Issue 183 November 6, 2019 An Occasional Newsletter Edited by Stan Paregien
Okay, you know it is that time again. Walmart, Target and even Home Depot have Christmas stuff on display and for sale. So, not to be left completely in the dust, I offer these ideas for your kind consideration.
Big Book of Manatee County, Florida: Amazing Facts & Photos
This is my 19th book and the first in my “Big Book” series. I published it on Oct. 29, 2019 as a “Print-On-Demand” paperback. ISBN-10: 169901308X. It is printed and distributed by KDP, an arm of Amazon. The list price for this large format book (8.5 X 11”; 2.4 pounds) is $54.99. Yep, that’s an eye-popping price, but it is 389 pages long, with over 450 biographical sketches and some 430 photographs printed on premier paper.
I planned this book with these ideas in mind: (1) It should be written in a lively, easy-to-read style; (2) It should be an invaluable reference tool for full-time residents of Manatee County, Florida; (3) It should be an interesting and useful book for visitors to Manatee County; and (4) it should point out the good and the not-so-good points of living here. When it comes to an almanac-type history of Manatee County, Florida there is nothing that even comes close to this book in terms of readability, comprehensiveness or usefulness. Please visit Amazon.com to order this book.
The Day Jesus Died: Revised Edition. (2019)
$33.99 216 page paperback. ISBN-13: 978-1799145066 Aug., 2019
I wrote this inspirational book in 1970. It had been out of print for 41 years before I published as an eBook in 2011. Then in 2019, I revised it as this paperback. The topics discussed in the illustrated book are just as current as today’s morning newspaper. One of the most important of the 18 chapters deals with “The Problem of Unbelief”. The author examines the meanings of “unbelief” and “faith,” and talks about ways that Christians and unbelievers can better communicate and help each other to understand their respective positions. Also available as an eBook.
S. Omar Barker: Las Vegas, New Mexico’s Legendary Cowboy Poet (2019)
$54.99 8 X 10” 367 page paperback ISBN-13: 978-1078301985
This biography is the very first in-depth telling of the life of New Mexico’s celebrated cowboy poet, S. Omar Barker (1896-1985). He was greatly admired and loved. He managed to achieve that status even though he seldom left his beloved retreat in the mountains of northern NM. His secret was that he made his living through his mailbox. Writing in virtual isolation, Omar sold his poetry, articles and novels to many different publishers. This biography contains 50 complete poems of his, but it is much more about his unusual life and the people and the culture of San Miguel County. His peers had him serve a term as president of the Western Writers of America. His is an inspiring story about a local boy who made it big without leaving home and who never lost that common touch.
Cowboy singer and poet Red Steagall (Ft. Worth, TX) wrote the Foreword, and ranch and writer Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns (Newcastle, WY) wrote the Introduction. Also available as an eBook.
Don & Judy did not know at the moment above that their bio is also in this book, along with nearly 500 others.
Here are a few other ideas for gifts, and these are eBooks:
ISBN: 9781311267405 Published April 16, 2014. These 15 stories are just a few of those which he has written and performed, starting in 1991. This eBook contains such storytelling jewels as “The Cajun Submarine,” “My Cowdog Named ‘Sex’,” “The Grey Ghost,” “The Christmas Spirit,” “A Patoot Salute,” “A Lot of Bull,” and “Reincarnation Blues.”
A RAINY DAY READER (100 Non-Cowboy Poems)
ISBN: 9781310912474 Published: April 3, 2014. The poems range from the serious to the hilariously funny, from those with an academic bent to those with little redeeming social value (except for a smile or two). Great for that rainy day read. Poems include “N. Scott Momaday: A Literary Legend,” “Had Any Lately?,” “My Banker Ain’t No Friend of Mine,” “Cat Heaven,” “Smart Pills,” “The Origin of NASCAR,” “Garage Sale Blues,” “That Damned St. Francis Dam” and many more.
BOGGY DEPOT SHOOTOUT
The Austin Chronicles, Book 1. ISBN: 9781310788215 Published: February 25, 2014. This was Stan’s first volume in a projected series of Western novels. Book 2 is also available. This volume follows the Austin family and how they coped with the unique challenges of living in the West just after the end of America’s Civil War in 1865. The main character in this book is young Daniel Austin, a Confederate veteran. Their trials climax with a shootout at Boggy Depot, Indian Territory.
