for those Christians who are struggling with what to do:

“Kids, the reason we have this Christmas season at all is because of the birth of Jesus the Christ. Notice the spelling of Christmas: “Christ-mas.” We believe in Jesus as the baby born in Bethlehem, but we also believe in him as our savior, our hope for eternal life, our helper in this life. We have to tell you, because God wants us to tell the truth and not lie (1 Peter 3:10), that Santa is not any of these things.

 

“You see, when I was a boy we would play lots of games of make believe. Cowboys. Space travelers. Kings and queens. There were always good people and bad people in those kid games. But we knew they were not real or somehow magical. They were just for fun. That is how it is with Santa, too. So you can have fun with Santa, but God is for real and wants us to love him with all our hearts.”

Maybe that will help.

 

Now, for those who might be interested in reading alternative opinions about what to tell children about Santa Claus, here are some sources:

Brown, Laura Lewis. “Is It Okay to Lie About Santa?” PBS-Parents: http://www.pbs.org/parents/holidays/is-it-okay-lie-about-santa/

 Holidays or Holy Days: Does It Matter Which Days We Observe? This is a 48-page booklet which is free upon request by writing to The United Church of God, P.O. Box 541027, Cincinnati, OH 45254-1027.

Johnson, David Kyle. “The Santa Claus Lie Debate: Answering Objections.”

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/plato-pop/201312/the-santa-claus-lie-debate-answering-objections

Strobel, Lee.  The Case for Christmas: A Journalist Investigates the Identity of the Child in the Manger.

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1 Corinthians 13

(A Christmas Version)

by an unknown author

 
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just Another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend myriad holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

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Love stops the cooking to hug the child.

Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband.

Love is kind, though harried and tired.

Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.

Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.

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Christmas Is Only As Strong

As Its Weakest Link

By Curtis K. Shelburne

I don’t usually think of Christmas and chains as going together, unless I’m reading about the ponderously-chained Ghost of Christmas Past who so terrorized old Ebenezer Scrooge! But I believe this to be true: Christmas is a “chain” which is only as strong as its weakest link.

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If Christmas deals only with lights and tinsel, egg nog and poinsettias (all of which I enjoy very much, I hope you understand), and the Yuletide joy and peace, love and good will, we sing about are just artificial twinkles and largely illusory light, then Christmas is a weak and pathetic thing which can’t possibly stand the test of life and time and which will fade a long time before the January sales (and credit card bills) end.

If Christmas has to do only with parties and good times, but nothing to do with hospital rooms and disgusting diagnoses . . . 

If Christmas has to do only with smiles and “Merry Christmases” and nothing to do with hope at a graveside . . .

If Christmas has to do only with sales and not souls, presents and not His Presence, holiday cheer but not lifelong Joy . . .

If Christmas has to do only with Jingle Bells and nothing to do with “God with us,” well, then, Christmas is not up to the task of making a real difference in our lives, and it’s just one more momentary diversion for the despairing, one more false hope for people who know no hope, and it certainly won’t make much difference in life, or in death, or in anything at all very real or substantial.

But if Christmas, and all that is best about this good season, points to real light and hope, glimmering reflections from the Father of Lights, the Giver of Joy, the Sender of the very best Gift, then the Christ of Christmas can use this time of celebration to point us to light that truly is stronger than darkness, hope that is genuinely stronger than despair, and life that is ultimately and infinitely stronger than death. 

Then we discover that the Light of Christmas is real indeed because He is real, and life is far more substantial than death.

Then Christmas means something beautiful and wonderful and real. And Christmas joy can and will last forever.

[Copyright 2013 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice. You are invited to visit his website at http://www.curtissheldburne.com. ]

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A Christmas Remembrance
By Carolyn B. Leonard

For people who are dealing with the loss of a loved one, the holidays are often a daunting and difficult time of year. The Holiday season will be not as bright for families who have lost someone or something precious. One of my writer friends who lost her husband in 2012 described it as a year of “unmitigated Hell.” 

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In my tiny rural no-stoplight hometown of Buffalo up near the Kansas border, the home-owned and operated Wilkinson funeral home is doing something to help this season. They are preparing lovely glass angel ornaments which will be personalized with the name of each person they took care of this year. In a special “Christmas In Heaven” program at a church, the personalized Guardian Angel ornaments will then be presented to the family to be placed on their own Christmas tree or otherwise displayed in remembrance of the loved one for years to come.

Not just the immediate family, but the entire town and county are invited to participate in this opportunity to remember and honor all those lost this past year — because in a community like Buffalo it really does take a village to raise a child, and each soul has played a special role in every life. This program will give them the chance to publicly acknowledge their share of the loss.

It is always better to talk about grief and deal with it directly than to ignore or suppress it. When our first grandchild was killed in a car accident just before Christmas the whole community grieved with us. It was a horrible time for our family giving up that beloved and precious toddler, but knowing our grief was shared helped ease our pain. Friends, neighbors, acquaintances – not knowing what else to do – came with tearful hugs, flowers, and casseroles. Those gifts of love, but even more their comforting presence at that time, will never be forgotten.

Everyone feels a little awkward and are unsure what to say, but I liked to hear — “I heard about what happened …I can’t imagine what this has been like for you.” Each broken-hearted person feels their grief is unimaginable, their life has been changed forever. The word ‘imagine’ implies that whatever the griever says will be accepted, not judged or criticized. And then you can do the most important and helpful thing ever … just listen.

