Tag Archives: Stacy Paregien Magness

Issue 379 – 1984: A Vintage Year

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

Issue 379     –     Dec. 10, 2018     –     An Occasional Blog by Stan Paregien

I’ve been to a great many funerals over my lifetime and presided at many of ’em as the clergyman or one doing the eulogy. I can truthfully say that too many of them were either far too long and/or way too somber and formal. I know, ’cause I preached some like that in the early years of my ministry.

However, I learned a lot about what to do and not do and about what to say and what to avoid when I was an Associate Minister at the Mayfair Church of Christ in Oklahoma City from 1968 to 1970 or so. That is because I observed and learned from a master public speaker and encourager: Virgil R. Trout, the Minister of the congregation. His regular Sunday morning and evening sermons were 15 to 20 minutes long, and they were among the most therapeutic, encouraging and instructive I ever heard. 

Virgil was especially skilled at personalizing the funerals for which he was the officiant. I went with him a few times on occasions where a funeral home just needed someone to say a few words over the deceased, with few (if any) family or friends in attendance. Still, by the time he ended his short eulogy you felt the person in the casket was important, because Virgil reminded us God feels that way about each of us and believes in us right to the end. 

Okay, so what has all that to do with the title of this blog, “1984: A Vintage Year”? Good question.

This week, on Wednesday and Thursday, millions of us watched on TV as our nation and the world said goodbye to George H.W. Bush, the 41st President of the United States and the father of the 43rd President. He was a remarkable man, not only for his many career achievements, but for his plain decency, his unfailing loyalty to friends, his sense of humor, and his strong love for his God, his country and his family. Quite a guy. 

The first funeral for Mr. Bush was in the magnificent National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Every detail was perfectly choreographed. It had to be with that many people and world-wide TV coverage. Yes, I think it was far too long (about 3 hours worth). If I had been there, I would have had to run to the nearest restroom at least twice during that three-hour extravaganza.

It was even a tad funny to see all those presidents (one present and three ex-presidents) and their wives sitting in the same pew. The Obamas and the Clintons were more than a little uncomfortable being so close to the guy who had been smearing them for the last three years. But it was good for all of them and for the nation to see them working through that moment.

But let it be said that the military and the police and Secret Service did there their just as they were trained. The musicians, singers and speakers were all in sync to produce a memorable experience. It was inspirational and instructive. It unapologetically showed all who were paying attention the importance President Bush and Barbara and their whole clan put on a personal walk with God and a real relationship with Jesus Christ.

The second funeral, at the Bush’s family Episcopal Church in Houston, was a replica of the first. Same officiating minister, for one thing. It was different in the details or ceremonies or length (mercifully, it was only about 90 minute), but no difference in the vivid witness of a grieving family who lost both Barbara and George within a seven month span and yet relied on faith, family and friends to make it through the long days and to move on.

Wow. It was all just a positive shot in the arm for me and I think for the nation. Their preacher, a Rev. Levenson from the Episcopal Church in Houston presided at both services, plus the burial. 

Our son Stan Jr. lives in the St. Louis, Missouri area. He called us that night a few hours after the body of President George H.W. Bush had been taken for burial next to his wife and their daughter inside the walls of the George Bush Library in College Station, Texas (our daughter, Stacy, lives and works just a hop, skip and a jump from there. She and her daughter, our granddaughter Christal Magness, drive by there every day). 

As Peggy and I visited with Stan Jr., I said: “You know, it seems like I went over to Tulsa one time to hear ol’ George speak. I couldn’t tell you a thing about it, but I believe it was right in downtown Tulsa and was some kind of a rally or fundraiser of some sort.”

“Hey, dad,” Stan Jr., said. “I went with you to that event. It was down there in the heart of Tulsa. And, yes, we got to see Mr. Bush.”

See there, all you doubters, I haven’t really lost as much of my brain power as you thought. More than I’d like, but just not that much. We did not get very close to Mr. Bush in Tulsa, but here is the one and only photo I took of him:

1984--065--OK--Tulsa---George Bush speaking in downtown plaza -- Copyrighted by Stan Paregien Sr

Quotes from George H.W. Bush

It is my considered judgment that you [sitting President Richard Nixon] should now resign. I expect in your lonely, embattled position this would seem to you as an act of disloyalty from one you have supported and helped in so many ways. My own view is that I would now ill serve a president, whose massive accomplishments I will always respect and whose family I love, if I did not now give you my judgment. — George H.W. Bush on August 1974, speaking to President Richard Nixon shortly before he resigned, when Bush was Republican national chairman.

And my opponent won’t rule out raising taxes. But I will. And the Congress will push me to raise taxes, and I’ll say no, and they’ll push, and I’ll say no, and they’ll push again. And I’ll say to them: Read my lips. No new taxes. — George H.W. Bush on Aug. 18, 1988, during his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.

