Hello friends: This issue of The Paregien Journal is titled "Stan's Potpourri." That French word potpourri was not ever used around our house when I was growing up. It just didn't flow off the tongues of country folks like us. Oh, yes, I heard it used once in a while by radio news commentator Paul Harvey on occasion but I wasn't quite sure what the heck he meant by it. And if you couldn't spell it, as I certainly couldn't back then, I had no easy way to discover the meaning. My handy, dandy dictionary today tells me its primary meaning is "a combination of various incongruous elements" and "a miscellaneous anthology or collection" or "a mixture of dried flower petals and spices kept in a jar and used to scent the air." So what Paul Harvey meant was he was reading news items which he had gathering from here and there, bits and pieces which were not necessarily connected in any way but which might be rhetorically fragrant in some fashion. Potpourri, then, pretty much describes these occasional "general" issues. Each gives me a chance to share bits and pieces of information which I have found or written. There is no overall theme, just useful or interesting items from here and there. For example, here is a not-very-subtle hint to women that their biggest problem may be . . . well, what wasn't discussed in polite circles in 1932, . . . body odor.
And here is a funny piece sent to me by my sister Roberta P. Fournier, out in sunny California:
How to Install a Southern Home Security System Author unknown. Graphics added by Stan Paregien Sr
1. Go to Goodwill and buy a pair of size 14-16 men's work boots and put 'em on your front porch.
2. Do the same thing with a copy of Guns & Ammo magazine.
3. Put 4 giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines.
4. Leave a note on your door that reads: Bubba, Me and Marcel, Donnie Ray and Jimmy Earl went for more ammo and beer. Be back in an hour. Don't mess with the pit bulls. They got the mailman this morning and messed him up real bad. I don't think Killer took part, this time, but it was hard to tell from all the blood. Anyway, I locked all 4 of 'em in the house. Better wait outside. Be right back. --Cooter
Two Actors Died Last Christmas Eve Two respected, veteran actors died on Monday, December 24, 2012: Charles Durning (age 89) and Jack Klugman (age 90). In memory of these two esteemed men, the glittering lights on Broadway theaters were dimmed at 8pm on Thursday, December 27th and on Friday, December 28th.
Charles Durning He was born on Feb. 28, 1923 in Highland Falls, NY to Irish immigrants. He died on Dec. 24, 2012 at his home in Manhattan, NY at the age of 89. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. In between the two dates, Charles Durning crammed a whole lot of living into his one solitary life. He was born and reared in absolute poverty. Five of his sisters died fairly young from either smallpox or scarlet fever. Durning was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II when he was 21. He served from 1944 to 1946 in the 398th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division. His own father, James Durning, voluntarily joined the Army though he was obviously a much older man. Charles was in the first wave to land at Omaha Beach in Normandy. And, to his surprise, he saw his father fighting in his own unit not fifty-yards away from his. He helped liberate the death camps, witnessing that profound, nearly unspeakable human tragedy which the Germans inflicted on the Jews in Europe.
Charles Durning was badly injured by a German mine explosion in France on June 15, 1944. He had recovered sufficiently in an English hospital by Dec. 6, 1944 to be returned to his unit. That was just in time for him to fight in the December of 1944 Battle of the Bulge (the German counter-offensive), where he was wounded and captured by the Germans. But he managed to escape and make his way to the Allied lines. He was transported to hospitals in the United States and was honorably discharged on January 30, 1946. Charles Durning was, in fact, a multi-decorated War hero. He left the Army as a Private First Class with these awards: The Silver Star, The Bronze Star, three (3) Purple Heart awards for injuries, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Legion of Honor award.
