Tag Archives: Jupiter Florida

Issue 357 – We Enjoy Our Visitors

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The Paregien Journal   –   Issue 357   –   July 13, 2017

We Really Enjoy Our Visitors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luncheon cruise on Sarasota Bay in mid-June, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doesn’t that sound just wonderful?

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

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

 

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

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

— Stan Paregien

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Issue 324 – Life In Florida, Part 2

The Paregien Journal  –  Issue 324  –  February 15, 2016

Stan Paregien, Editor

Life In Florida, Part 2

Ah, yes, life is very good here in Paradise. Our few days of mild winter provide plenty of ammunition with which to gig our snow-bound friends and relatives in the northern two-thirds of the U.S.A.

Florida  --  we salt Margaritas, not driveways

Florida  -- we love winters in Florida

The Gulf of Mexico, seven miles west of our house here, is normally a pretty tame body of water with “waves” more like ripples seen on large lakes elsewhere. The shore on this, the west-central side of Florida, stretches into long vistas of sparkling white sand (i.e., ground-up coquina shells) spiked with azure blue waters, palm trees and masses of sea grapes. The beautifully landscaped estates of the Big Boys who live on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key provide we commoners with views of exotic plants and a rainbow of colors as we drive by their gated palaces. The pervasive eye candy is inspiring.

Then there are the friendships quickly forged in our 55+ communities because, for the most part, we are a people detached from our roots and friends and relatives back in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachussetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Oklahoma. Oklahoma? Yes, a few of us from Oklahoma chose Florida rather than south Texas, New Mexico or Arizona. Anyhow, we are all pretty much in the same boat: we came here with hopes of making new friends. And it happens pretty quickly as we start out with, “And where did you live before moving here?” 

Oh, hey, did I mention the weather here in west-central Florida? Mercy sakes, friends, that is why we moved here. We may on a rare winter morning need an ice-scraper for our windshields, but we sold our snow blowers and snow shovels and snow mobiles before we left home. And we gave our thermal underwear, heavy wool shirts and down-filled jackets to others. 

Florida  --  winter-clothes-in-florida

Now our standard apparel amounts to flip flops (our old hippies among us instantly feel right at home), T-shirts and bermuda shorts or cut-off jeans. If we are going to go to a formal occasion, like  church or a wedding or out to a fancy restaurant, we wear flowery shirts with colars (to look like the other tourists and newcomers) and leather sandals with no socks. You may buy clothing like this at very expensive stores, or do what most of us down here do — roam the many thrift stores for bargains. Hey, “we are on limited incomes, down here” we’d have you know. And Florida state officials would say, “But you have no state income tax down here.” Right. But that is not the end of that story, as states without state income taxes always find “fees” and such to pick our pockets to achieve the same result.

‘Nuff of that.

This time I want to share some photos of the Dark Side of Florida. Oops, I mean the far side of Florida. You know, the east-central part. Peggy and I recently got a nice taste of it, while visiting friends in Jupiter and relatives in West Palm Beach. So hang on, here we go.

2016--0050      Map -- Jan 25  --  Trip from Bradenton to Jupiter, FL

2016--0051--B      Jan 25  --  Lighthouse at Jupiter, FL

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In the photo above, you’ll see a cluster of the beautiful sea grape bushes that abound here.

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We have been friends with Darrell and Martha Russell since 1996. That’s when Martha and Peggy started to work for Southwest Airlines in their national reservations call center just north of the airport in Oklahoma City. Those two ladies carpooled for nearly 14 years, so they got to know each other pretty darned well.

The four of us have leaned on each other as we have gone through illnesses, unemployment, retirement, moving away from Oklahoma (Darrell kindly drove our overloaded U-Haul truck most of the way),  and the daily bumps and bruises of life. They’re solid citizens, good Christan folk and we love ’em. Well, except maybe for their choice of sports wear. I did graduate work toward a Ph.D. at the University of Oklahoma and, try though I might, I can’t seem to convince them that OU’s maroon and cream is a lot prettier than OSU orange and white.

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Then the next day, Darrell and Martha Russell drove us around to see the sights. Lots of tall office buildings and fabulously expensive estates mostly hidden behind gated walls.

