Wednesday, August 5, 2013 -- Bradenton, Florida
My apologies to each of you for my inattention to this web site for several months now. The main factors which occupied my time were (1) a several month health issue, which still occasional raises its ugly head and slows me down; (2) a major virus attack on my computer; (3) the completion of my 9th eBook -- Oklahoma Almanac of Facts & Humor - Parts 1 and 2; (4) the sucking sound of our time and money being consumed by a difficult process in selling our house in Edmond, Oklahoma; (5) the equally frustrating and challenging and time-consuming process of buying our modular home in a mobile home park in Bradenton, Florida; (5) the actual move to Bradenton, softened somewhat by the gracious help of James and Glenda Cotton (who allowed us to stay with them while our house in Edmond closed) and the help of Darrell and Martha Russell (who helped us in the driving duties); (6) unpacking a mountain of boxes (the home came furnished, so we sold 95% of our furniture rather than move it) and struggling to find a place for each item; (7) a bad-boy malware which took up residence on this very web site.
Well, back to this web site called "Stan Paregien's Journal." This is my attempt at coordinating my various writing activities and making life less complicated here at the ol' ranch house. One change you will notice over time is that very few new articles/journal/blog items will reside on my web site. Instead, my plan is to deposit the actual documents to my account at Issuu.com, and then provide a link on my web site to that location. And that main link is just this: http://issuu.com/cowboystan . I just discovered the Issuu web site a while back, but have already posted several items there. Their formatting process is easy to use (if you know Word, you know their system). And, trust me, I need a simple system. More so than ever before.
I was deeply honored to have had my eBook Rootin' Tootin' Cowboy Poetry nominated for the annual "Buck Ramsey Cowboy Poetry Book Award" from the Academy of Western Artists. The winner--not me--was announced in the spring of 2013 at their big shindig in Fort Worth, Texas.That was pretty heady territory for this ol' country boy.
Latest Book (s)
Now as to my latest eBook, Oklahoma Almanac of Facts & Humor, mentioned above. Former Oklahoma Governor George Nigh graciously agreed to write the foreword for the book. It presents a consumer-friendly look at over 150 towns in Oklahoma, listing each town's location, basic history and attractions, leaders in each town and a touch of humor related to each town. Mary Poppins sang about how "a little bit of sugar makes the medicine go down" and that is what my book does. It may be best described as a history book for folks who don't like history. The eBook had so many photographs--some 183--that I had to divide it into two volumes or parts. Even if you've never been to Oklahoma, you'll enjoy reading about the people and their culture and quirks. Some of those people discussed include Will Rogers, Wiley Post, Wes Studi, Ben Johnson, Sam Bradford, Woody Guthrie, Anita Bryant, Jane Jayroe, Virgil Trout, Henry Belmon, George Nigh, Blake Shelton, Gene Autry, M. Scott Momaday, Argus Hamilton, Reba McEntire, John Wooley, Les Gilliam, Debra Coppinger Hill, Frank Phillips, Ree Drummond, Lane Frost, Jody Miller, Waymon Tisdale, Jana Jae, Tom Paxton, Kristin Chenoweth, Bob Burke, Carl B. Albert, Carrie Underwood and hundreds more.
These two volumes of this eBook are available at www.smashwords.com in eight different formats. It is also slated for listing on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and many other places online. Most of my other eBooks are also available at smashwords.com and elsewhere, including my lengthy and well illustrated book on Woody Guthrie: His Life, Music and Myth.
Since we have been in Florida, we have spent most of our time unpacking moving boxes and placing the contents in various nooks and crannies. That and arm-wrestling with the authorities (i.e., the Florida car tag department and the drivers license department) and overseeing some fairly small but time-consuming remodeling projects on our house here.
However, we make it a point each week to release the pedal from the metal. A couple of days ago we drove 17 miles south to beautiful Siesta Key Beach west of Sarasota. We walked on the pristine white sand (like powdered sugar), swam in the warm Gulf waters and ate seafood at a nearby restaurant. This was sort of like a detective mystery in which the suspects return to the scene of the crime. For it was Peggy's visit to this town and beach for the wedding of her nephew, Woody King, which started her dreaming of moving to Florida. Then her elderly . . . eh, make that . . . eldest sister, Charlotte Allen Richardson (and husband Bill), bought a winter home about 3 miles from the beach. Another visit or two and we were hooked. The rest, as they say, is history.
Here we are on the grounds of the Ringling Art Museum on the north side of Sarasota on
Monday, July 29th. John Ringling, head honcho of the Ringling Brothers Museum,
built his gorgeous mansion on the east edge of Sarasota Bay. He and his wife Mabel
developed a very large rose garden and finely manicured grounds. Their home,
gardens, art museum and circus museum are all open to the
public for a modest fee ($10 per head for adults).
Best wishes to one and all.
--Stan Paregien Sr
Going shopping soon?
Ask for "Made in USA"