I do not like broccoli, and I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m president of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.” — George H.W. Bush on March 22, 1990.

To those who say we no longer need a CIA, I say you’re nuts. To those who want to dismantle CIA or put it under some other department … you’re nuts, too. And to those who feel the right to know takes precedence over legitimate classification of documents or over protecting our most precious asset, our people, the same to you. You’re nuts, and so’s the horse you came in on.” — George H.W. Bush on Sept. 17, 1997, at ceremony marking the 50th birthday of the CIA.

I have opinions of my own, strong opinions, but I don’t always agree with them.—George H.W. Bush

I’m conservative, but I’m not a nut about it.   – George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the U.S.

We are a nation of communities… a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky. — George H. W. Bush

I’m not trying to get myself up a notch on the ladder by shoving somebody else down on the ladder, whether it’s a candidate or the president of the United States or anybody else. I just don’t believe that’s the way one oughta campaign, I’ve never done that.  – George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the U.S.

You know I vowed when I became President not to talk about the loneliest toughest job in the world and I didn’t. — George H. W. Bush

I have a form of Parkinson’s disease, which I don’t like. My legs don’t move when my brain tells them to. It’s very frustrating.  – George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the U.S.

We must act on what we know. I take as my guide the hope of a saint: In crucial things, unity; in important things, diversity; in all things, generosity. – George H. W. Bush in 1989.

I have climbed perhaps the highest mountain in the world [i.e., having been President of the United States], but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara’s husband. – George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the U.S.

There is a God and He is good, and his love, while free, has a self-imposed cost: We must be good to one another.  – George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the U.S.

In what has been deemed his “most devastating” quote of all time, the former president promised voters “no new taxes” during the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans: “Read my lips: no new taxes” (Aug. 18, 1988). It certainly wasn’t the first time a presidential candidate broke a campaign promise when he became president, but it proved catastrophic for Bush, who raised taxes on the wealthy and lost his re-election campaign in 1992.

Don’t forget: Old guys can still have fun and still do stuff. — – George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the U.S.  Mr. Bush met with Headline News anchor Robin Meade on June 16, 2009, just four days after his 85th birthday, Those words were addressed to Meade by Bush to explain what they were getting ready to do. Then they went up in a perfectly good airplane and each of them, joined to an expert jumper, parachuted safely to the ground. President George H.W. Bush did the same thing on his 90th birthday, too.

No nation can fully understand itself or find its place in the world if it does not look with clear eyes at all the glories and disgraces, too, of the past. We, in the United States, acknowledge such an injustice in our own history: The internment of Americans of Japanese ancestry was a great injustice, and it will never be repeated.  – George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the U.S.

The Class of 1959

We had a class reunion for our Class of 1959 (Fillmore Union High School in Fillmore, Calif.) in the summer of 1984. Here are a few photos of those who attended. Yep, I was there as well.

1984--002 Fillmore, CA -- Reunion of the HS Class of 1959

1984--002--A Fillmore, CA Reunion of the HS Class of 1959

 

1984--003 Fillmore, CA -- Reunion of the HS Class Of 1959

1984--004--A Reunion of the HS Class Of 1959

1984--004-C Reunion of the Class of 1959 -- Cartoon

1984--004-D Reunion of the Class of 1959 -- Cartoon

1984--004-E Fillmore, CA Reunion of the Class of 1959 -- Chili Blagg - Pat Brown - Mary Ann Shipley Real - Roger France

1984--005 Fillmore, CA - Reunion of Class of 1959 - poem by Stan Paregien

By now, many of those folks shown in the photos above have died. Next May, 2019 will mark the 60th anniversary of when we all graduated in 1959 from Fillmore High School. No, I have no plans to attend any reunion. 

1984--007--StacyParegien

Our lovely daughter, Stacy Paregien in 1984.

 

1984--008--WapanuckaOK--AlumniReunion

This is one of those vintage Wapanucka (Oklahoma) High School’s Reunions. This one in 1984 included my father Harold’s two sisters – Mrs. Alvin (Loretha) Young of Duncan, Okla., and Mrs. John (Eupel ) Higgenbotham of Santa Paula, Calif. – and my stepfather Chester Spradling and his wife (my mother, Evelyn Cauthen Paregien Spradling), plus my maternal uncle Harry Snell and his wife (my mother’s sister) Opal Cauthen Snell of Jay, Oklahoma. 

