Roy’s Sunday Letter for January 7, 2024

** 80 years ago, a white racist mob destroyed the Ft. Worth family home of Opel Lee. Her parents worked hard and long to purchase their first home on Annie Street. The angry “neighbors” threw out their furnishings, burning their home to the ground, with police nearby. Opel Lee, now 97, is the “Grandmother of Juneteenth,” a nationally recognized courageous woman and special day. The current landowner, Trinity Habitat for Humanity, will be building a new home on the same Annie Street lot for Mrs. Opel Lee’s new home.

  • My writer friend Meg, with her 80th birthday approaching, is using AI to write stories for her Chicago nephews and cousins. The speed and time taken to create books is allowing Meg to read to and be with her family rather than staring into her laptop screen. I have not used AI with my Sunday Letter and other writings…yet. I will let you know if I do. Tis good to have adventurist elder friends lighting the path.

** There are reporters calling for the end of bowl games, to only have National Championship games. “All these bowls get in the way of the important games” spoke one. Another view would be to praise the local commitment of civic, business, and community organizations of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Music City Bowl – New Mexico Bowl – Cure Bowl – The Myrtle Beach Bowl – and the Armed Services Bowl. We will see!

  • One climate activist, Katharine Hayhoe, said she is often asked what gives her hope. She responded by saying that she turned the question around to hundreds of people. Their response basically boiled down to…”Seeing other people act, recognizing we are not alone, that as an individual I can use my voice to advocate for change in my place of worship, where I work, within my neighborhood, in our schools and community organizations as part of my city, state, and country.” The trick to over-coming “don’t want to talk about that,” she says, “is to talk about what people really care about.”

** I like going to the gym. A rotating workout of stretching, cardio, weights, and machines have become a valued, looked forward to part of my 2024. My weights may be 5 & 10, not the 25 or 50 of others, and I walk the treadmill, not full out running of my younger self. I do awkward stretches and not nimble rising from the floor mat. For me, all good and a commitment to Beth and our togetherness in 2024.

In last night’s watching of “Queer Eyes” on Netflix, one of the 5 guys asked the person on the episode to turn and face a mirror. I am repeating, as my best memory allows, what this person was asked to say, “I am comfortable with who I am. I have personal strengths and wisdom to share with others. I will continue to become the person I am meant to be.” Each statement was repeated multiple times before doubts began to fade and personal beliefs seemed to be gained in strength. This is a good, although challenging, exercise for all of us.

Roy, now before my own mirror


  1. Mike Davis on January 7, 2024 at 7:05 am

    Good morning.

    All great thoughts. Thanks.

    My vote. AI dilutes. We need Roy, 100 proof.

    • Roy Bowen on January 7, 2024 at 11:29 am

      I am doubtful I will ever bring AI to my writings.
      Kind of like the struggle part of creativity.
      If you could just touch a key of new software package and in 10 minutes have a complete fencing plan would you give it try?
      I may “try” a story line with my finger on the delete key…..but not yet.
      Thanks for reading and encouraging comments as well…….Roy

  2. Frank Long on January 7, 2024 at 7:23 am

    Thank you Roy, for bringing different sources and perspectives together to help us make sense of our world. You give us a taste of hope and peaceful ways to communicate.

    • Roy Bowen on January 7, 2024 at 11:25 am

      Beth is best editor ever.
      Appreciation for your noticing my “prep” for each SL. I hope the SL represents both content and flow.
      Mark March 3 late afternoon on your calendar…..more info to come. Roy

  3. Paul Warren on January 7, 2024 at 7:39 am

    Opal Lee, what an American hero! Began walking from Fort Worth to Washington DC at age 89 to campaign to make Juneteenth a national holiday. This is a beautiful story about an amazing human being, Roy. A story about resilience, perseverance and hope without any assistance from AI. Let’s seize each day with that kind of conviction and make a difference wherever we can. Reveal the hope that is always there.

