Tag Archives: Janet McDowell

Issue 375 – Old Friends, Revisited

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

Issue 375     –     June 17, 2018     –     An Occasional Journal

Old Friends, Revisited

Friends -- it takes a long time to grow an old friend

There just ain’t nothin’ quite like old friends.

Oh, sure, new friends are wonderful, too. That’s one reason we moved from Edmond, Oklahoma here to Bradenton, Florida exactly five years ago. Back there we lived in a larger, comfortable house in a very nice neighborhood. We were involved in church activities, and I often performed my original cowboy poetry and stories at Western venues and events from Arkansas to California and from Texas to Montana. We also hosted many music jams and church groups in our home with as many people as we could crowd into our spacious living room. But, still, we could only name a few of our neighbors on our street. And not one ever reciprocated our hospitality by inviting us into their home even for just a cup of coffee. Maybe we should have changed our deodorant more often. I don’t know.

After we both retired, we were thinking of moving to a “nice beaches and warm water” area. We liked the idea of living in a gated 55+ community with a clubhouse, a pool and lots of scheduled activities from which to choose. Our hopes were high that kind of environment would make it easier to make new friends. And I am delighted to say that is exactly what happened. Now as we take our regular two-mile walk around the inside perimeter of our community of some 270 homes, I am amazed at how I can look at so many houses and recite the owners names. We found the situation here encourages mixing with the current residents and getting to know the new ones. Peggy and I are very pleased with our lives down here. We are thankful for the way our little Florida experiment has worked out over the past five years. 

Having said that, I’ll return to my main point: there is really nothing quite like maintaining old friendships. That is no small or easy thing to do, though, is it? Over our 56 years of marriage, and because of our different memberships and activities, some of our closest friends are those we only get to be with for two or three days each year . . . or two . . . or five years or more. Still, it is a joy each time we get together.

Friends in Council Bluffs, Iowa

2018--05--22 002-B -- Area map of Council Bluffs, Iowa2018--05--24 05 Council Bluffs, IA - Southside Christian Church - by Stan Paregien

For example, Peggy and I moved with our two small kids from Stroud, Oklahoma to Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1975. That was so I could serve as the preaching minister for the Southside Christian Church at 1919 S. 10th Street. During our relatively brief two-year stay, we made many friends. Lots of ’em. We were in and out of each other’s home, playing cards and games and going to the lake and on picnics and shopping trips to nearby Omaha, Nebraska. They were a great group of folks to be around.

Then in 1977, we moved back to Oklahoma where I became the preacher for our “home congregation,” the Stroud Christian Church in Stroud, Oklahoma. During the next three or four years, at least four families from Council Bluffs went off the beaten path to visit us. Slowly, though, we lost track of most of them. Life moved on. Oh, yes, there were a few we corresponded with for several years by letters and an occasional phone call. But it was more difficult to stay in touch, back then. You see, Virginia, there were no such things as “texts,” “emails,” or Skype back in the Dark Ages.

Time and distance took its toll on those friendships. Fast forward to 2018. We were invited to attend the 75th anniversary of the Kearney Church of Christ in Kearney, Nebraska. That’s where Peggy’s father preached from 1945 to 1954, before accepting a pastorate in Ventura, California. To attend this celebration, we would need to fly into Omaha and rent a car. Hmmmm. That got us to thinking. Council Bluffs is just across the Missouri River from Omaha. We wondered whether we should try to see whomever might be left of our old friends — from 41 years ago. We reasoned that many if not most of the people we had know fairly well in Council Bluffs had died. No doubt others had moved away or for whatever reason might have no interest in seeing us. Hmmmm. But . . . just maybe . . . . 

I was able to contact one of our dear friends from that era, Robert J. (“Bob”) Anderson. He and his son, Ron Anderson (who was a close friend with our son, Gene), and another Southsider named Larry Buckles (a current elder in the congregation; and a guy from Fletcher, Oklahoma) took the idea and ran with it. They decided to invite some of the old-timers to a reception for us at the church building on Wednesday, May 23rd at 1:00 pm. We wondered whether anyone would show up. After all, it had been . . . 41 years . . . yep, 41 years since we last set foot in Council Bluffs.

Larry and Bob picked us up at our nearby hotel about 9 am on Wednesday morning. We went by the Southside church building and looked at the improvements they had made. Then we went to the upstairs offices and I got to stand inside my old office for the first time in 41 years. It was occupied by the current preacher, Scott Weber, and we visited with him for quite some time. He is a new friend but with an interesting connection. He laughed as he told me he heard me speak a long time ago. In about 1976, I was invited to speak at a Bible lectureship at Nebraska Christian College in Norfolk, Neb. (Johnny Carson’s hometown, by the way). “I was a student in that audience,” Scott said with a smile. Any, another nice memory to add to my collection. I really liked Scott and I pray he will have a long and productive ministry with that congregation. 

Among those at the 1 pm reception were Bob Anderson, Larry Buckles, Gary and Barb Williams, Leo and Roberta Martin, George and Pam Roush, Jack and Carol Swanger and another couple, Craig and Annette Kruse. It was a wonderful time of hugging each other and sharing a lot of “Remember when . . . ?” moments.

