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James R. Stout

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Christmas Memories - Part 2

            1972 – This was my favorite Christmas of the 70’s. In fact, it is my favorite Christmas of so far NOT counting my childhood years of 0-12. There are many reasons it was such a special Christmas. For one thing, I had just started dating the girl that would be my “high-school …

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Christmas Memories - Part 1

            The 12 days of Christmas start today. Time just keeps going faster and faster. When I was young it seemed like it was forever for Christmas to come. I’m at a point now where I feel like last Christmas was just a couple of weeks ago. Well, since this is the first day of Christmas 2019, I …

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Cool Water from a Tin Dipper

            The nearest highway to me is about 4 miles from my house. It’s actually the nearest paved road as well. It’s a Farm to Market road. Its handle is FM 230 and it isn’t a long road. It totals about 29 miles. It goes from Lovelady, Texas to Trinity, Texas. There’s a much more direct route, S…

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Teacher Teacher, I Declare

            As good as my memory is, I don’t actually remember the names of every teacher that I ever had. My elementary teachers are easier to remember mainly because there were much fewer of them. For the most part, I had only one teacher per grade level. The truth is there are only two teachers f…

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Herman's Hermits, Balsa Wood Airplanes, a Soda Fountain, and Dugan's Drugs

            There was a family owned drugstore two blocks away from the house we lived in when I was 11-13. It was called “Dugan’s Drugs”. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was a part of a vanishing breed. When I think back to those years and that store, I realize that it had an important part of…

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She Owns Your Destiny

     I have been debating all week whether or not I would post this. I wrote the song you hopefully have taken the time to listen to and watch the slide show on December 5,1979. That’s 40 years ago now. To the day in about 3 hours from when I’m writing this. I recently discovered the recording that …

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Leper

            Do you know anyone who names their car? I have an old friend who had a weathered and much used 1965 Chevrolet coupe. By the time I got to know him it was about 9 years old. My friend named the car “Old Paint”. It was appropriately named. I knew a couple who had a 1963 Mercury Comet. It w…

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Skipping Stone

            There’s a poignant scene from the movie “Coal Miner’s Daughter” where Loretta Lynn’s father is with her at the train station prior to her leaving to join her husband in Washington State. Levon Helm portrayed her father and he remarks that he lost “those young years” of Loretta’s because …

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Days of Infamy

            Here it is 10:30 p.m. on November 22, 2019 and I feel compelled to say something. Our nation has apparently gotten to a point where the anniversary of the assassination of JFK isn’t news anymore. I haven’t seen one post on social media (Facebook) talking about it. It’s just not news. It’…

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The Juicer

            It seems that our parents always seem old to us. When I was 5-years-old I thought my mother was ancient. She was only 31. Thinking of them as children was always a chore. Even with photos of them as a child they seemed old given the aged photographs that were usually black and white. The…

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Friends

             It was December 28, 1972 when I first had an interaction with my friend Jess Sumrall. The youth group at our church had a “working” retreat for three days. We had some Bible studies, got to watch a movie, and went out to Bear Creek Park for some fun and games. But the working part was t…

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Friends

             It was December 28, 1972 when I first had an interaction with my friend Jess Sumrall. The youth group at our church had a “working” retreat for three days. We had some Bible studies, got to watch a movie, and went out to Bear Creek Park for some fun and games. But the working part was t…

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Noseworthy Reflections

            My brother-in-law is sick. No, that’s not meant to say he’s demented or warped. He’s got some kind of crud. You know what I mean? His tenor voice is now a bass, his sinuses are completely out of whack, and his throat feels like a badly skinned knee. So, I’m not going anywhere near him or…

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The Reunion

             It was planned for a long time by a group of fine folks from my high school class. A reunion of our high school class of 1974. I paid my fee in advance by a few months and it was my plan to attend. I have previously been to my 10th, 30th, and 40th reunions. But this one was …

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The Path

Please allow me to share a poem that I recently composed. Thank you!

The Path

I crawled along a manicured path made of dirt and grass with dew.

Strange and wonderous things I saw, shiny, bright and new.

My eyes soon focused, and my understanding of life blossomed and grew.

and as I jo…

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The Fly and The Nod

            Sometimes humility is thrust upon us at the most inopportune times. I’m not sure if those events are God’s way of adjusting our attitudes or if they just happen via our own inadequate devices. I’m guessing it’s a little of both. It was the fall of 1988 and I was the part-time youth minis…

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Stand By Me

            My father used to say, “Any job worth doing is worth doing right.” He also used to say, “You can do anything you set your mind to.” I have tried very hard to follow his advice. Unfortunately, I haven’t always been able to accomplish everything that I set my mind to. The truth is there ar…

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Perspective

            I’ve talked about it before. Perspective. The key ingredient to someone’s perspective on something is time. At least, it is for me. During the late 70’s the big fad in music was disco. 1977 and 1978 were the biggest two years and 1979 was fairly big, but by the end of that y…

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Struggles

            I’ve been struggling lately. It happens to all of us from time to time. We all have periods of struggle. We may even have prolonged periods of struggles that can bring us down no matter how strong our faith may be. After all, we are all human. Part of being a human being is struggling. S…

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How Much is $3 Worth?

            I was recently digging through some boxes in my spare bedroom closet searching for some items that I wanted to photograph for my new book. I opened a box that I probably had not looked into for at least ten years. In fact, I’m guessing the items were packed into the box in about 2004 whe…

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