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I Know Where I’m Going

Have you ever visited a foreign country?


Other than the ports of call your Mom and I visited on the cruise you kids gave us, my only other foreign country that I’ve visited was a couple of little jumps over the Rio Grande into Mexico when the quartet sang down in Harlingen.

Rather than feeling like I was visiting a foreign country, I felt more like I was in South San Antonio, Texas.

 If I’d have had the money to travel, I’m sure I would have enjoyed it, but feeding, clothing, and educating four kids just kept my nose to the grindstone during my younger years.  I guess I’m weird, but I just don’t have any wanderlust in me anymore.  Some might think me strange, but my main desire and prayer is that my next stop will be to see the One I’ve been singing and preaching about for my whole life!

 Love, Pop

Beware Any Store that has “Bucks” in the Name…

Have you ever been to Starbucks? If so, what’s your favorite drink?


Only been there once, and I think I got a coke.  Everything seemed to be way overpriced!

I Got the Music in Me

What is your favorite style of music?


That’s almost a ‘loaded’ question for me, because I pretty much like ALL music.

PawPaw used to say, “We express our emotions in 3 ways: 1. Through our words; 2. Through our tears; and 3. Through music.” 

Think about it: 
1.  We sing when we express our faith in God!
2.  We sing when we are sad or grieving.
3.  We sing when we’re happy or when we are in love!

What I’m trying to say is, because I am a very emotional person, I love ALL kinds of music! Acappella, Instrumental, you name it! EXCEPT…..Hard Rock, Rap, a lot of so called “modern” Country music (in all of the above, the emphasis is on vulgar lyrics and vulgar rhythms).

I LOVE, Gospel Music of all types, Folk, Southern Gospel Quartet, Bluegrass…. Probably my VERY FAVORITE music is just singing with my whole family. I only wish that I had the opportunity to do more of it.  I know my days are numbered, and I get real emotional thinking about that!

I just might write me a song! :-))

Spring has Sprung

What’s your favorite thing about spring?


My favorite thing about spring has certainly changed with the seasons of my own life, but the one constant over the years has been the beauty of seeing everything come back to life!

…the trees, the lawns and pastures, roadside flowers like our Texas bluebonnets and crimson clovers.

I’ve also always loved seeing farmland freshly plowed and planted which generally always takes place in the spring.

I know for a fact I did not appreciate all of the above as much when I was young as I do now!


April Foolery

What’s your favorite April Fool’s Day memory?
This morning, I received a telephone call from one of my very best friends, Earl Roberts. When I saw the caller ID, I answered with, “April Fool’ just to aggravate him a little.  As he always does, he said, “You ol’ rascal! What are you up to this morning? I had forgotten this was April Fool’s day.” As our conversation continued, Earl immediately changed the subject and said, “Well, I was calling you to give you some good news. Kay and I have been talking, and we’ve decided to move back home to Madisonville.”   

Earl’s encouragement and exhortation was the reason I agreed to consider going back to Midway to preach three years ago. When he and Kay told me shortly thereafter that they had decided to move to Conroe, it broke my heart that they were leaving, because we had made much of our life’s journey together, and I envisioned us together back at Midway.

Well, after we talked a little this morning, he said, “I want to tell you why I called you this morning; Kay and I have decided to move back home, and I was wondering if you could help us find a house there.”

My emotion just welled up inside of me and I said, “Man, you know I’ll help you…when do you plan to pull this off?” to which he responded, “Just as soon as we can!” I was getting all worked up…then all of sudden he said, “APRIL FOOL!”

I told him, “Well, Betty tells me all the time….you just can’t fix stupid….and you just proved how right she is!” He really got me good!  And what’s so sad is that Ben pulled the same trick on me a couple of years ago! “You just can’t fix STUPID!”

The Nose Knows…

What website do you go to most and why?


    Reason: curiosity (nosy) and pride

    Reason: proud of my daughter and a little bit on the nosy side!

    Reason:  I’m too dang nosy! (hate to admit it—afraid it’s true!)

I Get Around

How many states have you been to?


I’ll just list them, and if that produces a story worth telling….I might elaborate! (Not me!)

1. Texas
2. Oklahoma
3. Louisiana
4. Arkansas
5. Kansas
6. Alabama
7. Florida
8. Georgia
10. Kentucky
11. Indiana
12. South Dakota 
13. West Virginia
14. New York
15. Pennsylvania
16. Virginia
17. California
18. New Mexico
19. Colorado
20. Missouri

Some of those states I’ve been in several times over the last 72 years…in fact, a bunch of times!  If I think of any others I’ll let you know.