The stages of mourning and grief are universal and are experienced by people from all walks of life. Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss. The seven emotional stages of grief are disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and acceptance or hope. There is no neat progression from one stage to the next and no set timetable.

The stages we must work through also apply to the loss of a job, a loved pet, a friendship, a marriage, health, or any other negative effect that changed your life. We all know about the collective grief that envelops everyone touched by tragedies such as the Murrah Bombing, the senseless 9-11 deaths, the spring tornado disaster, those life-changing events when everyone mourns. It takes a long time, but healing comes – very slowly, but it comes and you move on.

As you start to adjust to life without that part that is missing, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. You can finally move to acceptance.


Acceptance does not imply happiness. Instead, you can now remember and think about the loved one with sadness, but without that wrenching, intense emotional pain.

Holidays and events filled with tradition can be especially hard to deal with. Death is a topic everyone wants to avoid, even tho the unfortunate truth is that at some point we will all be faced with the uncomfortable reality of loss. Cherish the memories associated with the event, and with the person who is gone. Perhaps a glass ornament Guardian Angel, inscribed with the person’s name, is just the trick you need to find some joy in a Christmas remembrance.

[ Note: The above article was written by our dear Christian friend, Carolyn B. Leonard, of Oklahoma City. Our relationship dates all the way back to about 1985. And for a time we both worked for the same company as newspaper editors, she in Buffalo, Okla., and I in Meade, Kansas. Carolyn is also the author of a helpful book on genealogy. It has the catchy title of Who’s Your Daddy? ]

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Prelude to Christmas Prayer

by Don Betts

Bradenton, FL – Dec., 2013

 Our house is your house, we wish you good cheer,

On this special day we’re glad that you’re here!

Christmas is a time of special reflection,

And to some, a day of great expectation.

 

Our thoughts are mostly of friends and family together,

Without grievous thoughts or fear of the weather.

At our house its always a beautiful day.

So we now take a moment to pray.

 

Let’s pray for peace, tranquility and accord,

And ask a special blessing as we give thanks to our Lord.

Lets be happy with His blessings.

That come in such abundance.

And rid ourselves of earthly things

That come with such redundance.

 

Lord help us to love one another

To be to each  other, sister and brother.

Help us to know, with all due reason

The true meaning of this special season.

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The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus

by Ogden Nash

APR 1 1959, APR 2 1959; Ogden Nash; Americans too serious.;“Frederic Ogden Nash (August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971) was an American poet well known for his light verse. At the time of his death in 1971, The New York Times said his “droll
verse with its unconventional rhymes made him the country’s best-known producer of humorous poetry”.[1] Nash wrote over 500 pieces of comic verse. The best of his work was published in 14 volumes between 1931 and 1972.” – Wikipedia Dec. 8, 2016.

 

In Baltimore there lived a boy.

He wasn’t anybody’s joy.

Although his name was Jabez Dawes,

His character was full of flaws.

 

In school he never led his classes,

He hid old ladies’ reading glasses,

His mouth was open when he chewed,

And elbows to the table glued.

 

He stole the milk of hungry kittens,

And walked through doors marked,

“NO ADMITTANCE.”

He said he acted thus because

There wasn’t any Santa Claus.

 

Another trick that tickled Jabez

Was crying “Boo!” at little babies.

He brushed his teeth, they said in town,

Sideways instead of up and down.

 

Yet people pardoned every sin,

And viewed his antics with a grin,

Till they were told by Jabez Dawes,

“There isn’t any Santa Claus!”

 

Deploring how he did behave,

His parents swiftly sought their grave.

They hurried through the portals pearly,

And Jabez left the funeral early.

 

Like whooping cough, from child to child,

He sped to spread the rumor wild:

“Sure as my name is Jabez Dawes

There isn’t any Santa Claus!”

 

Slunk like a weasel of a marten

Through nursery and kindergarten,

Whispering low to every tot,

“There isn’t any, no there’s not!”

 

The children wept all Christmas eve

And Jabez chortled up his sleeve.

No infant dared hang up his stocking

For fear of Jabez’ ribald mocking.

 

He sprawled on his untidy bed,

Fresh malice dancing in his head,

When presently with scalp-a-tingling,

Jabez heard a distant jingling.

 

He heard the crunch of sleigh and hoof

Crisply alighting on the roof.

What good to rise and bar the door?

A shower of soot was on the floor.

 

What was beheld by Jabez Dawes?

The fireplace full of Santa Claus!

Then Jabez fell upon his knees

With cries of “Don’t,” and “Pretty Please.”

He howled, ‘I don’t know where you read it,

But anyhow, I never said it!’

 

“Jabez” replied the angry saint,

“It isn’t I, it’s you that ain’t.

Although there is a Santa Claus,

There isn’t any Jabez Dawes!”

 

Said Jabez then with impudent vim,

“Oh, yes there is, and I am him!

“Your magic don’t scare me, it doesn’t.”

And suddenly he found he wasn’t!

 

From grimy feet to grimy locks,

Jabez became a Jack-in-the-box,

An ugly toy with springs unsprung,

Forever sticking out his tongue.

 

The neighbors heard his mournful squeal;

They searched for him, but not with zeal.

No trace was found of Jabez Dawes,

Which led to thunderous applause,

And people drank a loving cup

And went and hung their stockings up.

 

All you who sneer at Santa Claus,

Beware the fate of Jabez Dawes,

The saucy boy who mocked the saint.

Donner and Blitzen licked off his paint.