2018--05--23 05--B2 Council Bluffs, IA - Southside Christian - Roush - Paregien

2018--05--23 06--B Council Bluffs, IA - Southside Christian - Larry Buckles

2018--05--23 07--A Council Bluffs, IA - Southside Christian - Roberta Martin

2018--05--23 07--B Council Bluffs, IA - Southside Christian - Leo Martin

2018--05--23 08--A Council Bluffs, IA - Southside Christian - Jack Swanger & Leo Martin

2018--05--23 09--A Council Bluffs, IA - Southside Christian - Gary Williams

2018--05--23 10--A Council Bluffs, IA - Southside Christian - Bob Anderson

2018--05--23 10--B Council Bluffs, IA - Southside Christian - Craig & Annette Kruse

2018--05--23 11--B Council Bluffs, IA - Southside Christian - group of men

Peggy and I first met George and Pam Rouse in 1975 or so when they were truth seeks, hungering for a closer walk with God. So Peggy and I and possibly some others met with them for prayer and Bible study over a long period of time. One evening Pam said she wanted to accept Christ, so we rejoiced at that and I baptized her. At this reception in 2018, she told me: “You gave me an inscribed copy of your brand new book, The Day Jesus Died. And in your inscription you suggested four things to remember and practice in my walk with the Lord. I have made those ideas part of my spiritual life ever since.” Another new memory for me, a very sweet and precious one.

George, on the other hand, was not ready to follow Pam’s lead. Not at that time. So we kept studying with and praying for him and loving on both of them. At this reception, George reminded us that one night we were all leaving the church building. Peggy was already in our car, but as George walked by she rolled down the window and said, “George, you know you really need to go ahead and accept Jesus as your Lord.” George smiled at her and said, “Peg, you’re kinda pushing me, aren’t you?” To which Peggy replied, “No, it’s not me. It’s the Holy Spirit pushing you, George.” He didn’t know quite what to say to that. But it wasn’t long before he, too, accepted Christ and I baptized him just as the apostles did Believers in the Book of Acts. Pam and George are still serving the Lord, and that is a tremendous encouragement to us.

The next day, on Thursday, May 24th, we spent all of the daylight hours being guided around to beautiful and historic sites in Council Bluffs and Omaha by Bob Anderson and Larry Buckles. The four of us nearly laughed ourselves silly, as we had often done “back in the good ol’ days.” Mid-morning we were joined for coffee by long-time Southsider Jerry Cook and also by Gary and Barb Williams (Gary retired from the CB Police Department some years ago with the rank of Assistant Police Chief).

2018--05--24 38--B Council Bluffs, IA - Gary & Barb Williams - by Stan Paregien

Larry Buckles drove us over to where his son, Travis Buckles, lives with his wife and children. Travis was just a pup when we knew him, a skinny blond-headed pre-teen who played on the church baseball team with our son. Travis has seven children and hasn’t strayed far from Council Bluffs all these years.

2018--05--24 39 Council Bluffs, IA - Stan Paregien, Travis and Larry Buckles - by Peggy Paregien

That evening, Bob Anderson invited us to his home for light refreshments. To our delight, we were joined by his son and daughter-in-law, Ron and Kelli Anderson, and by our mutual friend Aaron Jones. Aaron’s late parents, Harvey and Lilly Jones, were always kind and gracious toward us. And Aaron got the same gene. He actually worked with me as the Associate Minister at Southside for a time. He is a diligent student of the Word and a strong Believer. Aaron now lives at The Center in downtown Council Bluffs, a very nice senior citizen apartment complex built and operated by the city.

Ronnie Anderson spent a lot of time at our house there in Council Bluffs. He only lived a couple of blocks south of us, and he and our son were about the same age and on the church baseball team together, etc. Likewise, our son spent many hours at Bob and Chris Anderson’s house (she passed away, but he still lives in the same house) playing with Ronnie. Ron and Kelli have been active in youth ministry for several years, while working at other full-time jobs. Their son Noah Anderson is now a youth minister in Omaha.

2018--05--24 81 Council Bluffs, IA - Aaron Jones, Stan Paregien & Bob Anderson - by Peggy Paregien

2018--05--24 83--C Council Bluffs, IA - Ron & Kelli Anderson, S Paregien - by Peggy Paregien

As we hugged Ron and Kelli, I mentioned to her I had heard a lot of good things about her and I was so pleased to meet her. She smiled and then sort of shocked me when she said, “Oh, you have met me before. Both my sister and I were baptized into Christ by you.” Yikes. No covering up my senior moment that time. She reminded me she is a granddaughter of the late Wayne and Esther Rutledge (he was an elder back then and she played the organ in church).

When we left Council Bluffs on Friday morning, it was with both joy and sadness in our hearts. Extreme joy from such an uplifting and inspiring reunion with friends from 41 long years ago. And some sadness from knowing we’ll probably not see most of them again in this life. We praise the Lord, though, that there will be an eternity of reunion time when all of the Redeemed reach heaven.