 

1984--009--StanParegien

Little ‘Ol Me in 1984

1984--023--GeneParegien-LisaShields-April13

Stan Paregien Jr. (better known as “Gene” until he went into the Air Force in 1985). He and his date for a prom or such at Stroud, Oklahoma in 1984

1984--025--StroudOK--BoysState-GirlsState

1984--026 Stroud, OK -- City Of Stroud, OK

We lived seven miles north and one mile west of Stroud, Oklahoma in 1984. We had 10 acres of land (our “farm”) which featured an old “shotgun” style house and a couple of nice barns. About 7 of those acres were a good stand of hay which we bailed once or twice a year.

1984--027---StanParegien--Evelyn--LosAngeles

The above photo is of me with my mother, Evelyn Cauthen Paregien Spradling, at the airport in Los Angeles in 1984. She was as lovely a person on the inside as she was pretty on the outside. She was a very strong person with a deep love for the Lord and his people . . . and for every person who came her way. She had a servant’s heart, to be sure.

1984--030--B Dallas, TX Evelyn Spradling with founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics

My mother did very well when she was a sales representative for Mary Kay Cosmetics. She worked really hard at it, and she liked to visit with everyone she met. So in 1984 she got to meet the Queen herself, Mary Kay.

1984--035--B Fillmore, CA -- Evelyn Spradling -- Eupel Higgenbotham

Here is a photo of my mom celebrating her 62nd birthday in Fillmore, Calif., by holding up a cake which her daughter, Roberta Paregien Loffswold Fournier, made for her. Looking on, at right, is my father Harold’s youngest sister – Eupel Paregien Higgenbotham of nearby Santa Paula, Calif.

1984--035--D Washinton, DC -- National History Day --- Gene Paregien

Our son, Stan Jr. (“Gene”), and his friend Dess Applegate won this competition two years in a road. So they made two trips to Washington, D.C. Much later, as the chief Public Affairs Officer at Scott Air Force Base in Belleville, ILL, Lt. Col. Stan Paregien, Jr. goes to Washington at least once a year with his base commander to meet with congressmen and senators and, over at the Pentagon, various military leaders. Kinda heady stuff.

1984--036--A Fillmore, CA-- Parade Float -- Spradling -- Gary

This 1984 photo was taken at the annual parade in Fillmore, Calif., sorta saluting “The Old Days.” That’s why my stepfather Chester Spradling and my mom Evelyn (at left) and her cousin Troy & Lucille Gary were dressed up this way. They were on their Mobile Home Park’s float and it won the trophy the unidentified man is holding. These four folks, whom we loved very much, left us several years back. Of all things, Chester Spradling actually grew up in the town of Fillmore. Nope, not Fillmore, California. He was born in tiny Fillmore, Oklahoma. He and his first wife lived in Oxnard, Calif., until she died and he married my mom and moved across the county to live with her. He was a great guy, a real gentleman.

I wrote the following poem, “Our Twenty-Second Anniversary,” in May of 1984. We are now in our 56th year of loving on and living with each other.  It has been quite a journey.

1984--041--A Stroud, OK -- May31 -- Stan Paregien -- poem for our 22nd anniversary

1984--041--B--StroudOK--May31--Peggy--StanParegien--22nd-anniversary

1984--042--StroudOK--StacyParegien--on-Paula

Stacy Paregien on one of the several horses we had at our little farm over the years. She was a very good rider and loved any and all animals (as her mother did/does).

I had Mr. Charles Mozley for Social Studies and as a drama teacher (I was in one play, for which I received an Emmy . . . or was it a Showoff Award. Heck, I forget. Anyway, Mrs. Mozley was a really wonderful teacher and a genuinely nice guy. He was a little funny looking, being a small leprechaun kind of guy with one blue eye and one brown eye. Hey, If I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’. He would stop lecturing every once in a while to state some something he hoped we’d remember. His only words I recall are when he smiled that impish smile and announced, “I have only two faults: I cannot resist pain . . . or temptation.” I’ve thought about that every once in a while over the years. He pretty well summed it up.

In 1984, he got to thinking about which of all our high school football teams was the best to ever play at Fillmore Union High School in Fillmore, Calif. He decided it was the team of 1958 — the team on which I held down the right end position. No, funny people, I was not just at the right end of the bench. I started almost every game. And we beat every doggone team we faced by a bunch. That is, until we played my old school where I went to junior high school, William S. Hart (the silent screen movie star) High School in Newhall (now known as Santa Clarita). Those guys, several of whom I still knew, kicked our butts all over that field in front of 6,000 folks. We lost 25 to zip. And that, dear readers, was the end of that.

