Roy’s Sunday Letter for March 19, 2023

  • Over decades most of us have friends and family spread-out coast to coast. In the past week, storms of all types have brought snow by the foot, line after line of storms from New Mexico to the Texas coast. Text messages have been exchanged about safe places, have your shoes on and confirmation that we are safe and OK. Texting has many purposes…weather is one the best.

** I am sharing with SL readers a partial list of my favorite sustaining words and phrases: Seeking common ground….Servant Leadership….To Hope, to Care anyway…To be a Witness….To show Mercy and to give Grace….Mystical & Magical…To Create…Never go away…Being present…Listening…Being a Neighbor…I can roller skate in a buffalo herd (Roger Williams)…More words next SL

  • An elected white male conservative remarked, “Diversity is destroying our culture.” If he and I could share an iced tea, I would offer a different view, that diversity transforms our culture, broadens and matures our culture. I am saddened by his fear of loss, rather than the excitement of discovery and the wonderment of foods, music, art, and the telling of a generation of stories.

** Thomas Merton wrote this in his 1953 Journal. “The old testament is the record of men getting further and further away from God, so that the alliance between men and God becomes less and less mystical and more and more juridical.” Wise, thoughtful words in 1953, even more so in 2023.

  • On April 29, Willie Nelson will be 90. Willie has just announced his next tour and play schedule. Willie, in so many ways, belongs to all of us. I think we can stand up and cheer this 5′, 6″, 184-pound Texan back on the road again.

** If I had a T-shirt, it might read: “I don’t have to know what I am doing; to do what I do.” My 2nd career as writer began with no professional writing background/degree. I began by keyboarding life events I have lived, knew about and might have known about. The “not knowing what I am doing” part has not been easy. With Beth, I always knew I was not on the path alone. We have done well together…now, more of the “not knowing what I am doing” ahead. Learning everyday. Enjoying it all!!

Roy, awaiting the return of hummingbirds


  1. Roger Gullickson on March 19, 2023 at 7:23 am

    Great piece! Love the diversity commentary, and of course Willie!

    • Roy Bowen on March 19, 2023 at 8:22 am

      Diversity becoming a challenging term and an issue to address in our board training. We can no longer assume everyone agrees this is a value.
      Not sure where this leaves us….asking questions, listening. then having the right spirit in going forward. 2023 a different planning task.
      Yes, on Willie. He will die on his but or perhaps on stage….not a recliner kind of guy.
      Thanks for reading my SL and adding to the conversation.

  2. Paul Warren on March 19, 2023 at 9:03 am

    Jan and I watched Rhiannon Giddens history of the banjo on Wondrium recently. She tells the story of the banjo’s journey from West Africa, through the Caribbean, and then to the US. It’s origin became lost in the cultural appropriation that occurred. So many people greatly underestimate the contributions to art from our diversity. We are so blessed and enriched by it.

    • Roy Bowen on December 10, 2023 at 12:30 pm

      Never heard of Wondrium before. A channel? YouTube? The dulcimer had similar travel from Europe to West Virginia and Kentucky.
      Now, elementary schools learn to play on cardboard dulcimers. I wish I had family heritage to encourage music….all sports. You add to who I am in so many ways. Roy

  3. FRANK JOHNSON on March 19, 2023 at 9:23 am

    Right on brother! And sister! You and Beth have become a very important part of Cheryl’s recovery and she, and I, look forward to when she is feeling well enough to break bread together. Diversity – love it! Cheryl and I worked together at a Charter School in Irving for about 10 years. Cheryl helped start the school. Being a charter school it was open enrollment based on a lottery selection. Diversity was the name of the game. I started collecting flags of all the countries represented and hung them in the school lobby. I wish I had a picture of the 54 flags all hanging at one time. There international day parade was a sight to behold.
    And second behind diversity, and a close second – Willie! I spent three years of my growing up just 16 miles from Abbott, TX. I didn’t know Willie at the time but when I first heard him it was love at first note.
    Have a great week friends!

    • Roy Bowen on March 19, 2023 at 9:55 am

      Good information to know, all new for us. 54 flags amazing to behold
      10 yrs of commmon ground can build a lifetime together.
      We are with you two through the up, down, and around.
      I did see/hear Willis in our first FW stay….I was too young to understand the heritage on the stage…..& we are still here!!

      I do wish the Alumni gathering and planning was more creative. Same events as last yr. I would like to be in a room with decades taped on the walls. Then we could gather with 1960 grouping. I would like to meet Warren Marks, for example. He comments or Likes what I write or note.

      Soon, hopefully, a piece of broken bread (communion???) a bit of the grape as well……Roy and Beth

  4. Jerry Wood on March 19, 2023 at 12:14 pm

    My dear friend Roy,

    Interesting that you felt compelled to identify the author of the diversity statement as “white male conservative”, the most admonished individual group on the planet and the harbinger of all evil according to “the caring left-wing liberal” segment of our society, relying solely on the CRT answer to all socio-economic evils in this country.

    Do any of you left-wing liberal fantasiests realize you’re totally going against Dr. King’s plea to ignore the color of a man’s skin?

    For decades, race was purposefully, and rightfully, excluded from employment applications. Now it is mandatory. What’s changed? Could it be the movement-of-the-day to achieve equity instead of equality. In case the libs don’t understand the difference, equity is the outcome of selective choice to achieve an end goal where equality is an opportunity with equal consideration given to all input metrics.

    White, Heterosexual Male, Conservative, Right-Wing, Republican, Southern Evangelical Babptist

    • Linda M on March 19, 2023 at 12:37 pm

      Ouch. Neither Right-wing conservative, nor Left-wing liberal, who prays for the time when respectful, kind dialog and exchange might return.
      Just what came to my mind reading your comment. Linda Milanesi, also dear friend of Roy’s

    • Paul Warren on March 20, 2023 at 9:45 am

      “What’s changed?” Certainly anger and hatred hasn’t changed much. I continue to pray for the day that humankind finds more constructive ways to deal with its primitive fight ir flight response, as it doesn’t appear that Jesus’ core message is being understood and heeded. Jesus weeps.

      • Roy Bowen on March 20, 2023 at 12:02 pm

        You can now read my response to friend Jerry below.
        Jerry tells me i am the most liberal, left-wing person he knows. I tell Jerry he needs to know more people.
        The constructive ways are all out there, proven, of value, and available to all.
        Cherry picking Jesus an old craft, still widely practiced today.
        I weep for Jesus…..Roy

    • Roy Bowen on March 20, 2023 at 11:57 am

      Long time friend & teammate Jerry…
      It is odd but Word Press allows everyone to see/read the initial Comment and also my response.
      I was not “compelled”…the description was his choice.

      For me here is what important:
      1) Your comments openly posted and available for all to read
      2) My normal is to have 8 or 10 topics in any one Sunday Letter. Thus, there is opportunity to disagree with any one writing or topic.
      3) I know you, and others, will be back to read and comment on the next Sunday Letter. We are partners together for the long path.

      A Complement: You show up, write out what you like and not like, and post…..I could not ask for more.

  5. Cinda Hitchcock on March 19, 2023 at 3:26 pm

    I liked your idea of thinking of sustaining words & phrases. I might start my own list…..

    • Roy Bowen on March 20, 2023 at 12:03 pm

      I am indeed a word guy…..send me words off your list….I will include in upcoming SL
      My best to you both and all family, always.
      Roy & Beth

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