NOTE:  I have posted a large number of “Albums” on different topics on my FLICKR account. You may view lots of photos of our visit to Council Bluffs in the “Iowa” Album on my FLICKR account, found at:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/114140996@N07/albums/72157695908387504

A High School Friend: John Ford

John Ford and I are right about the same age (I think he turns 77 this summer and I do so in October). His first eight years were spent with his parents in Bakersfield, Calif. Then his parents moved to Fillmore (Ventura County), California. That’s where he started 2nd grade. His father was a certified welder, working mainly in the oilfields. His folks (or maybe his grandparents) had migrated to California from Balko, Oklahoma — a tiny community in sparsely populated Beaver County in the panhandle.

I, on the other hand, was born in tiny Wapanucka, Oklahoma (south central Oklahoma, south of Ada and north of Durant). My parents (Harold and Evelyn Paregien), paternal grandparents (Frank and Mattie Paregien), and several uncles and an aunt and maybe an outlaw or two headed for Ventura County in 1942 to take advantage of all the war-time jobs available in the area. Several went to work for the U.S. Navy at Port Hueneme. My dad did that until the war ended, then he went back to farming. This time it was on the Todd Estate about three miles west of Santa Paula, working in the orange orchards. 

We lived for about three years near the Los Angeles County/Ventura County line on Highway 126, about six miles east of Piru, Calif. My dad worked in the orchards of English walnut trees owned by the large and historic Newhall Land & Farming Company (aka “Newhall Ranch”). The company provided an old, wood-framed house (no insulation) for us, located on the south side of the Highway, about 150 yards inside the Los Angeles County line. That was just enough that my sister Roberta and I could not go to the nearby schools in Ventura County (Piru and Fillmore). Instead, we rode the school bus a long way over to Castaic Elementary and me on to William S. Hart High School in Newhall (now Santa Clarita) for junior high. 

We left the Newhall Ranch in the summer of 1955 and moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Not since 1942 had my mom been able to live close to her parents, John and Vada Cauthen, who lived maybe four miles west of us. However, the wages were much lower there, so we loaded up another U-Haul trailer and moved back to Ventura County. My dad went to work farming orange trees on the Edwards Ranch, about a mile west of Piru. My mom soon became the Cafeteria Manager at Piru Elementary School. Later, she would be promoted to Cafeteria Manager at San Cayetano Elementary in Fillmore, then to Supervisor of all the school cafeterias in Fillmore and Piru. After a while that position was eliminated and she gracefully returned to her starting place: Piru Elementary, with Glenda Gregory DeJarnette helping her. Glenda also graduated with the Fillmore Class of 1959 and, when my mom retired, she became the manager.

So in September of 1956, I enrolled in the 10th grade at Fillmore. That is when my path crossed that of John Ford. In the spring of 1957, we were both on the Boxing Team under coach Simmons. We were both in the Lettermen Club (the he-man, me Tarzan organization on campus), though John lettered three years in track and I played two years of football, lettering my senior year. We were also in the social . . . and may I dare say, Christian . . . organization called Hi-Y. John played a mean clarinet in the band, while I horsed around in the Choir where the girls far outnumbered the boys and I liked the odds. And, of course, we attended various classes and special events together.

1950G graphic - a blast from our past1957-004--A Fillmore, CA - Boxing Match brochure - March 21, 1957

1957-004--B --Boxers - Stan Paregien

1957-004--C BoxingTourament - FillmoreCA

1957-022--A Boxing Team FillmoreCA - March, 1957

1957-022--B Boxing Team FillmoreCA March, 1957

1957-023--A--BoxingClips1957-023--C--BoxingClips

1957-024zzz-- BoxingCoach EdSimmons

1957-025 Boxing Team Winners

1957-026 FootballTeam-FillmoreCA

1957-001--C Stan Paregien---football - fall of 57

1957-252 Fillmore, CA - Track Team

1958-001--G--Football--FillmoreCA--Fall1958--StanParegien

1958-045--H--1984 article about '58 Football Team by Charles Mozley

1958-109-FUHS-HiY--Stan

1958-128-FUHS-Lettermen

1958-143-FUHS-track

1959-026--K1 Seniors--Large Group - Stan Paregien, John Ford - Fillmore, CA

1959-026--K2--C---Seniors-- John Ford - Fillmore, CA

1959-026--K3--Seniors Fillmore, CA -- Stan Paregien

1959-026--K4--Seniors Fillmore, CA -- John Ford

1959-031 LettermanClub-StanP

1959-031-B Fillmore, CA - Letterman Club - StanParegien, Clint Anderson, John Ford

1959-071 Fillmore, CA -- Officers for the Class of 1959

1959-120--B Hi-Y-Club---FillmoreCA Ferrill Williams, Stan Paregien & John Ford

1959-136--D--TRACK - Fillmore, CA

1959-136--E--TRACK - Fillmore, CA - John Ford

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

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

However, . . . John and I never did double-date at the drive-in movie theater in Santa Paula or take our respective dates up in the balcony (passion pit) at the Fillmore Theater; we were not beer drinkin’ buddies; we never backed each other in street rumbles; we never did sleepovers at each other’s houses; we never burned any midnight oil together at any late-night study sessions; we never did go fishing together up Sespe Creek; we never got together and went cat hunting at night, driving by the orange orchards and shining lights down the rows; we never did drag racing together; etc., etc., and so forth. There were just a whole lot of thing we never did together. We were certainly acquainted, but we ran in different circles I guess.