1984--057--CA--Fillmore--Football Team of 1958--by Charles Mozley--Sept

1984--059--OK--Stroud--Stacy Paregien -- fall

1984--061--OK--Stroud--Stan 'Gene' Paregien Jr in Letterman jacket -- fall

 

1984--063--B--OK--Stroud--Stan Paregien Sr -- card from Richie Vallen's mother, Connie Valenzuela

When Business People Lie

If they ever put a photo next to “bald-faced lie” in the dictionary, I’d nominate this document. In 1982, the area of Oklahoma and surrounding oil-related states went into a deep recession. The rest of the nation barely noticed, but thousands of families in the area were hit hard. Many banks and oil-related businesses declared bankruptcy and/or went out of business. That included many of my clients when I was in the life & health insurance business. Pretty soon I found myself having to take another job. And that was as a lab technician at Allied Materials Company in Stroud, Okla. We refined crude oil and made and sold jet fuel as well as  roofing tar and related items.

Allied had been in business in Stroud for some 40 years. They provided many of the best-paying jobs in Lincoln County. Then rumors started going around that the company was in trouble. I still have a video recording of the president of our company being interviewed by radio and TV reports. He stood right there and told them there was no truth to the rumors, that the company was doing fine. And below is the letter which he addressed to we employees. He was lying through his teeth.

1984--069--OK--Stroud---Closing down in the fall of '84 the Allied Refinery--where Stan Paregien was working as a lab tech

Things rocked along. We shut down for our regular “turn around,” during which we did major updates and repairs to our equipment. We even had 40 or so certified contract welders taking the place apart and putting it back together. Very expensive job, of course. And then these news stories hit the newspapers and the end was near.

1984--070--OK--Stroud---Closing down in the fall of '84 the Allied Refinery--where Stan Paregien was working as a lab tech

Even our dear sweet, lying dog of a company leader had to admit they were closing the doors on most of our operation. It was terrible news for our community and the entire area.

1984--072--OK--Stroud---Closing down in the fall of '84 the Allied Refinery--where Stan Paregien was working as a lab tech

Even then, he did not tell us all of the truth. The fact is that the Environmental Health Department discovered and proved the company was illegally disposing of toxic materials and asbestos materials at their dump, which was on a creek which flowed right into nearby Deep Fork Creek. Numerous residents learned their water wells had been polluted for many years. So it was a sad, bitter day when 280 were terminated in November of 1984. 

All those refining towers, furnaces, tanks and lines that were updated or repaired a couple of months earlier? A year or two later Allied sold them for scrap metal at pennies on the dollar.

Well, as my all-time favorite radio newsman Paul Harvey used to say after telling a morbid story: “Wash your ears out with the following good news.”

So here is little poem which my sister, Roberta Paregien Loffswold Fournier (Class of 1961 at Fillmore; my wife graduated in the Class of 1961 at nearby Ventura High) wrote:

1984--089 A poem, 'My Home Town - Fillmore, Calif' - by Roberta Paregien Loffswold Fournier - died on June 5, 2015

There you have it, a roundup of reasons why I could say why 1984 was a “Vintage Year” for us in particular. A few hard knocks, but lots of wonderful times with friends and family. 

Thanks to the good Lord for helping us make it through another year. There were even bigger changes ahead. Stay tuned for more sometime down the road.

— Stan

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

THE END. Or pert near it.

Issue 355 – What Does July 4th Mean?

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paregienjournal.com     –     Issue 355     –     June 29, 2017

Well, home owners in Manatee County are doing quite well, thank you. In May of 2017, the median sales price for an existing single-family home stood at $299,000. Folks, that was a 53 percent increase from the end of 2012. Of course, don’t forget there was a big-time real estate “bust” here from 2008 until early 2012. 

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There was a fine little story in our local paper this morning. Reporter James A. Jones, Jr., did a little feature on a former Manatee County school educator named Bill O’Brien. Bill spends a lot of his time bowling these days, just as he has for the last 76 years. Hey, if I’m lyin’ I’m dyin’. Okay, technically like everyone else, I’m dying bit by bit. But I’m not lyin’. 

You see, Bill O’Brien is now 93 years old. He was first the principal of Prine Elementary, then of Pine View Elementary and then of Parrish Elementary School. A pretty darned good athlete himself in college, after World War II (he was wounded), 31 years ago he started presenting to Manatee County’s top cross country runners each year the “Bill O’Brien Trophy” and he is still doing it. Plus, he set up three endowed scholarship funds to help a few students each year. Bill is a pretty solid citizen, and I’d like to meet him one of these days.

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Across the Manatee River in Palmetto, several remaining members of the Lincoln Memorial High School – Class of 1967 – met for their 50th reunion. What is really unusual about these people is they were about the last class to graduate from LMHS — an all-black school. There were 131 seniors in their class, but 42 have died. 

