Tag Archives: Las Cruces

Issue 340 – Our 50-Year Old Son

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

Our 50-Year Old Son

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

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

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

Time for a little reality check.

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

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

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

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

1966-009 PegParegien-Albuquerque--01

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

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

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

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

1966-025 StanJr in hospital

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

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

1966-046 Poem-GodBlessYouMySon--01

 

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

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

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

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

1985--045--LaverneOK--Thanksgiving

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

The Oklahoma City Bombing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

1999-028--family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2006-248 Daniel and family

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

2008-1335-xmas-family

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

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

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

2010-2596-paregiens-xmas-tree-edmondok

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

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

Stan Jr, Daniel, Stan Sr, Christal & Rindiro

Becky Paregien & son Daniel & husband Stan Jr

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

birthday-happy-birthday-2016-01

 

 

 

Issue 306 — The Donald Trump Song

Issue 306      —    The Donald Trump Song  —  Paregien Journal —  Sept. 29, 2015

Gather ’round the campfire, kids of all ages, and I’ll tell you a tale.

You see, folks, there was this time out in the wild lands of “The Land of Enchantment” (also known as New Mexico) a young feller and his beautiful, young wife did some serious praying. They wanted to expand their family from dos (just the two of them) to tres o mas (three or more). So they snuggled up real close on some of those cold nights in Albuquerque. And on one very hot day in a hospital in Las Cruces (The Crosses) they had themselves a boy child.

1966-046 Poem-GodBlessYouMySon

Now, reckon what they named the little feller? No, it wasn’t George. Not Pedro. Not Barak or Gladamir or Tex. Nope. The little lady deferred to her creative husband and they named the innocent and unsuspecting blue-eyed, blond-haired baby . . . Stanley Eugene Paregien, Jr., but they called him “Gene.” That was way back just after the ancient oceans had receded from New Mexico and left it mainly high and dry. The day was September 30th. And that, friends and neighbors, is how Peggy and I entered the mysterious, frustrating, enchanting realm of parenthood.

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

Okay, I said all of that so Peggy and I can say this: Happy birthday to our favorite son (also our only son), Gene Paregien, known better after high school as Stan Paregien. Junior, that is. We love you a bunch.

1807 -- 2015--08--01 B11 Holmes Beach, FL -- Stan Jr, Bailee, Dom - by P Paregien

Another Great Country Singer Passes

Those of us who are members of OTDC (Older Than Dirt Club) fondly remember the wonderful harmony of a trio of singers called “The Browns.” That was Jim Ed Brown (baritone) and his sisters, Maxine Brown (alto) and Bonnie Brown (soprano). There was a brief note in our local newspaper (I used the term loosely) today that Bonnie Brown of Dardanelle, AR is in the final stage of lung cancer and that, . . . oh by the way, . . . Jim Ed Brown died of cancer back in June. Never heard a word about his passing.

So I found Jim Ed Brown’s official web site at:  http://www.jimedbrown.com/ .  

It was Maxine Brown who sorta pushed her handsome brother, Jim Ed, into show biz in Little Rock. Before long, she joined him on stage. And in 1954 Jim Ed and Maxine became part of the hugely popular “Louisiana Hayride” radio broadcast in Shreveport, Louisiana. That same year their catchy song, “Looking Back to See,” hit Number 8 on the country chart, and they were off and running fast. Sister Bonnie made it a family trio in 1955. 

The Browns -- Maxine, Jim Ed and Bonnie - he died June 11, 2015

It 1959 they made recording history when “The Three Bells” (also known as “The Chapel Bells Were Ringing”) crossed all kinds of music borders. You may watch them sing that song from a 1963 TV video now posted on YouTube [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTkbj56bnYs and then, just for old times sake, watch as senior citizens Maxine, Bonnie and Jim Ed sing the song in about 2008 at: https://youtu.be/EoU_Od2nJj0 . Still mighty nice.]. Their fabulous three-part harmony rocketed the song to Number 1 on the Country chart, Number 1 on the Pop chart and Number 10 on the Rhythm & Blues chart. The trio became members of the Grand Ole Opry cast in 1963, but just four years later broke up.