Then came graduation night in June of 1959. And afterward, like those tiny fluffy cottonwood seeds, we scattered with the wind to here, there and everywhere. I would never see most of those classmates again. Ever. That fall I drove my 1955 Ford to Amarillo, Texas to study ministry at a small private school. John Ford, meanwhile, put his track shoes on and tried to outrun the military draft. Yes, Virginia, the government did such a thing back then. Ever hear of Viet Nam? It was coming, and eventually John would go there. But before that he enrolled at nearby Ventura College. He told me he lasted about 13 weeks before seeing he was not college material right then. So he decided he would join the U.S. Marines, but . . . their recruiting office was way up in Santa Barbara or such. “Not to fear,” he thought, and turned around and joined the U.S. Navy because their office was in Ventura.

While in the U.S. Navy, he was trained in electronics. Very sophisticated electronics. He worked in that field the rest of his working career. Somewhere in that process, John married a Fillmore girl from the Class of 1962. They moved to the Washington, D.C. area, where he eventually earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He went to work for the Department of Education in their Information Technology department. He and his first wife had a family, then as things sometimes happen, he and his first wife divorced. Later, he married a native of China named Ying, who had a son by a previous relationship. They are all active in hikings, biking, etc. Ying Ford even competes in the “Iron Woman” world events, the next being in Chattanooga, Tenn., in late September.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch in Piru, . . . I married a foreigner myself, a cutie named Peggy Allen (daughter of W.W. “Woody” & Pauline Allen) from way over yonder in Ventura, Calif. That was on May 31, 1962. We moved to Nashville, Tenn., that August and I entered Lipscomb University. I graduated with my B.A. in Speech Communication in 1965. Next we moved to Albuquerque, N.M. Peggy went to work as a new accounts rep at the Bank of New Mexico and I started work on my master’s at the University of New Mexico. Little did we know, there was something suspect about the water supply there . . . because in a few months she was very much pregnant. 

We received a bouncing baby boy in Las Cruces, New Mexico in September of 1966. And I received my M.A. in Speech Communication from UNM. Upward and onward, as I worked toward my goal of one day teaching speech in some college. In the summer of 1968, we moved to Oklahoma City. I enrolled at the University of Oklahoma. Sixty class hours and one language later, I received . . . nothing. I had run out of both energy and money without completing two more things: (1) one more language requirement; and (2) writing my dissertation. 

So I dropped out of graduate school and took a sales job. Later, I would return to preaching full-time, and then back to sales of one kind or another, mainly. We spent twenty years (1993-2013) living in Edmond, Okla. Peggy spent most of that time working at the Southwest Airlines reservation center in Oklahoma City. After we both retired, we moved here to Florida. We had two children: Stanley Jr. (aka Gene through high school and Stan, afterwards) and Stacy.

We have been married for 56 years and are now grandparents and great-grandparents, thank you very much. When Peggy slipped up and accepted my marriage proposal, some folks said it would be a “slip knot” and it wouldn’t last. Most of those folks are dead, now, and we are still in love. Those doubters just didn’t know what a loving and forgiving person Peggy was and is. That is the plain secret of our longevity. 

Well, neighbors, let’s return to our mini-reunion with John Ford. Somehow, a point lost in my foggy memory, John and I began touching base once in awhile via emails and/or Facebook. Recently he told me he and Ying would be vacationing at Treasure Island Resort on Gulf Avenue in Treasure Island, Florida. That is a small beach community due west of St. Petersburg and about 40 miles north of us. So we exchanged more emails and a couple of phone calls and made a meeting happen. Together, again, after only 59 years. It was really nice meeting Ying and John, as well as John’s son Jeff and his family.

1950B Treasure Island, FL - Ying & John Ford with Stan & Peggy Paregien - by Peggy Paregien

1950A Treasure Island, FL - John Ford and Stan Paregien, classmates in Fillmore, CA in 1959 - by Peggy Paregien

Well, John Ford and I are card-carrying members of that big group of “Fillmore Flashes” (our school’s dorky mascot), only our cards have “Emeritus” on them. And the “Flash” in our “Fillmore Flashes” has dimmed considerably with the passing years. Still, our’s was a very enjoyable reunion and I found out more about John than I ever knew before. John, old buddy, we’ll have to get together just a wee bit more often than every 59 years.

In June of 2018, John and I and the remaining folks of our original 125 classmates in 1959, will celebrate the 60th anniversary of our graduation. John has already told me he cannot make it out to Fillmore for that Alumni Association meeting. I’m still debating the pros and cons of such an event. 

Cartoon-ClassReunion-Shoe

Anyway, here is a copy of the lyrics and guitar chords for Roger Miller’s song, “Old Friends.” I like it a lot, and so I share it with both old friends and new . . . like you.