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It has been quite a spell, but at 9:30 a.m. on  Thursday, June 22nd, I met friends Romolo (aka “Rom,” “Ron,” and “Youse guy”) Colella and Don (“The Poetry Machine”) Betts for a late breakfast at Leon’s House of Omelets in the shopping center just west of I-75 and on the south side of Highway 70 (53rd Avenue). We had some coffee and came up with solutions for most of the problems in the United States. Then after breakfast, we developed plans for solving Europe’s difficulties. Next time we’ll work on the energy crisis, I guess. Just routine stuff for old geezers. So if any of you want to join us, give me a call to make sure we’ll be there next time and not at our respective doctor appointments. Ah, yes, the “Golden Years of Life.” Between the three of us, we might have an ounce of gold and everybody is after it. Even if they have to pull it from our teeth.

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Many may not be aware of the fact that the home headquarters and training center for Goodwill Industries is only a mile or so east of our hacienda. Those folks certainly do a lot of good for many disabled people, with training and jobs and such. Still, because the CEO at Goodwill makes a lot more money than the CEOs of any other similar charities, we prefer to make donations to the Salvation Army. And there are a couple of other Goodwill policies which bug me. They are skilled marketers, of course, taking donated items and marking them up as far as the market will allow. And around here they have donation centers about as common as McDonald’s.

In Manatee County and next-door Sarasota County they have established four stand-alone stores specializing in music and books, and these are very well-organized. But, simultaneously, they have junked the book departments in their regular stores. Once they, too, had books well-organized by topics. No more. In our regular stores, they are heaped together and making it a headache to wade through the mess. Oh, and one other thing I’ve noticed (which other thrift stores have started doing) is that on men’s shirts, for example, they still place price tags and sizes on the individual shirts . . . but then they throw them on the shirt racks with no size organization at all. I don’t get it, don’t like it and won’t shop at the regular stores for clothes or books. Very poor customer service, but easier for them, I guess. 

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Our daughter, Mrs. John (Stacy) Magness, flew in from Houston on June 13th and left on June 20th. So we got to spend a lot of quality time with her. Of course, we had to work around those pesky afternoon thunderstorms and downpours virtually every day she was here. Still got to take her to both Manatee Beach (our preferred swimmin’ hole, with life guards and a cafe with mmmm, mmmm good pancakes each morning) and to Siesta Beach. Oh, and on her first afternoon, we took her to Clearwater Beach up in nearby Clearwater, Florida. So she got to see Florida’s most award-winning beaches. 

2017--06--13 03 - Clearwater, FL - Peggy and Stacy at CLEARWATER BEACH - by Stan Paregien2017--06--14 03 - Bradenton, FL - MANATEE BEACH -Stacy P Magness by Stan Paregien2017--06--14 08B - Bradenton, FL - MANATEE BEACH - by Stan Paregien2017--06--14 10A - Bradenton, FL - Peggy Paregien - by Stan Paregien

2017--06--14 10B - Bradenton, FL - Stan Paregien - by Stacy Magness

2017--06--14 11 - Bradenton, FL - Stacy P Magness - by Stan Paregien

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

We took a very nice luncheon cruise around Sarasota Bay one day. We got to see a couple of dolphin, plus many of the multi-million dollar mansions fronting the bay. 

2017--06--17 02 - Sarasota, FL - - Stacy P Magness

2017--06--17 04 - Sarasota, FL - - Ringling - panorama by S Magness

2017--06--17 07 - Sarasota, FL - - Ringling - Stacy Magness - by Peg Paregien

Peggy took Stacy down to the fabulous Ringling Mansion, Circus Museum and Art Museum in nearby Sarasota on June 17th. They spent the entire day there and had a great time. 

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Surely this is not a sign of my memory failing or my advancing years, but . . . in the “Birthdays On This Date” section of our local rag for June 23rd I saw where Clarence Thomas– you know — a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Yep, I recognized him . . . but the long list of “younger” musicians, writers, singers, and actors meant nothing to me. Hmmm.

Rogers, Will and Wiley Post -- one of last photos before deaths on Aug 15, 1935

Will Rogers (top, left) & pilot Wiley Post

And in the longer “Today in History” column I only paid much attention to this note: “In 1931, aviators Wiley Post and Harold Gatty took off from New York on a round-the-world flight that lasted eight days and 15 hours.” Now Wiley Post, who had a wild hair or two as a teenager in Oklahoma, lost an eye when injured on an oil drilling rig in Oklahoma. So he used the insurance settlement to pay for flying lessons and with the rest he bought his very first airplane.