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Christmas Trivia Questions

 

  1. After leaving Bethlehem, to which country did Joseph, Mary, and Jesus travel?

          Answer: Egypt

  1. Every elf has this ornament on the tip of their shoes. Which ornament are we talking about?     Answer: a bell
  1. Name the eight original Reindeer.   Answer:  Blitzen, Comet, Cupid, Dasher, Prancer,    Vixen, Dancer, and Donner
  1. How does a Mexican sheep say “Merry Christmas”? Answer: “Fe-leece Navidad”
  1. Which country is credited with the creation of the Christmas beverage, eggnog?

          Answer: Turkey

  1. Which country does St. Nicholas originally belong to? Answer: Norway
  1. Which was the first state in the United States to recognize Christmas as an official holiday?  Answer:  Alabama
  1. Here is a two-part question about the song, “White Christmas.” (1) In what movie did it first appear . . . and (2) what year did the movie appear?   

          Answers:  “Holiday Inn” in 1942

  1. James Stewart & Donna Reed starred in “It’s A Wonderful Life” in what year?

          Answer: 1946

  1. In that same movie, what was the first name of the angel? Answer:  Clarence

 

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

(Brooklyn Version)

 The author cannot be identified because

he is in a witness protection program.

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 ‘Twas the night before Christmas,

Da whole house was mellow,

Not a creature was stirrin’,

I had a gun unda my pillow.

 

When up on da roof’

I heard somethin’ pound,

I sprung to da window,

To scream, “YO! Keep it down!”

 

When what to my Wanderin’

eyes should appear,

But dat hairy elf Vinny,

And eight friggin’ reindeer.

 

Wit’ a bad hackin’ cough,

And da stencha burped beer,

I knew in a moment

Yo, da Kringle wuz here!

 

Wit’ a slap to dere snouts,

And a yank on dere manes,

He cursed and he shouted,

And he called dem by name.

 

“Yo Tony, Yo Frankie,

Yo Sally, Yo Vito,

Ay Joey, Ay Paulie,

Ay Pepe, Ay Guido!”

 

As I drew out my gun

And hid by da bed,

Down came his boot

On da top a my head.

 

His eyes were all bloodshot,

His body odor wuz scary,

His breath wuz like sewage,

He had a mole dat wuz hairy.

 

He spit in my eye,

And he twisted my head,

He soon let me know

I should consider myself dead.

 

Den pointin’ a fat finga

Right unda my nose,

He let out some gas,

And up da chimney he rose.

 

He sprang to his sleigh,

…..screaming,

And away dey all flew,

Before he troo dem a beatin’.

 

But I heard him exclaim,

Or better yet grunt,

“Merry Christmas to all, and

Bite me, ya hump!”

Christmas Time in Florida

by Stan Paregien

Oh, the lovely plastic holly is secured in our window tonight,

And our electric fireplace, glowing reddish orange, is pretty and bright.

There’s newly sprayed artificial snow on our green plastic palm tree,

So most all of the holiday decorating is through for the Mrs. and me.

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Here in Florida at our large, gated 55-plus retirement community

We have an exciting annual Christmas parade for everyone to see.

All the high-dollar golf carts and bicycles have ribbons and lights,

And party-time reveling is done up to almost 8 pm on some nights.

 

Ah, yes, again here in sunny Florida it is obviously Christmas time.

And many of our home-grown traditions are both weird and sublime.

You see, here ol’ Santa Claus can really kick back and relax,

For no one ever phones him or sends him a text or even a fax.

 

Down here in Florida, Santa Claus is really hip and on the ball.

He has a new cellphone, a GPS and a deep southern drawl.

His staff of elves is so organized he gets presents out on time

Even to Snowbirds temporarily down here for the warm clime.

 

Santa retired from the bitter cold North Pole to right near here

And he has a nice luxury stable at the beach for his reindeer.

Santa’s elves also relocated to condos and they help him a lot,

Making sure Santa Baby quits golfing on the deadline’s dot.

 

Then they hitch the famous reindeer to his amphibious sleigh,

Equipped to land anywhere at all on that extra special day.

He flies so doggone fast the wind tugs at his beachcomber hat,

And he travels around the world delivering this and that.

 

Oh, it is absolutely true: Christmas time in Florida can’t be beat.

You can sit outside on your patio and drink a ice-cold treat.

Or you can stretch out at a warm beach and catch the sight

Of Jimmy Buffett, John Travolta or a swim suit too slight.

 

Friend, during Christmas time in Florida don’t get in a rush,

Just always go for the “Early Bird Special” to avoid a crush.

‘Cause Snowbirds clog the beaches, cafes, theaters and the like–

And they cause our living expenses here in Florida to spike.

 

Well, Christmas time in Florida is about perfect in every way:

We leave pretzels and a margarita for Santa on that special day.

In Paradise we scrape no ice and shovel not an ounce of snow,

So we’re happy here in Florida and we ain’t putting on a show.

[This poem copyrighted by Stan Paregien in 2014.]

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Flitting Around the USA

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Issue 341  — October 17, 2016

During the last part of August, my wife Peggy flew to Washington, D.C. She went there to be with her sister, Paula Allen King, who was accompanying her daughter and granddaughter on a trip from Oregon to get the granddaughter enrolled and housed as she was beginning her freshman year at George Washington University. Pretty heady stuff to be living right where some of the most important events in our nation have taken place.

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Peggy Allen Paregien in front of the White House. No, the Obamas did not invite her in for an afternoon tea. Oh, well. 