WOODY GUTHRIE: HIS LIFE, MUSIC & MYTH
ISBN: 9781301025206 Published: September 29, 2012. Approximately 110,670 words. Woody Guthrie was born and reared in the hardest of times. But as he became an adult, he took advantage of America’s eagerness to mythologize the working man into a grassroots hero (as in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath). He adopted the persona—the music, the speech, the look and the habits–of the poor working class he observed in his travels. He hardly ever stepped out from behind that image, though he was in fact an intellectual with a gift for writing poetry, novels, and songs that connected with the young and the old, the educated elite and the nearly illiterate.
The Okie from Okemah, Oklahoma may one day be seen as one of the most creative persons in the world. Though he died way too young, he left a treasure chest filled with his songs and poetry, his books of fiction, his cartoons and artwork, and his large number of audio recordings. Without question, he was the most prolific writer of folk songs America has ever seen. Don’t miss reading this carefully researched biography of the man who wrote “This Land Is Your Land” and some 3,000 more songs.
Okay, neighbors, you’ve stuck with me to the end of the commercial. So here’s a “no charge” bonus and no “extra shipping and handling fees” like the TV hucksters like to add on a second order of their gizmo.
My following poem pokes fun at “free verse” or “non-rhyming” poetry. No harm intended.
By the way, I apologize in advance for the . . . c-r-a-z-y . . . format that WordPress created for me on this poem. I’m afraid they have “improved” this program to the point I can’t use it. Not the way I want to, anyhow. Grrrrrrr. — Stan
Ode to Unrhymed Poetry & Those
Who Write Such
by Stan Paregien – Nov. 3, 2019
My first performance at a major poetry event
Was back in ’91 out in ol’ Colorado Springs.
The Great Pikes Peak Cowboy Poetry Gathering
Featured poetry, music, stories and other things.
For three days, this well-bankrolled celebration
Featured known and unknown folks like me.
Each night, though, the big guns came out — like
Riders in the Sky and ol’ Waylon Jennings you see.
Well, friends, each afternoon it featured an open mike
For any cowboy types to step up and entertain.
The first afternoon a feller in sandals read somethin’
That, to this day, I find mighty hard to explain.
He looked kinda like a college professor on hard times,
But he said he had a poem of his own creation to share.
For about 15 minutes he said somethin’ or ‘nother ‘bout
His soul, ecology, and some philosophy he did lay bare.
Now, I had been educated plum past others in my clan,
But about his message I couldn’t make heads nor tails.
I removed my Stetson and scratched my noggin twice,
And concluded the stranger had run way off the rails.
Later, a more literated cowboy poet than me explained
That gent had used a literary device called “free verse.”
The term made sense ‘cause who would pay for such?
But over the years I’ve found the situation getting worse.
Fact is, there’s a cowboy poet near San Diego town
Who writes unrhymed poet and gets a lot of press.
And another cowboy poet whose name begins with Z,
Is in great demand so I’m jealous I have to confess.
Now, let me be clear: I’m like most folks, I’d guess.
I believe in freedom of speech and the Golden Rule.
So I cut folks a lot of slack in how they live and such,
After all, I didn’t come from the deep end of the gene pool.
I’m tellin’ you, pards, all this fuzzy stuff being written
Under the brand free verse, unrhymed poetry and more
Just leaves me with a throbbing king-sized headache and,
Maybe more than anything, it is all such a doggoned bore.
When I read poetry, I don’t want to have to use Google,
A collegiate dictionary, or Wikipedia to understand.
I like S. Omar Barker, Baxter Black, Red Steagall,
Badger Clark and others of the rhyming brand.
My wife says, “Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.“
So I close with this stanza of words unrhymed.
I will admit free verse material
Makes me think and wonder.
Well, folks, I guess that’s about it for this go-round. I’ve already told you more than I know. But I will add that all of what I’ve said is absolutely true or pert nearly so (as old-timers liked to say).