Jim Ed Brown continued to perform solo. He had a hit with “Pop-a-Top,” . . . but it just wasn’t the same. Then in 1976 he had the good fortune of forming a duet with golden throated Helen Cornelius. They had a Number 1 Country hit with “I Don’t Want to Have to Marry You.” [ Watch them sing that song 32 years later, in 2008, in a TV video posted on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFpcR3GvmVc .]   And in 1977 they were named the Country Music Association’s Duet of the Year.

Jim Ed Brown and Helen Cornelius -- 2

Many years later, in the late 1980s, I got to do a phone interview with Helen Cornelius. She was in her home in Nashville and I was in our studio at KSNY Radio in Snyder, Texas. She was a very personable and talented lady.

On March 25, 2015, the CMA organization announced they would induct Jim Ed Brown and The Browns into the County Music Hall of Fame in Nashville later in the year. Unfortunately, the melodious Jim Ed Brown died of lung cancer on June 11, 2015. He was 81 years of age.

The Trump

The other night I watched as Donald Trump held court in another of his “Ain’t I Just Great!” interviews. His Highness, the only multi-billionaire in the contest to become the Republican party’s candidate for president, chants his matra that he alone has the business acumen to save we commoners. Not surprisingly, that is also the theme song being sung by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She would have us believe that, as a multi-millionaire, she knows the pain of the working class and if we elect her she will set all things right. My guess is she lies about other things, too.

But I digress.

Mr. Trump bangs his big drum — thump, thump, thump — for his favorite person. Himself. And that reminded me of a very old song that might work well for his campaign. It is, “I Love Me, I Love Me, I’m Wild About Myself.”  

I Love Me, I Love Me, I'm Wild About My Self -- 1922 - Jack Haley and Will Mahoney--Page 1

I Love Me, I Love Me, I'm Wild About My Self -- 1922 - Jack Haley and Will Mahoney--Page 2

2039 -- 2015--09--24 Snook, TX - Stacy Paregien Magness and hubby John - 25th Anniv

2040 -- 2015--09--24 Snook, TX - Stacy Paregien Magness and hubby John - 25th Anniv

1990--0003--Wedding--John Magness - Stacy Paregien - Snyder, Texas

They were a beautiful couple back in 1990, and they still are. Congratulations to Stacy and John, “The Magness Team.”

2017-B -- 2015--09--05 Sarasota, FL - Landes 50th Anniversary -- Clay Landes and Pat -- by Stan Paregien

We got to share this great moment with friends Clay and Pat Landes back on Sept. 5th., in celebration of their 50th anniversary. Amazingly, Clay’s parents back in Indiana recently celebrated their 75th anniversary. Wow. 

2035 -- 2015--09--23 Bradenton, FL - Smiths - Karin - Jean Pendergrass

We have known Jean Pendergrass (right; lives in Venice) for over two years. She marches to the beat of three different drummers, all at once and while chewing bubblegum. She is a super-nice and a super-active Christian lady. She and her new friend Karin (to her right) of Jamaica came for lunch at our home last week. Joining the party were new residents of Venice, Dr. and Mrs. Brian (Ruth) Smith, M.D..  Brian and Ruth (a retired R.N.) met in Africa while on their own respective Christian medical missions, and Africa is where they were married. They moved here from McAllen, Texas, where he served as an elder in their local church for the last 15 years or so.

Muslim Logic -- posted on the internet in 2015

Reynolds, Lisa -- The Hanukkah Stomp - REMINISCE, Dec-Jan, 2013, page 58

Logo -- Plantation Grove Notes -- 01

These next few items may be of particular interest to the residents in Plantation Grove Mobile Home Park, where Peggy and I hang our straw hats. 

2036 -- 2015--09--24 Ed Hutchinson and Stan Paregien by Virginia Corbin

Here are the birthday folks for October that I know about here in Plantation Grove Mobile Home Park:

Stan Paregien (2nd), Kent Abel (5th), Keith Carsen (10th), Peggy Paregien (13th), Holly Woolums (15th), Elaine Chartier, Ray Chartier, and Rick Dorricott.

2038 -- 2015--09--23 Peggy Paregien's 'Poopmobile'

As we say down here in Paradise, into each life some poop . . . er, I mean . . . some rain must fall. And we have had a lot of it (rain, that is) this summer and now into the start of fall. The best days are coming up fast, though, as we get slightly cooler days and less rain and more sunshine. Ah, yes, now I remember why we moved down here.

— END.