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Paula Allen King stands with her back toward the White House.

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On Monday, Sept. 12th, Peggy and I kicked around Indianapolis on our own. We started by visiting the Indiana State Capital building. That may sound easy enough, but we were a bit overwhelmed by the very limited street-side parking and the one-way streets and the system (or lack of it) for parking underground near the capital grounds. 

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We decided we’d stop by the Governor’s office for some free coffee and cookies. No such thing. And we found out that Governor Pence must not have gotten our email about us stopping by for a chat, because he ran all the way out of state to hang out with some ol’ billionaire named Frump . . . or Plump . . . or . . . , oh, yeah, Trump. 

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Well, already getting foot-sore, it was upward and onward to the home of President Benjamin Harrison. Heck, he wasn’t home, either. But he had a solid excuse.

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Well, there you have it, neighbors. That concludes the first part of our trip to Indiana. In future issues we’ll show you our brush with General Lew Wallace, the author of BEN HUR. And we’ll visit Springfield, Illinois and Abraham Lincoln’s home and his burial monument.

Plus, in tiny Mount Olive, Illinois we’ll visit the “Union Miners Cemetery” and the grave of the beloved (and hated) union labor leader Mother Jones. And we’ll take you with us to the wedding in St. Louis of our grandson Daniel Paregien and his lovely bride, Leah Cromer.Then, we’ll mosey on down to beautiful Lake Lure, North Carolina for a few relaxing days before heading north with my Hillbilly Cousin to far northeast Tennessee . . . where they love barbeque and storytelling. All of that and more in future issues. So y’all come on back real soon, ya hear?

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The Spiritual Life, Part 2

The Paregien Journal  –  Issue 338  –  June 21, 2016  –  Stan Paregien, Editor

The Spiritual Life, Part 2

Our dear friends Clay and Pat Landes came into our lives when we moved from Edmond, Oklahoma to Bradenton, Florida in 2013. We were immediately attracted to them by their openness and hospitality, each with a smile displaying they were in a close walk with God. He has been serving Christ in many ways, and for several years has been one of the elders leading the diverse body of believers we call Central Church of Christ in Sarasota. 

1994  --  2015--09--05  Sarasota, FL - Clay and Pat Landes' 50th Anniversary --  by Stan Paregien

Clay & Pat on their 50th wedding anniversary

renewing their vows. Sept., 2015

 

Though he grew up in a Christian home and once professed his love for the Lord, in his early adult years he had strayed far away. When Clay finally saw the light and returned, he had a burning desire to reach out and help others who had never accepted Christ or who had let their love grow cold. And he is still at it.

That is so despite the fact that about eight months ago he was diagnosed with cancer. In early June, his regular physician said his condition had worsened significantly. So he is now in a hospice program with an array of medical and social and psychological professionals to assist them as needed. Little did that group know that they were dealing with an upbeat, optimistic man . . . who was still on a mission. He told us on Sunday, June 19, 2016, that he had just arranged to have Bible studies with two of those folks “because they need the Lord.”

That same Sunday, Clay found the strength to teach a fine Bible class on 2 Timothy 4:6-18. There was a large audience of adults, many of whom were visitors — friends of his from years back. He began by singing a song that he wrote about a year ago: “Jesus, May Your Will Be Done.” There was hardly a dry eye in the audience.

Then he went on to read the first section of Paul’s letter which begins with, “I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

It was a powerful lesson from a man who, indeed, has fought a great fight for the Lord he loves and who trusts deeply in God’s grace. He knows he is going to heaven, fairly soon, and doesn’t want anyone else to miss out on going there, too. 

So here is his song, both as a poem and then as a song with the chords.

 

2016--06--19   03-A    Sarasota,  FL  -- Clay Landes -  by Stan Paregien

Jesus, May Your Will Be Done -- 2, a poem -  by Clay Landes - Copyrighted 2015

Jesus, May Your Will Be Done --  by Clay Landes - Copyrighted 2015

For those who may need a little guidance in how to share their faith more easily with others, I recommend the following book. The author was a student at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee during part of the time that I was also there. He has had a wonderfully productive Christian life. But he, also, had a diagnosis of cancer and went through many treatments before it went into remission. So he knows what it means to walk through the Valley of the Shadow of death . . . and had been able to help others who needed to walk more closely with the Lord.

1997 book by Randy Becton, EVERYDAY EVANGELISM, page 1

1997 book by Randy Becton, EVERYDAY EVANGELISM, page 2

 

Poem 454   The Purpose of the Lord's Supper - by Stan Paregien Sr  1 Cor 11 v17-34 -- Page 1 of  2

Poem 454   The Purpose of the Lord's Supper - by Stan Paregien Sr  1 Cor 11 v17-34 -- Page 2 of  2

Keep on the Sunny Side   --  Ada Benkhorn in 1928  -- gospel, bluegrassLife's Railroad to Heaven  --  Gospel, bluegrass

2015--02   The Christian Appeal -- Page 1

The above little magazine is one I’ve read and enjoyed for many years. The editors are two “Texified” brothers, Gene Shelburne of Amarillo and Curtis Shelburne of beautiful downtown Muleshoe. They are gifted writers, teachers, authors, and preachers. They are simply solid-citizens and dedicated Christian men. 