I read a fine biography of Post a few years back,and the author pointed out all of his successes in flying and in inventing high-altitude equipment for pilots. Because of his many ’round-the-world flights and publicity, it is true that when he and his close friend–movie and stage star Will Rogers–died in Alaska in a plane crash (flown by Post) on August 15, 1935, it was Wiley Post who was far better known outside of the United States. I have been to Rogers’ beautiful grave site and museum in Claremore, Oklahoma as well as to Post’s well-marked burial place in far north central Oklahoma City. Each man was exceptional in his own field of expertise.

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“Paregien’s Bed & Breakfast & More” will be back in operation soon. We are expecting two of our Rwandan friends to visit us in early to mid-August. Then our son and his wife (Stan Jr. & Becky) and their son and his wife (Daniel and Leah) will be with us, from the St. Louis area, from about August 24th to Sept. 4th. We’re polishing up the horseshoe equipment and the shuffleboard stuff to keep them from getting bored here in Paradise.

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Peggy and I watched another old movie the other night (the only kind our grandkids swear we watch, but there are a few things they don’t know). Anyway this U.S. Cavalry vs. Indians movie was titled “The Oregon Passage.” It was actually filmed in a forest over not far from Bend, Oregon. It was in color and starred a good-lookin’ dude named John Erickson, whom I had never seen before so I guess he went back to being a lifeguard or selling used cars. I noticed as they rolled the credits that the film script was actually based on a Western novel by someone we knew: Gordon D. Shirreffs.

I first met Gordon D. Shirreffs in about 1984, as I recall, at the annual convention of the members of the Western Writers of America. It was held that summer in Branson, Missouri and hosted by Jory Sherman and his wife, Charlotte. The first person I met as I entered the hotel lobby was one of my writing heroes, from the really old crowd, Thomas (“Tommy”) Thompson. He and I really hit it off, especially after we found out we had each known Harry Leichler (?), the grocer and honorary mayor of the little town of Piru, Calif., where I lived with my family my last three years of high school.

Anyway, over the next few years, we would get to visit with Gordon Shirreffs and his wife Alice, who were residents of Granada Hills, Calif. at the time. At least one day of each convention was taken up with a bus trip excursion somewhere not far away. Those were always great times to visit with big-league writing pros Like Tommy, Gordon and Jory, as well as other would-be-Louis-L’Amour like myself.  

Well, the host of Turner Classic Movies that night wrapped up the showing of the rather forgettable film with a funny story about Gordon Shirreffs. In 1957 he had written a Western novel titled “Rio Bravo.” John Wayne didn’t care much for the actual book, but he loved the title and wanted it for his next movie. So he and/or his Batjack production company paid Gordon some darned good money for the book, with the agreement that Gordon could sell the actual story to anybody else but not the title. So John Wayne got the title he wanted and Gordon got the money he wanted, . . . not once but twice, as the second buyer turned it into “The Oregon Passage.” And he would laugh as he told that true story and add, “That was by far the most money I ever earned for just selling two words (“Rio Bravo”). 

Gordon Shirreffs had been born in Chicago, Ill., on Jan. 15, 1914. His mother was a recent immigrant from Scotland, and he himself sometimes played in bagpipe bands in southern California. During his lifetime he wrote some 79 novels, much in the solid historical style of Louis L’Amour, and hundreds of short stores and a bunch of stories for comic book companies. He was still living in Granada Hills when he died on Feb. 9, 1996 at the age of 82.

2016--03--17 Food -- Florida -- The Recipe Box Eatery

Above is the business card for a really nice, fairly small “mom and pop” restaurant just north of the McDonald’s near 53rd Avenue East (Highway 70) and 33rd St. East. Give ’em a try.

We ran out of TV trays for everyone at our house the other night, but luckily we had a spare out in the shed. I think this guy is saying, “Very nice!” or something like that.

Senior Citizen TV Tray

 

A Crumbled Dream

by Gene Shelburne

Amarillo, Texas

Campbell, Alexander -- liknesses -- 04 at age 65

 

Does the name Alexander Campbell mean anything to you? If you grew up in any kind of Church of Christ or Christian Church, you need to know about him. He was the founder of our American denomination.

Let me confess that, although I did grow up in such a church, I knew little about the man until I was invited to join a host of church leaders at his home in Bethany, West Virginia—way back in 1966— to mark the one hundredth anniversary of Mr. Campbell’s death.

 During that memorable week I learned that Alexander Campbell did more than found churches. In the college he built, he educated the sons of U.S. presidents. Few people noticed when Campbell boosted American wool trade by importing new breeds of sheep. Nor were many folks impressed when he was elected to West Virginia’s legislature. But his star was slowly rising.

Even founding hundreds of congregations across our young, growing country didn’t catapult Campbell to fame. He became a household name after debating—while befriending—the famous atheist Robert Owen. At his prime, this school-founding, sheep-raising, church-planting country parson was invited to address the combined houses of the U.S. Congress. In many ways he had become the Billy Graham of his day.