    • Roy Bowen on January 7, 2024 at 11:21 am

      FW Report gave me the source material on Open Lee’s lot and home to be built. I saw this is a lead story for SL.
      I am reading fiction story of rural/country RN (male – Scotland) and female London raised and based RN who had their placements switched for 3 months.
      500 mile swtich.
      The rural RN says one tired Friday night (something like), “I am surrendered by a million people, and I don’t know a single one. I have never been so lonely.”
      I sent text to mark March 3 late afternoon on the calendar…..morr info to come.
      I do indeed hope your entry again to practice is from a restful position and renewed energy.

  4. Maurine K Wood on January 7, 2024 at 7:41 am

    I applaud you going to the gym. My good friend says, ” motion is lotion”, any attempt at movement is a plus. Happy New Year, I am glad you are a part of mine.

    • Roy Bowen on January 7, 2024 at 10:47 am

      My elder motto at gmy would be: Slow but steady on.
      Mark March 3 afternoon on your calendar. More info to come.
      Have you eaten at Quince? Behind University looking at the Trinity…..Roy

      • meg o'brien on January 13, 2024 at 8:09 am

        Thanks for thr “hat tip”. I am having a lot if fun with it. While I encourage people to check it out, it is not meant as a replacement. You do just great without it. Your insights are well-served by your unique style.

        • Roy Bowen on January 14, 2024 at 12:04 pm

          Beth, my forever editor, shakes her head at my “unique style.”
          She has the difficult role of improving my dradts without taking away my voice.
          I am going to dip into Tip Toc (not right name).
          We do lean into each other, making us both better.Roy

  5. FRANK JOHNSON on January 7, 2024 at 10:08 am

    Well said, my friend! Wondered if you missed the snow in the Panhandle a few days ago?

    • Roy Bowen on January 7, 2024 at 10:45 am

      FBook and friends sent photos of Amarillo and SantaFe
      One week of snow in Amarillo I closed the agency for 2 days.
      Third day opened at 10 and locked the doors at noon.
      Snow plows left high snow piles in middle of streets.
      No one could see to turn….many a wreck.
      Lots of weather stories of Amarillo
      SantaFe more straight forward. Layed back, stayed home
      Not us Texans!!

    • Peter D. Kleven on January 9, 2024 at 10:00 pm

      Roy you are one determined human being. Thank you for sharing life, feelings, and self.

      • Roy Bowen on January 14, 2024 at 11:59 am

        Peter and Frank….Two highly valued and good folk of my world.
        Sharing a table of nachos with both would be delightful and meaningful…..
        …….whatever the challenges of 2024 we do so together…….Roy

  6. David Yeomans on January 7, 2024 at 11:28 am

    Roy, I commend you on your commitment to good health. I have made a similar pledge to maximize my strength, agility, and especially, balance in anticipation of Sheila’s and my Viking cruise of Australia and New Zealand the end of this month. But the good Lord has other ideas, and here I am at Baylor All Saints due to an internal bleeding problem that I pray will be remedied–soon! The Docs are hoping for a release within a couple of days, but since I lie here w/o benefit of exercize, food, or drink, our travel plans are on hold.

    If worse comes to worse, I am substituting disappointment and “poor me” whining for submission to God’s will, trust in His mercy, and
    gratitude that they caught the problem early on.

    The Serenity Prayer is my guiding light in times such as these:
    God, grant me the Serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage
    to do the things I can, and the Wisdom
    to know the difference,

    • Roy Bowen on January 8, 2024 at 9:19 am

      In one way regrets X 10
      in another way, hopefully docs caught the problem and the answer early….”a few days” sound long but healing is not on our time track.
      Accepting visitors???
      Sheila is a true, forever parttner.
      Prince misses you and you him.
      Staying close….Grateful for you in all ways. Roy

  7. mike davis on January 8, 2024 at 8:14 am

    A prayer for speedy recovery David..

    Roy , I hope I could say no to the AI fence plan aid.. problem would be others using it and how it will affect competitive bidding.. time will tell.. so hoping I have hung up my post hole diggers before greeted by this issue..

    have a great week..

    • Roy Bowen on January 8, 2024 at 9:13 am

      gloves and post hole diggers a part of how you grew up and became you…..the keyboard is but an extension. Roy

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