Their magazine is not jammed with the latest hot topic or with shrill voices. It is a relaxed and thoughtful, Christ-centered journal with real-life applications. So I hope you will consider becoming a subscriber. The additional good news is that it is free. Yes, Virginia, there really is such a thing as a free magazine. It is free as in no cost to you. Hundreds of folks who appreciate the journal do send money to help out. But, again, there is no subscription fee and you won’t be barraged for a donation. So give it a try. And tell them good ol’ boys that Stan sent ya. The address is below.

2015--02   The Christian Appeal -- Page 2

One of my current challenges is reducing my number of file cabinets from three to no more than two. Sounds easy enough. But my collection of articles, songs, photos, genealogical material, and etc. and etc. is a bit overwhelming. Fifty years of collecting will do that to you. But once or twice a month the notion of junking some of it strikes and I dutifully start through the files.

Well, it was while I was doing that a week or so ago that I came across the following message by a former Bible professor of mine. Dr. Batsell Barrett Baxter was a congenial, soft-spoken man with the heart of a servant and the mind of Christ. While I was at Lipscomb University, he was head of the Bible Department. And he was the beloved preacher for the Hillsboro Church. And . . . he was the featured speaker for many years on the radio and TV broadcasts called “The Herald of Truth” originating from a congregation in Abilene, Texas. So he was a busy, busy man.

On the last page of this four-page message, I have added a few photos of this wonderful Christian gentleman who died of cancer several years ago.

Baxter, Batsell Barrett  -  'The Days of Our Lives'  -  Page 1 of  4

Baxter, Batsell Barrett  -  'The Days of Our Lives'  -  Page 2 of  4

Baxter, Batsell Barrett  -  'The Days of Our Lives'  -  Page 3 of  4

Baxter, Batsell Barrett  -  'The Days of Our Lives'  -  Page 4 of  4Bible  -- not a bag of trail mix to pick and chose only what you like

 

Land of a Thousand Hills Cafe - Bradenton, FL 06-02-2016  - Benefits farmers in Rwanda - Part 1 of  2

Land of a Thousand Hills Cafe - Bradenton, FL 06-02-2016  - Benefits farmers in Rwanda - Part 2 of  2

 

Family -- Grandma - church - always welcome at church and Grandma's house --FAMILY CIRCUS

 

 

John 03 v16 --  02

Guess I’d better close for now. I do thank you for stopping by on a regular basis to see what is new. The easy way to do that, of course, is just to sign up to receive a simple email notification that I have posted more material. Please consider doing that.

For several years, Peggy and I had a little sign on our dining room wall that said, “Life is short. Eat desert first.” I saw a lot of wisdom in that and sometimes followed it.

The fact is, though, that none of us has a guarantee of even one more hour of life. Folks die all around us on a regular basis. And in that sense we are all “terminally ill.” So, my friend, let’s you and I do what we can with what we have where we are . . . to help others and to make this a better world, condemned though it is. And that also means periodically conducting a self-examination to make sure we have done all we can to have our lives and our house in order when we die. Just sayin’. 

 

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Life in Florida, Part 5

The Paregien Journal  –  Issue 337  –  June 21, 2016  –  Stan Paregien, Editor

Life in Florida, Part 5

2016--05--08   A--1C    Bradenton, FL -- Peggy Paregien on Mothers Day -- by Stan Paregien

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Hillbillies and Flatlanders

My cousin Jerry Paregien and his wife Muriel live in the nose-bleed heights of the far northeast mountains of Tennessee. I am told that he generates his house electricity from the same system that operates his still a hundred yards down in the woods from his house. But that is another story.

Since we have lived here in the Flatlands of Florida, they have been to see us about three times. And we have a boat-load of fun doing whatever we want. I had a sister and no brother, but ol’ “Jay-ree” is about as close as I’ve come. He is a scholar (written a couple of eBooks about particular firearms), a Southern gentleman (he is actually an immigrant, from that other country, . . . California) and our Christian brother and friend. 

Part of the fun we have and the bond we share is that Peggy and Muriel get along so doggoned well. Of course, each of them was a “P.K.”  For the uninitiated, that is a code for “Preacher’s Kid.” And they were. Muriel’s father was a well-known preacher in the mid-West and central California. He had qualms about tying the marriage knot for her, considering her mate selection; but it appears to have worked out. Her brother, Victor Knowles, is a long-time preacher who has lived in the Joplin, Missouri area for decades. He is the editor of ONE BODY, a magazine advocating Christian unity. And . . . Peggy’s father was a preacher in Nebraska (Kearney and Albion) and mostly in Ventura, California. Plus, Peggy was married to a guy who preached full time for about ten years ( I know him well). So Peggy and Muriel have fun discussing the pluses and minuses of living in the glass house of a parsonage.

Anyway, these photos show a little of what we did here this time.

2016--05--14   A1  Bradenton, FL -- Peggy Paregien and Muriel Paregien.jpg

2016--05--14   A2  Sarasota, FL -- Cousins - Stan and Jerry Paregien - by Peggy Paregien

2016--05--14   A3  Sarasota, FL -- Jerry and Muriel Paregien - by Peggy Paregien

2016--05--14   A4  Sarasota, FL -- Stan and Peggy Paregien - by Jerry Paregien

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Note the electric scoot-mobile Jerry has been using for about six months for longer walks. It is an amazing little thing that folds up compactly and only weights about 35 pounds, as I recall. So it gets an amazing number of miles per gallon of gas.

