Number 05 - August 10, 2013 - by Stan Paregien Sr - Bradenton, Florida NOTE: The Paradise Report is a free publication in which Stan Paregien, Sr reports on life in Paradise -- i.e., the Gulf coast of Florida. Stan and Peggy moved from Edmond, Oklahoma to Bradenton, Florida on June 24, 2013. So The Paradise Report covers their adventures and misadventures in their new state, with lots of photos and other information as well. It is posted on or about the 10th and the 25th of each month at www.issuu.com/cowboystan/docs
Good mornin' to ya:
We found this flowering tree near the Police Department Headquarters in downtown Bradenton (just between the PDH and the South Florida Museum. And, no,
for your information Peggy had not come down there to go my bail. This tree had loads of such dainty and beautiful flowers. However, . . . take a closer look.
This flowering tree has thorns (spikes) all over the trunk and branches which make it resemble some kind of prehistoric beast with a terrific defense mechanism. Maybe one of you green thumb types can tell us exactly what it is, okay?
Two of our new friends, Clay and Pat Landes, live in a house just a couple of hundred yards from their community pier which juts 700 feet out into the Manatee River. (July 27, 2013 by Stan Paregien)
Regarding Paregien.com My apologies to each of you for my inattention to my web site -- paregien.com -for several months. The main factors which occupied my time were (1) a 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 my paregien.com web site. Carolyn Leonard -- my ol' saddle pal back in Oklahoma -- tipped me off that something was wrong with my site. So I called my web hosting company and they took a look at it. They told me it had been hacked with some kind of malware, but a related company of theirs could clean it up. For a fee, of course. Well, I'm here to tell you they really cleaned it up. They removed scores and scores of files, along with an unknown number of HTML codes. That will force me to go in and re-program a ton of files. I'm getting too doggone old for these headaches, but the only option I can see is to just shut it down. I really hate to do that, so I will put on my trusty programmer hat and give it a go.
By the way, for my cowboy friends and fans of Western culture and entertainment, I have a section titled "Stan's Cowboy Directory . . . at www.paregien.com." That area features what I call a Reader's Digest version of my original extensive CowboyDirectory.com. That's the web site which I wrote and edited for a dozen years or so. Hang in there with me, saddle pals, and I will get more good stuff posted there in the future. Now my plan is to simply post many of my writings, including this "Paradise Report," to my account at Issuu.com. I have already posted several items there. Their formatting process is easy to use. Fact is, if you know Word or how to create PDF files, you know their system. And, trust me, I need a simple system. More so than ever before. Go to:
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. Now as to my latest eBook, Oklahoma Almanac of Facts & Humor, mentioned above. Former Oklahoma Governor George Nigh graciously wrote the foreword for my 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 Oklahoma 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 R. Trout, Henry Bellmon, George Nigh, Blake Shelton, Gene Autry, N. Scott Momaday, Argus Hamilton, Reba McEntire, John Wooley, Les Gilliam, Debra Coppinger Hill, Frank Phillips, Ree Drummond, Lane Frost, Jody Miller, Brandon Weeden, S.E. Hinton, Clara Luper, 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.
Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch . . . 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 armwrestling 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 few days ago we drove 17 miles south to beautiful Siesta Key Beach west of Sarasota. 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 in the Southwinds MHP about 3 miles from the beach. Another visit or two and we were hooked. The rest, as they say, is history.
On Monday, July 29th Peggy and I visited the luxurious Ringling Art Museum in Sarasota. It took us about two hours to tour the museum, even with walking really fast through the modern art collection. The only thing I could relate to in that segment was a Norman Rockwell painting of a tattoo artist working on a sailor.
"Hairy Leg of an Ancient Man"
Here we are on the grounds of the Ringling Art Museum on the north side of Sarasota on Monday, July 29th. John Ringling, the late head honcho of the world famous Ringling Brothers Circus, 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).
On Understanding "Womanese" by Stan Paregien Sr Copyrighted July 8, 2013.