Old Friends -- song by Roger Miller

True friendship brings sunshine to the shade, and shade to the sunshine.  — Thomas Burke

If a man does not make new acquaintances as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man . . . should keep his friendship in constant repair.  — Samuel Johnson, quoted in Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson (1775)

friend-like-a-bra

A friend is always a friend, and relatives are born to share our troubles. — Proverbs 17:17, Contemporary English Version

A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him I may think aloud. I am arrived at least in the presence of a man so real and equal that I may drop even those undermost garments of dissimulation, courtesy, and second thought, which men never put off, and may deal with him with the simplicity and wholeness with which one chemical atom meets another. — Ralph Waldo Emerson (American philosopher) in Friendship

Friends -- Peanuts -- 02 -- Snoopy

The sweet smell of incense can make you feel good, but true friendship is better still. — Proverbs 27:9, Contemporary English Version

My grandfather Wood advised his large family of seven daughters and one son, “When you move to a new place and want to make friends, go to the church, for there you will find the best people.” I agree with him. They may not be perfect people (indeed, who is?), but most of them know that. That’s why they go to church—for help to become better people and to grow in the knowledge and love of God.  – Dale Evans Rogers (1912 to 2001; singer, actress, movie star and author; wife to cowboy movie star Roy Rogers), Time Out, Ladies! (1966), p. 81.

Friends -- make new friends, but keep the old

Don’t desert an old friend of your family or visit your relatives when you are in trouble. A friend nearby is better than relatives far away. — Proverbs 27:10, CEV

 

Friends - until we are old and senile, then we'll be new friends

You are better off to have a friend than to be all alone, because then you will get more enjoyment out of what you earn. If you fall, your friend can help you up. But if you fall without having a friend nearby, you are really in trouble. — Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, CEV

friends -- forever

 

Logo---The End---Zia--with-blue---- 500w x 400dpi--- 2018--01--17

 

 

 

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Issue 281 – Photos from 1959, Part 04

Issue 281    —    The Paregien Journal    —    May 10, 2014

Photos from 1959 (Part 4)

by Stan Paregien Sr.

 This is the final installment of “1959–Photos from 55 Years Ago.”

I hope you will enjoy this last ride through the memories of my youth.

That Vintage Year of 1959
a poem by Stan Paregien

I woke up on that New Years Day in 1959
At our farm house surrounded by trees.
And I’m sure, in sunny Piru, California then
My mom’s garden was filled with bees.

2010--2317--B  PiruCA---EdwardsRanch-looking--at-our-house----SP

I took this photo (looking north) in 2010 of where my parents lived on the Samuel Edwards Ranch in Piru, Calif., for over 20 years. The house and garage, now green, were white until some time after my parents moved into Fillmore in the 1970s. And there were several large shade trees around it. This was, indeed, a quiet and relaxing place to live. The huge orchard of orange trees which once stood to the front of our house (south) is now complete gone.

There was an assumed and so very natural
Feeling of love and safety in that place.
There were no protestors or demonstrators
Violating your valued personal space.

My sister, Roberta, and I were awfully lucky
To have friends and relatives nearby
Who were quick to hug us when we hurt
And to share happiness with a high-five.

1959-092--EvelynParegien-cafeteriaStaff

Our mother, Evelyn, was a cafeteria manager
At Piru and Fillmore elementary schools.
Both by personality and her own drive,
She excelled using her God-given tools.

1960-070--B  Harold Paregien-on-tractor--PiruCA

In 1959 our father, Harold, had barely begun
His farm labor work on Samuel Edwards Ranch.
He was kind of a moody man with simple tastes
Who irrigated and trimmed many an orange branch.

On January 3rd Alaska became our 49th state
And ol’ Clint debuted with “Rawhide” on Jan. 9.
And he was supported by Sheb Wooley playing
Cowhand Pete Nolan, a role he did just fine.

My pal Shorty Williams and I took our girlfriends
To the Santa Paula Drive-In but it was so foggy
We couldn’t see the movie screen; but we stayed
And necked so long and hard it made us groggy.

Then came that awful snowy February 3rd day in
Iowa when three singers died at the same time.
Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and “The Big Bopper”
Died in a plane crash, killed in their very prime.

Life, we learned, does go on and by February 9th
“Charlie Brown” by The Coasters peaked at #2.
And I took a girl named Judy to a Hawaiian dance,
Where across the floor we kinda, sorta flew.

1959--317  Fillmore, CA - Gloria Casas            1957-075   Piru, CA -- Elaine Campbell

Gloria Casas           –        Elaine Campbell

In the spring our chorus performed one week night,
And afterwards Gloria Casas and I had a date.
We drove around and at a stop light in Santa Paula
Faced my ex, Elaine, as preordained by fate.

Way down yonder in Cuba on February 16th
Fidel Castro christened himself the Big Dog.
Meanwhile, the new “Barbie Doll” came out
And sold 800 million like rolling off a log.

1959--318  Fillmore, CA -  Charles Mozley

My civics teacher, Charles Mozley, was funny
And had one brown eye and the other one blue.
He often said, “I can stand anything at all but
Pain and temptation,” and that leaves little new.