Durning got into show biz entirely by being at the right place at the right time. After World War II, he was working as an usher at a burlesque theater in Buffalo, NY. One day one of the featured comedians showed up drunk as a skunk, far too gone to appear on stage. So Durning volunteered to take the man's place. He had heard the stories and jokes of scores of comedians so he just pieced together a few minutes of work, and the audience roared with laugher. And, as they say, the rest is history. Charles spent some 50 years doing what he loved, acting . . . and very often, acting funny . . . in front of live audiences and on TV and in movies. He shined bright was the comical, conniving, corrupt governor of Texas in "The Best Little Whore House in Texas" (movie, 1982). He also played the hilarious role of the would-be-boyfriend of "Tootsie" (starring Dustin Hoffman in that role of the movie by the same name). He also played Pappy O'Daniel in the off-beat movie, "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" (starring George Clooney).
Few may remember, though, he also did a few Westerns. He was in "The Gambler, Part III: The Legend Continues" (1987, starring Kenny Rogers). And he was in the 1975 film "Heartbreak Pass" starring Charles Bronson. He also appeared on the TV Western "High Chaparral" in 1970 in an episode titled, "The Reluctant Deputy." Charles Durning was a recipient of a Tony award, a Golden Globe award, eight --count 'em, eight--Emmy awards, and two Oscar nominations for his work on stage and in film and television. In 2008, he also was honored with the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award. And the same year the National Memorial Day Concert honored Charles Durning, specifically, and all WWII Veterans. Durning was in his 14th year of being a participant in the activities of the NMDC.
Jack Klugman Jacob Joachim ("Jack") Klugman was born to Russian Jewish immigrants on April 27, 1922 in Philadelphia, Penn. He died in Woodland Hills, Calif., on Dec. 24, 2012 at the age of 90. Klugman served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Upon his return, he attended and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University. Then he became interested in acting and for a time roomed with another aspiring young actor named . . . Charles Bronson. And by 1952, Jack had made it to the stage on Broadway. He is best remembered for his role opposite Henry Fonda in the intense jury-room movie "12 Angry Men," for his role as the sloppy Oscar Madison opposed Tony Randall's persnickety character in the TV series "The Odd Couple," and as the medical examiner in perhaps the very first "CSI-type" TV show, "Dr. Quincy, M.E.". I also discovered he played in a 1958 episode of the popular TV Western "Gunsmoke". He played a character named Earl Ticks in an episode titled "Buffalo Man." And in 1964 on the TV Western "The Virginian" he played Charles Mayhew in an episode titled "Roar from the Mountain." He won a Golden Globe award in 1974 for his TV role in, "The Odd Couple." And then he won three Primetime Emmy awards for "The Defenders" (1964), and "The Odd Couple" (1971 and 1974).
Well, unfortunately, OU got whupped up on awful bad in that Cotton Bowl game. But this young man is a solid citizen. He set all kinds of OU records as well as Big 12 records. In OU's first game in 2009, Brigham Young University, Sam Bradford had to leave the game with an injury. Landry Jones took over and, although the Sooners lost the game, Jones showed potential. And in his first start at OU, the next week, he made 18 of 32 passes for 286 yards as OU smashed Idaho State 64 to zip. In his next game, he tossed a Sooner-record six touchdown passes in a 45â€“0 win against the University of Tulsa. And he started his third week being named the AT&T "All-American Player of the Week."
Landry Jones is now the Big 12's all-time leader in passing yards with a staggering total of 16,646. He also leads the Big 12 in total offense, with offense. He even ranks fifth in the nation in passing yards and passing yards per game. Jones was the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for completing 38 of 51 passes for a school-record 554 yards. And he also tied his own school record with six touchdown passes at West Virginia. Then he was named Big 12 "Offensive Player of the Week" the very next week when he completed a school-record 46 of 71 passes for a whopping 500 yards and three touchdown passes against Oklahoma State. Jones is bigger than he looks on TV, standing a sturdy 6' 4". Look for him to go as a highly prized draftee into the National Football League.
Well, if you think country music singers are just a bunch of women-chasing drunks and that today's other young people morally bankrupt, sit up and pay attention to this:
Hey, friend, before you jump to the conclusion that I am "anti-union," think again. In my work career, I was a member of two different unions. I just don't like thug tactics by anyone.