2016--05--17  B01   Bradenton, FL  --  nearly 30 million tourists visited Florida in the first quarter of 2016

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2016--05--15  A8B  Sarasota, FL - Old Guys Napping

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2016--05--20   A01   Bradenton, FL  is 6th fastest growing town in Florida, 46th in the nation

2016--06--15  05A   Venice, FL  -  Dr Brian Smith on his tricycle - by Peggy Paregien

2016--06--15  05B   Venice, FL  -  Dr Brian Smith on his tricycle - by Peggy Paregien

2016--06--15  05C   Venice, FL  -  Hand-made quilt given to Dr Brian and Ruth Smith - by Peggy Paregien

This beautiful quilt, above, was given to the Smiths recently by a friend — Jean Pendergrass. And . . . that reminds me of a poem about quilters . . . 

Poem 450   Old Quilters Never Die  --  Stan Paregien Sr - copyrighted June 14, 2016

2016--06--15  05D   Venice, FL  -  View from condo of  Dr Brian and Ruth Smith - by Peggy Paregien

2016--06--15  05E   Venice, FL  -  Stan and Peg Paregien with Ruth and Brian Smith  - by Bonnie Hamill

2016--06--19   01--A  Bradenton, FL  -- 8 dogs in the back of a convertible car - by Peggy Paregien

2016--06--19   02--A  Sarasota, FL  -- Don Betts and Judy - by Peggy Paregien

These are two of our favorite people in Florida. No, make that the United States. Naw, make that the continent of North America. Aw, shucks, you catch my drift. 

2016--06--19   03-A    Sarasota,  FL  -- Clay Landes -  by Stan Paregien

Be sure to check back for the next posting on THE PAREGIEN JOURNAL, as it will tell more about Clay’s story of faith. And it will have a copy of that great song he wrote.

Now, a very important personal note . . . 

Mr. and Mrs. Stan Paregien, Jr.

2016--05--10   Anniversary of Becky and Stan Paregien Jr - May 10, 1986 in Stroud, OK

2016--05--29--B   30th Anniversary renewal of wedding vows of Becky and Stan Paregien Jr -  married May 10, 1986

2016--05--29--C   Waterloo, IL - 30th Anniversary renewal of wedding vows of Becky and Stan Paregien Jr -  married May 10, 1986

Major Stan Paregien Jr., U.S.A.F., and wife Becky renewing their vows  on their 30th wedding anniversary. Columbia, Illinois. May 29, 2016

2016--05--29--C2   Waterloo, IL - 30th Anniversary renewal of wedding vows of Becky and Stan Paregien Jr -  married May 10, 1986

2016--05--29--C7   Waterloo, IL - Stan Paregien Jr, and Becky with kids - Daniel and Jodi - 30th anniversary

Becky & Stan Paregien Jr. with their children: Daniel (also in the U.S.A.F.) of St. Louis, Mo., and Jodi P. Barrow of Arkansas

2016--05--29--D   Waterloo, IL - Brandon Barrow, Jodi P Barrow and Bailee

Jodi Paregien Barrow with her husband Brandon (U.S. Coast Guard) and daughter Bailee (not shown, son Dominic)

Our 54th Wedding Anniversary

Peggy and I celebrated our 54th wedding anniversary on May 31, 2016. This year it was just a little different. Okay, a whole lot different.

Previously, we celebrated it together by eating at a nice restaurant or going some place special. On our 25th anniversary we made our first trip to lovely Hawaii. On our 50th we flew to London and took a bus tour of England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and one day in France. 

This time we also celebrated it with a trip to a special place. Only she went alone. And all day and night on May 31st she was enjoying being at sea on a 12-day cruise aboard the Holland American Oosterdam, as the guest of our friend and neighbor Evelyn Skliar. Meanwhile, I was home walking the dog and watering the flowers, neither of which I bargained for when we moved to Florida [upon her return I turned in my license to do such].

Oh, well. One of the little zigs and zags in life. 

Poem 445   Another Anniversary, My Love  --  by Stan Paregien Sr - copyrighted  May 31, 2016 -- Page 1 of  2

Poem 445   Another Anniversary, My Love  --  by Stan Paregien Sr - copyrighted  May 31, 2016 -- Page 2 of  2

 

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Issue 334 – Some Really Good News

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Issue 334  –   May 10, 2016

Some Really Good News

It was in the summer of 1976 when I met Don DeWelt for the first and only time. That was when we both attended the North American Christian Convention, held that year in Denver, Colorado. I had known of Don for many years, thanks to his long preaching ministry and to his extensive ministry of the printed word. He had established College Press in Jopin, Missouri as a means of publishing Christian-oriented books and other materials and was having great success in that field.

DeWelt, Don -- 1919 to 1991

I assumed he knew of me only by my own writings. I wrote frequently for such Christian magazines as The Christian Standard, The Lookout, The Firm Foundation, and others such as Christianity Today. Plus by that time I had two published books books to my credit: The Day Jesus Died (in 1970 by Reuel Lemmons and the Firm Foundation Publishing House in Austin, Texas) and Thoughts on Unity (in 1971 by W. Carl Ketcherside and his Mission Messenger publishing label in St. Louis, Missouri). 

Anyway, Don and I met as we were each walking down the sidewalk on our way to the convention center. We struck up a casual conversation. He soon explained that he needed for someone to write a book on “The Gospel of John” that would be used as a workbook for use with a larger textbook at Ozark Bible College (Joplin, MO.) and other campuses . . . and that the workbook would be suitable as a stand alone book for churches to use in Bible classes. And then he looked me in the eye and said, “Brother Stan, would you write that book?”