Well, our little church was without a preacher man,
So I filled in when a real sub could not be found.
And by mid-spring I was actually looking to go off
To some ministerial school when fall came ’round.

Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon confirmed
What we teenagers knew: “Some Like It Hot.”
And boxer Floyd Patterson won his big title by
Beating champion Brian London slicker’n snot.

Several of us ditched school to go down in the
Piru Creek to watch Tony Curtis put on an act,
For he was filming the movie “The Defiant Ones,”
But we got caught playing hooky and that is a fact.

1959 was the 75th anniversary of Fillmore town,
So the “old-time look” themed our yearbook,
And in 1900s-type clothes many of us met for
Photos at Barnsdall’s every cranny and nook.

The very first Grammy Awards came out May 4,
With Perry Como and Ella Fitzgerald on top.
Bob Zimmerman up in Minnesota graduated in ’59,
But you know him as Bob Dylan with a hairy mop.

On May 8th, I took Judy to the Festival Coronation,
Where Nancy Brooks was named the Queen.
We left that ceremony in favor of Kenny’s Grove,
After all, I was a typical boy and only seventeen.

Next came my initiation into the Letterman’s Club,
An honor that all young men strived to achieve.
However, our inductors tortured us and beat us,
And dumped us into a pool for fun, don’t you see?

Our “Senior Ditch Day” took us by bus to L.A.,
To Knott’s Berry Farm and the new Disneyland.
We guys did not venture onto many fast rides,
But we chased the girls around to beat the band.

1959--314  Anaheim, CA - Disneyland -- Fillmore Class of 59 'Ditch Day'

SENIOR DITCH DAY: Sue Vest, Linda Burke, Mary Shipley, Judy Greer, Diana Hunter, Janet McDowell, Patsy Campbell,  Martha White, Glenda Gregory, Susie Warring, and Mary Ann Steppler. As of May 1, 2014, I am aware of the deaths of Mary Shipley Real, Judy Greer Segler, Diana Hunter and Susie Warring Pennington.

1959-033 StanParegien-hunting - Copy

On the morning of our graduation, I borrowed my parents’ 1957 Pontiac and drove to Fillmore and picked up my buddy Orbie Ingersoll. He took his .22 rifle and I took my Remington pump .22 rifle and we went big game hunting. Well, sorta. All we shot was this hawk (I think) and a few more unlucky assorted birds. After we cooked the hawk and ate it, we both agreed that it really wasn’t bad. It tasted like, well, . . . the taste was sorta between that of a California Condor and a Bald Eagle.

Okay, okay. Lighten up. It is a joke.  

On June 11th we all graduated from ol’ FUHS,

And I took Judy to the all-night party time.

That was a big turning point in our young lives
And to leave all that behind seemed like a crime.

The next day Judy and I met Garland and Barbara,

Shorty and Roberta, Duane and Paula at the sea.

We never got in the water but blistered in the sun
And accomplished our simple mission successfully.

That evening my family left for Tulsa, Oklahoma,
Via the Grand Canyon and old cowtown Fort Worth.
We also stopped at Madill to visit “Paregiens 5 & 10,”
Owned by Arbun and Mable, cousins of dad by birth.

1959-040 EvelynParegien-Harold--GrandCanyon

It took us many years of begging, but my father finally gave in and drove us by the beautiful Grand Canyon on our trip east.

1959-041 RobertaParegien-Stan GrandCanyon

Roberta and Stan at the Grand Canyon in the summer of 1959

1959-283--RobertaParegien--Stan---NewMexico

Siblings Roberta & Stan Paregien in 1959, entering New Mexico

1959-095--SidneyCauthenFamily

1959-093--DianaCauthen-Melvin-Paul-Reggie

1959-042--E--B-58HustlerBomber

My maternal uncle, Sidney Cauthen, worked at Convair in Fort Worth, Texas as an electrician. He and several other men were working on one of these “B-58 Hustler” bombers when something caused it to instantly catch fire. Two or three men died at the scene, while two or three other men–including my uncle–were badly burned and sent to the hospital.

1959-042--F--SidneyCauthen--hospital

1959-042--M--Paregien-Cauthen FtWorth

Fort Worth, TX: Seating are Stan Paregien and his sister Robert. Standing, l to r, are Harold and Evelyn Paregien with her parents Vada (Walters) and John Cauthen.

1959-049 StanParegien-Harold-JohnCauthen

Fort Worth, TX: Stan Paregien and his father, Harold, with Harold’s father-in-law (Stan’s maternal grandfather) John Cauthen

1959-046 VadaCauthen-John-FtWorth

 Vada (Walters) and John Cauthen at the home of their injured son, Sidney Cauthen, in Fort Worth, Texas in the summer of 1959.

1959-155 JohnCauthen-RobertaParegien

Roberta Paregien with our maternal grandfather, John Whitehead Cauthen, as we were leaving Texas and just crossed the Red River into Oklahoma (near Thackerville).

1959-150 ParegienStore-MadillOK

“Paregien’s 5 & 10 Cent Store” on the southwest side of the town square in Madill, Oklahoma. It was owned and run by Arbun and Mable Paregien, with help from his sisters Opal and Ivy Paregien. That is myself and my sister Roberta at the far left.