I’m not nearly as well-traveled as my wife, daughter, two elder sons, grandson and my granddaughter.  :-))

Jon and I love hanging out on Concord Road.:-))

J.D. Harkrider

Since he was mentioned several times in her dad’s last post, Karen “googled” J.D. Harkrider and located the following:

Longtime resident of Nacogdoches’ Hotel Fredonia celebrates 102nd birthday

Posted: Oct 24, 2013 6:01 PM CDT
Updated: Oct 24, 2013 6:01 PM CDT
By Donna McCollum – bio | email

Hotel Fredonia in Nacogdoches has the honor of serving guests every day. However, the staff isn’t shy to say they treat one guest better than others – especially Thursday.

J. D. Harkrider, an 11-year resident of the hotel, has been listening to “Happy Birthday” sung to him for 102 years. Each year it just keeps getting better. “I have enjoyed a good life these 102 years, but the first 23, I was pretty rowdy then,” Harkrider said.

This quick-witted gentleman has slowed down, but not much. “You’d be surprised at the people that don’t believe I’m as old as I am,” Harkrider said. Sometimes he has to show his driver’s license to prove his age. He’s got two more years on it. Good thing. The former car dealer, among a lot of other trades, just bought a new car.

“I don’t drive at night, but daytime I go where ever I want to,” Harkrider said. He’s flying out to a great granddaughter’s wedding later this week because it doesn’t interfere with visiting his favorite ball team. He still goes to the Atlanta Braves spring training games. Harkrider said he goes to about 18 games each year.

The rest of the time, the sports fan enjoys the place he plans to call home for the rest of his life. “I’m gonna die here,” Harkrider said. “There’s not an employee here that doesn’t want to do something for me.” The gestures come back in so many ways. “He’s very uplifting for me,” said Susan Pack Reents, the owner of Hotel Fredonia.

Especially when it comes to aging, something Harkrider says others complain about way too much. “Some of ’em are afraid of it,” Harkrider said. “I am not. I’m ready to die when the Lord gets ready for me.”

The faithful husband attributes a good Lord and a good wife of 66 years for his longevity. “And she’s been gone soon be 13 years, and I haven’t been interested since,” Harkrider said. But when asked if he notices the young ladies in his hotel family Harkrider quipped, “Looking don’t cost anything.”

Harkrider can be found most any day at the Hotel Fredonia restaurant during 6 a.m. breakfast, or a noonday lunch. He welcomes company at his reserved table. Anyone joining him is guaranteed a fun history lesson.

What’s in a Name?

Your name is unique.  Why were you named Benton Lanier?

I was an unexpected child as far as my dad was concerned (born 14 years after my brother, R.J.), and I was a ‘disappointment’ to my mother (who was hoping I would be her first girl after giving birth to 4 boys).  She was married at 15 and gave birth to her boys at 16, 17, 19, & 23. I was born when she was 37.  

She had always wanted to use her family name, Benton, which was her maiden name….thus, that became my first name.  Daddy wanted to name me after one of his best friends, Lanier Forgason, who had roomed & boarded with them when he came to Wharton, Texas (I believe during that time he and Dad had worked for the railroad in Wharton)…thus, my middle name became Lanier….and I have always gone by that name, unless I’m at the doctor’s office….there I’m Benton. :))

One of my real joys in life was to name my eldest son after me, Benton Lanier Stevens, Jr. And, that’s where the name came from. (a little wordy, but…you asked, and this is the long version)

         Love, Pop

I Read About it in the Funny Papers…


Mom and I have our traditions…you know when the phone rings on Saturday morning who it is and why!

You’ve talked forever about how people say you should write a book.  I encouraged you to write a blog.  Neither has been done.  I saw an idea about a daughter emailing her mom a question every day.  I thought it might be neat to do that as a dad and daughter.  Are you game?

If so, here’s question #1.

What is the earliest childhood memory you have and who’s in it?

Love you ~ K.


bank_robber_clipartI’m game…had a problem with the blog thing, but I like this idea (I think)

 I remember that every night our mother would sit in her rocking chair reading the Houston Chronicle newspaper.  Nancy & I could hardly wait until she got to the part of the paper she called the ‘funnies’. It was one or two pages of comic strips like Donald Duck, Lil’ Abner, Pop Eye, etc….& one night, as she was reading,  a masked man with a gun stepped into the room and started pulling drawers out of the buffet after he told her he wanted money and she told him she didn’t have any….Mama took us both by the hand and fled out the front door running to our next door neighbors, the Kelly’s.        

I remember Mr. Kelly grabbing his pistol and heading toward our house, as he shouted to his wife to call the police!  What is etched in my memory is Mrs. Kelly screaming at the top of her lungs, “Kelllly–Kelllly! Come back, Kelly!”

Don’t know whatever happened to the robber.