Our son, in his care-free, pre-marital days, Often asked me how to understand female types. I was reluctant to show my ignorance of the subject, But he really had pressing questions and gripes. First, I gently explain what "Go ahead" means When used by a woman with her arms crossed. It is not a granting of permission; it is a double-dare, A short prelude to his being chided and bossed. When a woman says "Go ahead" it is quite similar To Clint Eastwood saying, "Go ahead. Make my day." By "Go ahead" she really means over her dead body, And if you do, you'll have serious hell to pay. Second, never make the fatal mistake of asking, "Honey, what is wrong with you, my dear?" Inevitably she will flatly intone, "Nothing." But she is baiting your trap; run away in fear. When she finally lets you back into the house, Don't bother asking her what you did wrong. For that will result in a king-sized argument And, believe me, she will ring you like a gong.
Third, I told our son to religiously avoid the trap Of responding at all when a woman says, "Fine." Any response--verbally or visually--will cause her To brow beat you like a rented mule or equine. I pontificated with counterfeit confidence and skill How "Fine" to a woman means shut up right now. So far as she is concerned the time for talking is over, And you are about to learn the meaning of kowtow. Well, the years have flown by and times have changed, And no one asks me any woman questions, you see. That's just as well I suppose, 'cause I have to confess: Womanese is still a mysterious language to me.
This poem, Stan's 278th, was written on July 8, 2013. This poem may be shared by email or other correspondence between individuals. Otherwise, this poem may not be reprinted or distributed in any form without the express written permission of the author (that includes public performances and any commercial use). Requests should be sent to: 1127 48th Avenue East, Bradenton, FL 34203. Or email him at email@example.com.
On Saturday night, July 27th, Peggy and I went out to eat with new friends Clay and Pat Landes. We went to the Riverfront Cafe in the middle of the yacht docks along the Manatee River at Palmetto, Florida (just across the river, north, from Bradenton. Afterwards we walked around, looking at the yachts and the sky. That that is when I got this shot of the sunset and some unusual cloud formations.
Photo by Stan Paregien
According to a recent newspaper article, most of the houses in Bradenton average about $90,00. Keep in mind there are literally hundreds of mobile homes here which, like our home, are "land-lease" homes. In other words, the buyer buys a mobile home only--not the property--and pays a monthly rent (or lease) on the lot. That is very common all over Florida, but it does bring down the stats on the average cost of a home. We do have quite a few high dollar homes here -- especially close to the ocean -which help balance the picture. But discovered the other day as we drove some "back roads" close to Sarasota Bay there are some down-right persnickety folks there. For example, we saw this guy with his firearm sitting at the entrance to the landowner's private dock:
"Get off my grass, mate. And stay away from my dock."
Turns out this log cabin (Florida style) was bought by an executive with FedEx.
On Tuesday, July 30th, we drove west of Bradenton on State Road 64 to Anna Marie Island and, specifically, to Holmes Beach. Unfortunately, a big rain and thunderstorm hit just minutes after we arrived and got a glimpse of the very nice beach. There was a life guard station there (hey, even in Paradise there are riptides sometimes) as well as a few (not enough) restrooms where you could also change clothes. But only one outdoor shower where you could wash off the sand before getting dressed, again. And there was a snack bar/cafe there, too.
Peggy says, "Oh, Stan what big muscles you have!" Okay, okay. That is a little "photographic license," but I can dream can't I. I will tell you though that 50 years ago . . . I . . . uh . . . didn't look like that guy, then, either. Oh, well.
At least we don't look like this couple, . . . yet.
I caught "Big Bird" walking down the street in nearby Lakewood Ranch, Florida. Can anyone tell us what specie/breed/denomination this 3 1/2 ft. tall bird may be?? Oh, before I forget it, . . . if a friend simply passed this newsletter along to you . . . and you would like to actually receive an email notice of when a new one is posted, email me at the address on the logo on the front page. Look for it twice a month, on about the 10th and the 25th. Best wishes to one and all. --Stan Paregien Sr
The Paradise Report is a free publication in which Stan Paregien, Sr reports on life in Paradise -- i.e., the Gulf coast of Florida. Stan a...