In Tulsa my cousin Sonny and I went out to the

Bells Amusement Park to kick around the place.
Instead, I met Pasty Bell–daughter of the owner–
And spent my time admiring her lovely face.

1959-154 Paregien-Cauthen TulsaOK

Tulsa, OK: Opal (Cauthen) Radtke with Diana Cauthen; Harold and Evelyn Paregien with Rhonda Cauthen on her lap; John and Vada (Walters) Cauthen, and Johnnie and Ethel Cauthen — parents of the children, Diana and Rhonda.

However, at my grandparent’s church on June 21,
I met a cutie named Janice who was real sweet.
She and I in time became sweethearts and then,
Back to old friends who sometimes email or Tweet.

Along about June 22nd came those great Coasters
With “Along Came Jones” peaking at Number 9.
Earl K. Long, Governor of Louisiana was declared nuts,
But he promptly kicked the hospital folk’s butts.

1959-017 Group-VenturaBeach

Early in the summer Shorty, Mike, Anne, Janet and I
All frolicked in the surf and on the Rincon beach.
It was a time of good-natured, mostly carefree fun
And we savored it like a sweet Georgia peach.

On July 14, I bought my first car–a 1955 Mercury
Which had a standard shift and that’s about all.
Still, I polished and shined that ebony baby often
‘Cause in it I was traveling wide and having a ball.

1959-047--StanParegien- 55Mercury - Copy

Then there was the time sometime in good ol’ summer of 1959

When Shorty Williams, Mike Amey and I went up Sespe Creek.

We soon shed all of our clothes (except at photo time) on the bank,

With no absolutely no one around to sneak a little peek.

1959-020 StanParegien-SespeCreek

Stan Paregien–weighing in at a trim 155 pounds, at Sespe Creek north of Fillmore, Calif., in 1959.

1959-019 StanParegien SespeCreek

Stan Paregien

1959-021 FerrellWilliams-SespeCreek

Ferrill “Shorty” Williams

I remember dating a local girl, Janice, a few times
That summer before I went off to preacher school.
She had her hair cut short and was cute as a bug,
And we went to the Drive-In movies as a rule.

On Sept. 15, there was an very odd turn of events when
I took Judy and her little kid brother to the movie show.
It was a long night because the kid, not Judy, sat in my lap
And Judy just sat smiling at me with the kid in tow.

Hawaii became the 50th state of the good ol’ USA,
But we were focused on the new “Bonanza” TV show.
Meanwhile, Dr. Leakey found the oldest human skull,
And it even looked like a couple of guys I know.

Late in September, off to the Amarillo Bible Work;
I went in my sparkling black ’55 Mercury car.
It was quite an adventure, getting there and back,
‘Cause I had never by myself ever driven that far.

1959-051--B--AmarilloBibleSch

I stayed in a boarding house on the near north side,
Run by the H.C. Chandler family.
They were awful good Christian folks who provided
Food and fellowship to guys like me.

1960-020--F2   HL Gipson and Stan Paregien -- ABTW---ImperialsCarClub

Herbert L. Gipson & Stan Paregien in 1960            

1960--079--TX--Amarillo--GB Shelburne Jr -- Portrait

G.B. Shelburne Jr. (portrait)

There at the Amarillo Bible School I studied Bible
Under Herbert Gipson and G.B. Shelburne , Jr.
They were dedicated, learned men of the Word
So it was a pleasure to learn more and more.

1959-256--Hi-D-Ho-DriveIn---AmarilloTX

1959-254--SagebrushInn--AmarilloTX

After our evening Bible classes, maybe a dozen young men and women would reassemble at the Sagebrush Inn Cafe for refreshments. Often, we would start singing gospel songs because we were actually all pretty good singers. And it was not unusual for the other customers to applaud this spontaneous singing.

1959-286--TwigsDriveIn---AmarilloTX--burned-down-2010

I used to hang out at Twigg’s Drive In on the near north side of Amarillo. 

That is when I came under the siren spell of Carolyn,
A Texan with a pretty face and a warm smile.
We dated frequently, but not exclusively, back then
But there was no talk of walking down the aisle.

I quietly celebrated my 18th birthday in Amarillo,
And Janice wrote she was going steady with a guy.
So I turned all of my interest toward this Carolyn,
Only for her to say, “Before I’ll go steady, I’ll die.”

Life in 1959 was not all roses and California sunshine,
‘Cause deejay Alan Freed took payola and was gigged.
Then brainy Charles Van Doren confessed his sins,
That “21,” the TV quiz show, was dishonestly rigged.

Also, on Nov. 6th, my mother’s brother Sidney Cauthen
Died in Fort Worth from his burns on May 14.
He was an electrician on the B-58 Hustler Bomber
When it caught fire and he had nearly died at the scene.

There was this quite awkward moment at the ABW
Thanksgiving Seminar when I was double-booked.
The understanding was that I would take Carolyn,
But Janice from Tulsa showed up and I was hooked.

The Everly Brothers recorded on December 15th
“Let It Be Me,” another song destined to be a hit.
Still, just singing that romantic song to a pretty girl
Never did really help us score, we have to admit.