However, we did get to tour the little “cracker house” of the late Henry Flagler. This was a guy who, as a young man, had the good sense to go to Ohio and get into a new venture with another young businessman. Their adventure involved something that was not even known about by many other folks, but the two had a vision of the necessity it would become. We’re talking here about oil. You see, ol’ Henry hooked up with a young dreamer named . . . John D. Rockefeller. Their company became the Standard Oil Company, with Henry owning 25 %. Each man earned a reputation as an infamous “Robber Baron.” 

Of course, when your personal wealth exceeds the assets of many state governments that allows you to be creative and even generous. Flagler had the strange idea that he could turn a little mosquito-infested village in northeast Florida into a tourist mecca. No, he did not build a “field of dreams” baseball diamond (like Kevin Coster did in the movie) to see if they would come. He did build two luxurious hotels in Saint Augustine, and then of all things, he built his own railroad from Jacksonville to there so his large number of rich friends from back east and the midwest could vacation in the fashion to which they were accustomed. And it work very well, thank you. 

Then he invested in developments in the Miami area, far south of Saint Augustine. And then he connected his railroad on down to that soon-to-be tourist mecca. Eventually, he was daring enough to build the Florida East Coast Railroad Line all the way down across the various keys and the long stretches of open water all the way to Key West, Florida. That was in 1912. Wow, what an achievement.

Flagler died in 1913 from a fall onto the marble steps at his mansion.  Maybe it was just as well, because only 22 years later his railroad empire died. That was the year a terrible hurricane destroyed most of it and the lives of hundreds of his workers. 

You understand, now, how this man could afford to build such a palatial house for his wife. He called it, “Whitehall.” It is magnificently appointed inside as well.

 

2016--0062      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0063      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0064      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0065      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0066      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0067      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0068      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0069      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0070      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0072      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0071      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0073      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- Stan Paregien

 

2016--0075      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- Stan Paregien

2016--0084      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- Stan Paregien

 

2016--0077      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- Stan Paregien

 

2016--0081      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- Stan Paregien

2016--0082      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- Stan Paregien

 

2016--0083      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- Stan Paregien

 

2016--0098     modern map of the Florida Keys

2016--0080      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- Stan Paregien

2016--0095     painting of train running at night

2016--0094     book cover

Then came the horrible hurrican of Labor Day, 1935

2016--0087      Jan 26  --  Palm Beach, FL --  The Flagler Museum   -- Stan Paregien

2016--0088      1935 -- hurrican damage at Islamorado - body

2016--0089      1935 -- hurrican damage

2016--0090      1935 -- hurrican damage -- evacuation train derailed

 

2016--0092     1935 -- hurrican damage -- decomposing bodies found

2016--0093     1935 -- hurrican damage -- mass burials were necessary

2016--0091     1935 -- hurrican damage --

 

2016--0098     modern map of the Florida Keys

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2016--0097     1935 -- railroad logo

2016--0100     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien2016--0101     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0102     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0103     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

Flagler hired a full-time organist to be available at a moment’s notice to play for the family and/or their guests.

2016--0105     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

“Boys will be boys, especially around girls.”

2016--0106     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

 

2016--0107     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

 

2016--0108     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0109     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0110     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0111     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0112     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0116     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0118     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0117     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

 

2016--0121     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0129     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0115     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0128     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

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2016--0130     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

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2016--0123     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0132     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0122     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0124     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0131     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

 

2016--0132     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0133     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0136     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0137     Jan 26  Flagler Museum -- copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0140     Jan 26  The Breakers Hotel, started by Henry Flagler

2016--0141     Jan 26  Palm Beach, FL  --  The Breakers Hotel  --   copyrighted by Stan Paregien

2016--0142     Jan 26  Palm Beach, FL  --  The Breakers Hotel  --   copyrighted by Stan Paregien

We left West Palm Beach about 9 a.m. in the middle of a pouring  down rain, with the report of a tornado not far away. We had to get off of the highway in Coral Springs and wait for the storm to let up a bit.

Then we continued over to Naples and spent the night there. We paid “seasonal price” for our room, meaning much higher than normal. 

2016--0145  --  Florida map  -- central area  --  03   West Palm Beach to Naples

Anywho, . . . it was an interesting trip. Our thanks to our friends in Jupiter, Darrell and Martha Russell, for giving us the grand tour. And our thanks to Peggy’s neice, Joy Gardner Lombardi and husband Mark, for their hospitality.

END.