During that 1966 gathering in Bethany, however, we also focused on the Civil War years right before Campbell’s death. The halls of Bethany College were quiet—almost deserted—while that brutal war was raging not far away. Most of the students were on the battle lines. Campbell’s heart was broken. His own family was split, with favorite nephews wearing uniforms both blue and gray. Still worse, from his view, Christian brothers from churches he had planted and nurtured now were slaughtering each other.

Civil War -- up-close fighting between Union and Rebel troops -- 02

The young nation that Campbell had mistaken for the eve of Christ’s thousand-year reign had morphed into a hell on earth. Campbell’s dream had become a nightmare.

As Will Durant would later write: “From barbarism to civilization requires a century; from civilization to barbarism needs but a day.” Campbell saw barbarism in his final days, and it made him mourn.

With July 4th just ahead, I rehearse this sad but true story to remind us that the peace and freedom and prosperity we cherish can dissolve over night into blood and hate and tears. It did once. It can again.

Logo for Gene Shelburne - 2017

July4th--05 Flag with 4th of July

Do your children and/or grandchildren understand this day?

Best wishes until next time,

Stan

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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.

1972-033-GeneParegien-schbus

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.

2011-0248-ok-wapy-enterprisecemetery-feb26

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

Stan Jr, Daniel, Stan Sr, Christal & Rindiro

Becky Paregien & son Daniel & husband Stan Jr

 

 

2012-2216-waterloo-il-stan-paregien-jr-dan-becky

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 330 – Stacy’s 45th Birthday

The Paregien Journal  —  Issue 330  —  April 20, 2016  — Stan Paregien, Sr.

Well, well, well. It finally happened. Our youngest child has turned, . . . gulp, . . . 45 years of age. Where, oh where, did all the years go? Peggy and I sometimes look back to when we were dating, 1961-1962, and recall how we thought both sets of our parents were pretty ancient people. They were not much older than 45. Now our own daughter is 45 . . . and Peggy and I are . . . , well, just a wee bit older than that ourselves.

It is time to wish our dear daughter, Stacy Evelyn Paregien Magness, a very happy birthday. We love you very much, sweetie. 

Poem 439   A Poem for All Adopted Children   -  by Stan Paregien Sr - Copyrighted April 6, 2016

And now, . . . a few “blasts from the past.”

1973-090--A   Piru, CA  --  Stan and Peggy Paregien with son Gene and daughter Stacy at Harold Paregien's house

Peggy & Stan Paregien with children Stacy and Gene (ak Stan Jr.) at the Harold & Evelyn Paregien home on the Edwards Ranch, just 1 mile west of Piru, Calif., in 1983.

1974--014--StanParegien--poem--PortraitOfMyDaughter

1974--054  Stacy Paregien- -LakeTexhoma - near Durant, OK

1975-006  --  CouncilBluffs, IA  --  Stan Paregien Family - Peggy, Gene, Stacy

The Stan Paregien family in 1975 in Council Bluffs, Iowa

1977-002--A  Stroud, OK -- Stan Paregien Family -- Peggy, Gene and Stacy

1977-042  LakeCharles, LA - Stacy Paregien and Gene playing in a rain storm - by Stan Paregien

1977-054  -  Stroud, OK  -  Stacy Paregien on Shag

Stacy and her horse “Shag” in Stroud, Oklahoma

1978--059--A   Ventura,  CA --  School photo of  Stacy Paregien

1979--026  Stroud, OK -- Stacy Paregien's  8th Birthday in April

1979--031--A  -  -StroudOK---Gene and Stacy Paregien drag a Christmas tree up from our neighbor's pasture

Oh, hey, did I mention that the aggressively spreading Red Cedar tree is not only a great nuisance to farmers and ranchers . . . but it is a major cause of allergy problems in Oklahoma. But there we were with that doggone big tree in the middle of our living room for at least two weeks prior to Christmas. It also dried out very fast, despite a watering hole under the base, so it became a ball of fire just waiting to happen. Guess we were just dumb, ignorant . . . and happy way back then.

1980--011  ---  Stroud, OK  --  Stacy Paregien

Ain’t she just plum cute?

1980--016  --  Stroud, OK  --  Stacy Paregien's horse

1980--021   Stacy Paregien's birthday --  with Gene

1980--030--H  Stroud, OK  --  Stacy Paregien on a raft

1980--054--OK--Lake Tenkiller--Stacy Paregien diving into a pool

1981--033--A  Stroud, OK  Stan Paregien, Stacy and Gene - cowboys on the farm

1981--047--B  --  Stroud, OK  --  Peggy Paregien -Stacy - Gene - Stan

1982--029  -- Stroud, OK  --  Stacy Paregien's birthday party

That is their cousin, Connie King (now Williams), at the far right. Daughter of Bill and Paula King. 