I spent Christmas vacation at the Tulsa house of my
Grandparents, John and Vada Cauthen, in Oklahoma.
And, sure enough, I dated Janice all during Christmas time,
So the vintage year of 1959 ended with a pleasant aroma.

1959 had been the most exciting, perplexing, challenging
Period in this ol’ country boy’s sheltered young life.
Little did I know, of course, that the next fifty-plus years
Would be similarly filled with peace, joy and some strife.

Fact is, though, that for each of us there is a rhythm
In life to which we must adjust so we can do our best.
And here’s hoping for all of you–and also for aging me–
We will pass with flying colors each and every test.

[COPYRIGHT NOTICE: This poem, Stan Paregien’s
368th, was completed on May 8, 2014. It is copyrighted
and all rights reserved. Permission is hereby given to copy
without altering any of the text–but not for monetary gain,
subject to inclusion of this copyright notice in its entirety.
Any commercial use requires written permission from
Stan Paregien at 1127 48th Avenue East, Bradenton, FL 34203.]

Other photos from 1959

1959-271--RoyGrover-RonGolson-PiruCA

 Roy Grover and Ron Golson, original members of the Piru Mafia. That was a little joke I used about all of us guys who grew up in the Piru area. Interestingly, folks, today in Los Angeles there really is a gang known as “The Piru Mafia.” Where and how it started I have no idea, except these two gentle souls had nothing to do with it.

1959-281--ALL--TimAllen--CubScout----VenturaCA

Peggy (Allen) Paregien’s brother, Tim Allen in Ventura, Calif.

1959-278--ALL--TimAllen--dog--Blondie---VenturaCA

Tim Allen and dog

1959-273--ALL--TimAllen--VenturaCA

Tim Allen

1959-276--ALL--PeggyAllen--Tim--VenturaCA

Peggy Allen (Paregien) in 1959 with her little brother Tim in Ventura.

1959-279--ALL--WoodyAllenFamily---VenturaCA

 Charlotte (Allen) Gardner & son Terry; Paula Allen; child Tim Allen; W.W. (“Woody”) Allen & wife Pauline (Meador) and Peggy Allen in 1959 in Ventura, Calif.

1959-277--ALL--MelodyMenQuartet

“The Melody Men Quartet” in Ventura, Calif., in 1959. Left to right: W.W. (“Woody”) Allen, Archie Luper (founder of the “Looper’s” restaurants and motels), Richard (“Dick”) Hood (groceryman in Fillmore and Ventura; long-time elder in Ventura), and Tom Harris, who preached for the Church of Christ in Camarillo, Calif. 

1959-158 RalphDowney-Celestine  PiruCA

Ralph and Celestine Downey are shown in the home of Harold & Evelyn Paregien in Piru, California in 1959. Ralph at that time was a salesman for the Pontiac dealership in nearby Fillmore and was the preacher for the local congregation of the Church of Christ. He baptized me, my sister Roberta and (a few years later) our father, Harold. He had a booming bass voice. And in combination with soprano Irene Horn, they could make the church rafters shake.

1959-146 StanParegien-RogerParegien--PiruCA

These “cool dudes” were me and my cousin Roger Paregien in 1959 at my parents’ house in Piru. He and his brothers Danny and Bobby graduated from high school in Bakersfield, and all were involved in the high school wrestling programs. They were the sons of Bueford and Theada (Clifford) Paregien.

1959-145 RobertaParegien-Mickey

This is my sister Roberta Paregien and our dog “Mickey” on the steps of the house one mile west of Piru, California–surrounded by about 300 acres of orange trees.

1959-098--HarrySnell-Opal  PiruCA

This photo shows my mother’s sister, Opal (Cauthen), with her husband Harry Snell. They were on vacation in 1959 and visited the Paregiens at the ranch west of Piru. At the time they lived on the near-northwest side of Tulsa. A few years later they moved to a large acreage west of Jay, Oklahoma. Eventually they moved into the town of Jay, where she died and he followed a few years later.

1959-048 RobertaParegien-friend

That ol’ Rincon beach near Ventura, California was where a lot of folks spent considerable time. In this photo Roberta Paregien and classmate/friend Marla Brewer are building a . . . a, uh . . . well, maybe a castle. Or something. I have been corrected about my earlier statement that Bill DeJarnette (our former neighbor on the Samuel Edwards Ranch) had served as the Chief of Police in Fillmore. Not so, according to my sister. It was Marla Brewer’s brother, Bill Brewer. Well, heck, at my age I consider it a triumph and “close enough to correct” to have gotten the first name right.

1959-016 StanParegien-JimEdwards

Jim “Tank” Edwards takes Stan Paregien for a ride on his shoulders. Photo taken at Rincon beach near Ventura, Calif., sometime in 1959.

That’s the end of my diverse collection of photos from that vintage year of 1959. I hope you have enjoyed the ride.

By the way, if you have photos about the Fillmore, California “Class of 1959 and would like to share them, I’d sure like to see them.

Best wishes to one and all,

–Stan Paregien

P.S. Be sure to see the previous three installments of 1959 photos.