I was sad to see another "old friend" pass away. No, I never got to meet Harry Carey Jr. But Peggy and I a few years ago got to tour the Harry Carey Ranch where he and his sister were reared. "Dobe" was the son of a fine actor, and they actually appeared in the same John Wayne movie, "Red River," though never in the same scene). His mother, like Dobe, was in "The Searchers" with John Wayne. The ranch house and part of the estate is now a state park/museum just north of Saugus, Calif. I did get to correspond with Harry Carey, Jr., through his wife. And it was she who got him to autography a copy of his book, COMPANY OF HEROES, and to mail it to me. There are not very many left of my childhood movie star heroes. Guess that's why I enjoy their old movie so much.
Peggy Paregien with Kim and Seo, two juniors in high school whom we are hosting in our home for a month. They and 30 other young men and women from South Korea are here studying English through the University of Central Oklahoma. We are trying to counteract their pursuit of cultural excellence by taking them to garage sales and such.
Robert H. Rowland dies at age 86 I first met Bob Rowland in 1961when friend Richard Miller and I left dear ol' Fillmore, California and arrived on the campus of Columbia Christian College in Portland, Oregon. We became acquaintances and then, over time, friends. And it is tough to lose a friend who has stayed true for 50+ years. Bob was the president of CCC and he did one terrific job. In 1968 he resigned to pursue other things, eventually serving as head of the American Citizenship Center at Oklahoma Christian University and then head of OCU's Enterprise Square (where our son, Stan Jr, also worked). Along the way he served as an elder of the Quail Springs Church of Christ, where Peggy and I have been members for some 15 years.
In 1991 he published his landmark study of the role of women in the Christian church. He gave it the unwieldy title, "I Permit Not a Woman . . . " to Remain Shackled (Newport, OR: Lighthouse Publishing Co.). It was a studied, courageous admission of failure of so many church leaders to develop, encourage and use the abilities of women in wider roles . . . and a challenge for us to do better. That study pushed him to the forefront of the controversies regarding the role of women in the modern church, acquiring for him many voices of support for his views and igniting a powder keg of dissenting critics. In 2000 he published another controversial book, Breaking the Mold: A Case for Reshaping the Church of Christ by a Member Who Has Loved Her for a Lifetime. And then, the same year, he also self-published his delightful book All Around the Mulberry Bush. It transports the reader back to two years of his life growing up during the Great Depression in tiny Erick, Oklahoma (birthplace of the late singer and songwriter Roger Miller and his cousin, Sheb Wooley, who was an actor [TV western "Rawhide"], nightclub comedian, songwriter and singer ["Purple People Eater"]). Robert and Joye met as students at Pepperdine University, and in 1947 entered into a loving relationship which would last until his death on Thursday morning, Jan. 17, 2013, a total of more than 65 years. After graduating from Pepperdine, they agreed to serve their Lord Jesus Christ as missionaries in Alaska. And they worked there, sometimes under very difficult circumstances, for seven years. Two of the great events of that period were the births of their children, Bobby and Cynthia. Their daughter, a talented author and speaker, died of cancer several years ago. There will be a celebration of Robert H. Rowland's faith-filled servant life on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 11:00 am at Magnolia Center Church of Christ, 6160 Riverside Ave., Riverside, CA 92506.
See ya down the road. Oh, one more thing: that special issue on "Old Cars and Old Service Stations" should be posted about February 4th. It will be a good 'un. Stan The Paregien Journal - Issue 221 - January 21, 2013 - Key words: Robert H. Rowland, Harry Carey Sr, Charles Durning, Aaron Watson, Landry Jones, Ora Holland, Bonham Brothers, South Korea
Issue 221, dated Jan. 21, 2013, touches on the lives and deaths of Robert H. Rowland, Harry Carey Jr, Charles Durning, and Jack Klugman. It...