1982--044  --  Stroud, OK  -- Stacy Paregien -- horse Dolly

 

1983--055  --  Stroud, OK  --  Stan Paregien baptizing daughter Stacy on Dec 25th at the Church of Christ

 

1983--063 -- Stroud, OK -  Stacy Peggy on her 12th birthday - April 20

1983--080 -- Stroud, OK  -  Stacy Paregien with Kathy Lynnh Beckmann on Stacy's horse

 

1984--042--StroudOK--StacyParegien--on-Paula

1984--059--OK--Stroud--Stacy Paregien -- fall

1985--047--LaverneOK--StacyParegien--rattlesnake

1985--088--OK--Stroud--Stacy Paregien -- 14th birthday -- April 20

1985--098--OK--Stroud--Peggy and Stan Paregien Sr with Stan Jr and Stacy--April

1985--099--OK--Stroud--Stacy Paregien

1986--007--LaverneOK--StacyParegien-Bucky--xmas--1

Oops. That label, above, should have read “1986.”

1986--046--LaverneOK---JohnErickson-BradLoffswold-StacyParegien

Since then, good ol’ John has added some 60 books to his “Hank the Cowdog” series and countless CDs of “Hank the Cowdog’s Favorite Songs” (most of which feature John’s singing voice and musical expertise, plus his songwriting skills). Quite a home-grown success. He lives on his ranch outside of Perryton, Texas.

1987--001--D--Xmas--Stan-Stacy-Peg---LaverneOK--1

1987--015--StacyParegien--GaryCreed--LavernOK

1987--017-- Stacy Paregien -- Sr Photo -- Snyder, TX

1987--042--SD--MtRushmore--BelindaBond-StacyParegien-Stan-----byPP

1987--055-- Laverne, OK  Stacy Paregien with her mom, Peggy

1987--062-- Laverne, OK   -  Stan and Peggy Paregien with Stacy

1987--063-- Laverne, OK   -  Stacy Paregien in Sept

1988--012-- Snyder, TX  --  Stacy Paregien and date on  Halloween

Stacy Paregien with DeWayne Clinkenbeard in about 1988 in Snyder, TX

1988--018--StacyParegien--SnyderTX

1988--020--F  --  San Diego, CA  --  WWA Convention  --actor Iron Eyes Cody with Stacy Paregien

Stacy Paregien with movie actor Iron Eyes Cody at the Western Writers of America conference in the summer of 1988 in San Diego, Calif.

1988--040--SnyderTX--StacyParegien-DuaneClinkenbeard--Halloween

1989-006--D--SnyderTX--StacyParegien---May

1989-006--E--SnyderTX--StacyParegien---StanSr-Peg--StanJr

Here is what a group of female, Oklahoma domestic engineers can accomplish:

1989-008--xmas-EdmondOK

1989-0181989-031  --  Snyder, TX  --  Stacy Paregien -- sch photo - senior year

1989-053B--StacyParegien-graduation--SnyderTX

1989-056--StacyParegien-graduation--SnyderTX

1989-142--TX--Snyder-- Stacy Paregien - Dwain Clinkenbeard - prom

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

1990--0021--SnyderTX--PeggyParegien--Stacy--19thBirthday--April20

1991--006--LongviewTX--StacyMagness-John-Dylan--Nov7

1994--011-John-Stacy-Dylan--xmas--1

1995--005--TX--Kilgore--Stacy-Dylan-Christal-JohnMagness

Stacy & John Magness with their growing family: Dylan and little sister Christal. Kilgore, Texas – 1995

1998--057 -- Beckville, TX - Stacy Paregien Magness

1999-040-- John Magness - Stacy - Dylan - Christal

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

1999-138

2014--09--11   02  Bastrop, TX  --  Christal and Stacy Magness -- by Peggy Paregien

2014--09--11   04  Bastrop, TX  --  Christal Magness - Stacy Magness - Peggy Paregien

2015--12--10   2696    Snook, Texas  --  Family of John and Stacy P Magness

2015--12--10   2698    Snook, Texas  --  John and Stacy Magness with Dylan and Christal _edited-1

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

We are so proud of you, Stacy. You will always have a special place in our hearts.

— Love, Mom and Dad

End.

__________

NEXT TIME:  “Music: Merle Haggard & More.” That issue on April 25th will contain my personal essay on the life and career of country music star Merle Haggard (who died just recently). Lots of photos and probably lots of tidbits of information about him that you never knew. Also, some information about the resurgence of “house concerts” across the country. And a handful of songs with guitar chords for your use or to pass along to others. It is a good ‘un.