When I was a junior at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., my journalism instructor warned us: “Once you get printer’s ink in your blood, you’ll never get it out.” A few weeks after he said those words my first article appeared in the Gospel Light magazine published in Delight, Arkansas. I found out my professor was absolutely correct. Since then, my first love has always been the printed word. And, in a Christian context, I have always been excited and thrilled at the idea of a book or an article of mine having a very long shelf life and access to people and places I could never personally go.

So I didn’t have to sleep on Don DeWelt’s idea or consult a lawyer. I said to him, “I’ll be glad and honored to write that book for you.” We shook hands, again, and that sealed the deal. I never saw him again. But we corresponded regularly and a few months later I turned in a manuscript over which I had labored intensively. Given the same amount of hours, I could have made more money flipping burgers at McDonalds. I was pleased with it when it came out in 1977 as a paperback titled 26 Lessons on the Gospel of John. It still reads pretty well today, some 39 years later.

Here is what that 1977 paperback (200 pages) looked like:

Paregien, Stan  --  26 Lessons on the Gospel of John  --  01 ---original front cover

Paregien, Stan  --  26 Lessons on the Gospel of John  -- 02  Original back cover

My little book was successful enough that College Press reprinted it in 1984 with a new cover, and here is what that looked like:

1984   new covers on 1977 26 Lessons on the Gospel Of John by S Paregien  - 01 -- front cover

1984   new covers on 1977 26 Lessons on the Gospel Of John by S Paregien  - 02 -- back cover

Well, Don DeWelt died in 1991. And I got involved doing other things, including writing a series of my own eBooks (now totaling 15 of them). And I gave only periodic, fleeting thought about maybe revising and reviving that book some day.

Now here comes the really good news.

That book has been out-of-print for at least 25 years. But on August 12, 2015, I received a letter from J. Philip Casey. Turns out he is the Executive Director of another organization founded by the late Don DeWelt, and that is a non-profit named Literature and Teaching Ministries located in Joplin, Missouri. He explained that Don made a trip to India many years ago and came into contact with a Dr. V. Gnanasikhamani in the city of Chennai (formerly Madras). He and his brother, Dr. V. Benni, translated many of College Press’s books into the Tamil dialect and published them in India under the “Christian Ministry of South India” brand. Dr. V. Gnanasikhamani died a few years back, but Dr. V. Bennie was continuing the work. And, . . . lo and behold . . . , he wanted my permission to translate my book into the Tamil language and to allow them to print it and distribute it all over India. 

Wow, I was amazed at the prospect. I quickly accepted the proposal and then went on about my own business. In fact, I lost track of the project as I had three different surgeries and traveled a bunch and had other health issues. Then, late in April of this year, I wrote to Philip Casey to see what the status of the project was. 

On Monday, May 9, 2016 a package arrived for me. It was a letter from Phil and a copy of my newest book–in a totally unintelligible language to me, but in an oh so beautiful format. It was my book, now a 238 paperback and being distributed in the huge nation of India. I thank Phil Casey and Don DeWelt’s son, Chris DeWelt, and Dr. V. Bennie and his staff in India for all the planning and work they did on this project. And I praise the Lord for uniting so many people behind the endeavor to resurrect my long-dormant book and for letting me live long enough to see this little miracle with my own eyes. 

Here is what my book looks like in the Tamil language of India as it was published on Oct. 2, 2015:

26 LESSONS ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN - by Stan Paregien -- India's Tamil dialect -- 2015 -- 01 Front cover

26 LESSONS ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN - by Stan Paregien -- India's Tamil dialect -- 2015 -- 02 Back  cover

26 LESSONS ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN - by Stan Paregien -- India's Tamil dialect -- 2015 -- 4 inside titles

26 LESSONS ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN - by Stan Paregien -- India's Tamil dialect -- 2015 -- 5 frontice piece in English

26 LESSONS ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN - by Stan Paregien -- India's Tamil dialect -- 2015 -- 6 page 11

I am having trouble putting into words how amazed and grateful and happy I am about how the book I wrote in 1977, 26 Lessons on the Gospel of John, was translated into the Tamil language and published on Oct. 2, 2015 in India by the folks at Christian Mission of South India.

That distribution program will go on as long as funds are available, and I hope and pray that will be a very long time. Scenes run through my mind of maybe a teenage boy in a remote village one day being led to acept the Lord Jesus Christ because someone unknown to me gave him a copy of my book. Or a situation in which a middle-aged computer engineer in New Delhi is searching for a real spiritual awakening in her life, finds a copy of my book somewhere and has her life dramatically changed beause of it. Or maybe it will inspire a generation of young people in India to openly profess their love for and devotion to the Christ who saved them. The possibilities are mind boggling. 

Of course, no one knows where all those books will finally find a home. But I believe God will bless any person who wants to follow him more closely. My prayer is that my little book will simply lead the readers to a deeper study of the Bible–God’s truth and Good News for the world–and to an acceptance of salvation through the Grace of God and the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus the Christ.

This unexpected resurrection of my 1977 book has inspired me to do what I wish I had done many years ago. That is to make this commitment to our Heavenly Father and to you, my friends, that I will completely revise and update that book for English readers. Furthermore, I will seek to have it published where copies will be available around the world as both an eBook and as a print-on-demand paperback (if I cannot find a regular publisher). Following that total revision, my long-range dream would be to have it translated and published in the Spanish, Chinese and Russian languages.shed as such. 

Hey, don’t tell me it can’t happen. It just did, at least in one language in India. And, praise God, that will be a precious inspiration for the rest of my life. 

P.S.  This story, above, certainly illustrates how God works in marvelous and totally unpredictable ways to gather people and resources together to bless other people. So I’m asking my Christian friends to please pray for my new project and for the discovery of publishers, translators and resources to accomplish it. Thank you.

Logo---Zia--THE END--613w x 300dpi----pubDomain

Issue 332 – Stan Paregien’s 15 eBooks Online

The Paregien Journal  –  Issue 332  –  May 4, 2016  –  Stan Paregien Sr., Editor

Periodically I need to stop and introduce my newer internet friends to some of the other things I have written over the years. So what follows here are thumbnail descriptions of the fifteen (15) eBooks of mine which are currently for sale online in a variety of popular formats.

I hope to have another eBook finished by the end of the summer, this one a non-fiction book with loads of photos and information about places and people in our recently adopted state, Florida. When that one is complete, I plan to start the most challenging non-fiction book of my entire career. Can’t tell you much about it, except that it will probably take a year or two for me to complete it. And I hope it will be my best and most-widely received.

After those two very serious projects end, I’ll ease off the keyboard and chip away at my “bucket list” of over 15 more writing projects. Do you know the story of Mrs. Winchester of the famed, odd-ball “Winchester House” in San Jose, California? Well, her hubby invented the Winchester brand rifle. He made a king-sized fortune on the manufacture of his guns and ammunition. After his death, Mrs. Winchester began listening way too much to a gypsy fortuneteller who convinced her that she would not die as long as there were carpenters at work on her house. So this dear lady with deep pockets kept crews of carpenters busy 24-hours of every day for years. So her house had doors and stairways that led nowhere and rooms that had been remodeled dozens of times. But, bless this mislead lady, her heart stopped way before the hammers and saws would have.

Unlike Mrs. Winchester, I really am not working away at my eBooks under some similar delusion that as long as I’m working on a manuscript I will not die. I’m a realist in the awareness that I may not even finish this page, let alone another manuscript, before the Good Lord calls me  to that Writers Retirement Home in the Sky. God knows I’m ready when He is, but I just don’t want to get on the Gospel Train today if it can be helped. So I keep writing.

In the meantime, please read through this information about what I have already done.

 

2016--05--03   Stan Paregien's Online eBooks  --- list of 15 -- page 01 of 13

2016--05--03   Stan Paregien's Online eBooks  --- list of 15 -- page 02 of 132016--05--03   Stan Paregien's Online eBooks  --- list of 15 -- page 03 of 132016--05--03   Stan Paregien's Online eBooks  --- list of 15 -- page 04 of 132016--05--03   Stan Paregien's Online eBooks  --- list of 15 -- page 05 of 132016--05--03   Stan Paregien's Online eBooks  --- list of 15 -- page 06 of 132016--05--03   Stan Paregien's Online eBooks  --- list of 15 -- page 07 of 132016--05--03   Stan Paregien's Online eBooks  --- list of 15 -- page 08 of 132016--05--03   Stan Paregien's Online eBooks  --- list of 15 -- page 09 of 132016--05--03   Stan Paregien's Online eBooks  --- list of 15 -- page 10 of 132016--05--03   Stan Paregien's Online eBooks  --- list of 15 -- page 11 of 132016--05--03   Stan Paregien's Online eBooks  --- list of 15 -- page 12 of 132016--05--03   Stan Paregien's Online eBooks  --- list of 15 -- page 13 of 13

There you have it, friends. My blog for today. I really do appreciate you stopping by once in a while to catch up on what is going on in my corner of the world. I am absolutely amazed at the fact we get visits from people in so many countries around the world. Even a few that I’m gonna have to look on a map and find out where they’re located.

From January 1 to May4, 2016, we had visitors from an amazing 64 countries in the world. Here is the list in order of frequency, with the visitors from the United States being 20 times as many as the next country:

(1) United States, (2) France, (3) German, (4) United Kingdom, (5) Columbia, (6) Brazil, (7) Spain, (8) Netherlands, (9) India, (10) South Africa, (11) Hungary, (12) (13) Australia, (14) Jamaica, (15) Norway, (16) Italy, (17) Ghana, (18) Switzerland, (19) Finland, and (20) Sweden.

Also:  Ireland, Poland, European Union, Thailand, Philippines, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Chech Republic, Venezuala, New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, Trinidad & Tobago, Belgium, Israel, Chile, Mexico, Twaiwon, Serbia, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Jordan, Ukraine, Russia, Costa Rica, United Arab Emirates, Iceland, Lebanon, Peru, Mayotte, Turkey, Kuwait, Greece, Sri Lanka, Georgia (Russia), Morocco, British Virgin Islands, Ecuador, Romania, and Vatican City.

What? Vatican City. Yep, Vatican City. Hmmm. Wonder if one of them was the Pope?

That wide and semi-permanent exposure of my thoughts to others in other cultures is another reason I keep on writing. 

See ya next time.  

 — Stan                Stan Paregien, Storyteller -- 01--D   300 dpi

P.S. The above logo was designed for me by my late sister, Roberta Paregien Fournier, who died in 2015. I miss my littl’ sister a whole bunch almost every day.

Bar  -- 03   Blue with tan and maroon border - created by Stan Paregien - 2015-11-10

 

 

 

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 327 – Life in Florida, Part 3

The Paregien Journal  —  Issue 327  —  March 3, 2016  

Stan Paregien, Editor

Life in Florida, Part 3