Roy’s Sunday Letter for October 1, 2023

  • My Monday morning email was titled Very Sad News. Bruce Coggin, retired Episcopal rector and priest, died unexpectedly last Sunday. Bruce led 12 to 20 men of Trinity Episcopal in study and fellowship every Thursday morning. He was my dear friend, as he was to so many others in the congregation, senior facilities, and other life-long ministries. In Bruce’s honor I have begun drafting a new story titled, The Empty Chair. This Thursday morning, we told Bruce stories and remembered his brilliant shining light, now missed in so many ways by so many.

** President Biden has established a new federal office, Preventing Gun Violence. Two simple answers: 1) Stop making and selling non-sport rifles and handguns. 2) Establish education and problem-solving training for individuals and groups in schools and community centers.

  • Barbara Jordan was a hero to me, the Texas Senate, and US House of Representatives. Her death at age 59, in 1996, silenced her strong voice of vision, her push to help all of us to find “our togetherness. “There is a danger we will cease to act as one nation and become a collection of interest groups: city against the rural, splintered by race, language, and background. Our strongest future is seeking common ground and experiences, not individual or private wants.” Hero time.

** “Bargain Block” is a home renovation program on Home & Garden TV. Evan and Keither buy falling down, inner city homes in Detroit for $4,000 to $20,000. The renovation or rebuild budget can be $80,00 to $100,000, with a net profit of $15 to $30,000. The Change is 4 or 5 restored, owner-occupied homes on one block, and then another block. These two bring Skills and Belief, they deliver Hope.

  • I am preparing to publish my 2nd edition of short stories and other writings. Recently I asked a gathering of creative folk what style or format each preferred. Their answers: one-third print — one-third eBook (read on phone, iPad) — one-third audio (listen at desk, on the go). Send your Comments and Preferences as to your preferred reading style and format…each helpful to this writer.

** Let’s talk Sloths, that slower than slow, hard to find in tall trees, leaf eating Sloth. Lucy Cook, animal specialist, author, and presenter on 60 Minutes, showed us Sloths of different forests, their long survival, and 2023 challenges. In a TED Talk, Cook spoke to the once American and now world-wide obsession with speed and convenience. Amazon brings a book the next day. Markets provide “grab and go” meals. Local bookstores encourage introduction to new writers and encourage wandering of aisles and shelves. Cook spoke to the destruction of culture, climate, and our sense of where we fit in the blur of speed and convenience. No, we will never be our pre-Covid society again, but the Sloths can teach us to move with a more even pace, eat our leaves one at a time, and encourage the sharing of iced tea with a friend, telling and listening to the stories of our lives and family.

My calendar says it is somehow October 1st. Days of 2023 have definingly not been on Sloth time. I can be better at this daily living. Evening my pace, notice others by looking up and around, know I am eating and tasting my leaf, be curious and not just on Goggle, take an hour, OK, 30 minutes, OK, five minutes to set in a lobby, on a bench, or bus stop. Breathe in, breathe out.

Roy, slowing it down, paying attention


  1. Sandra on October 1, 2023 at 6:35 am

    Thanks for sharing the sloth lesson! As an old friend used to say,”Let her with the big ears, listen.”

    • Roy Bowen on October 1, 2023 at 1:15 pm

      Yes on a more Sloth pace healthier for us all. As i age i have less and less to achieve; more and more to listen and learn from other good people as you. Cooler temps ahead. Roy

  2. Maurine K Wood on October 1, 2023 at 6:36 am

    I agree Roy, this year has flown by and as I age that seems to be the reality. Slowing down is also something that comes naturally with age. But we can take time to observe those around us and choose to look instead of talk.

    • Roy Bowen on October 1, 2023 at 1:12 pm

      I always enjoy your thougths. We learn and continue together. Each opportunity to share words and a meal with you is special. More of both ahead. Roy

  3. Ellen Kelly on October 1, 2023 at 6:39 am

    I’m sorry for the loss of your friend, Bruce Coggin. I hope his spirit stays with you and the others who knew him.

    One possible remedy to our many gun problems (IMO) is to regulate them as vehicles are regulated in our various states: you must be a certain age, you must pass a written and usage test (which, with guns, should also include competency and be repeated every number of years), the weapons must be registered AND TAXED. And of course all automatic weapons should be banned. Just a suggestion (and a start).

    • Roy Bowen on October 1, 2023 at 1:10 pm

      Excellent next steps on your part.
      i would ask two different questions as well: 1. Why do you Need a gun? 2. What do you Want a guy?
      We 3 be well. I am really paying attenton to the Sloth pace of living….taking all seriously.
      Booster and flu shot last week. Derm scan all clear.

  4. FRANK JOHNSON on October 1, 2023 at 10:46 am

    Good, thought-provoking comments. Sorry about the loss of your friend. The Empty Chair is certainly an appropriate title for a new story.

    I personally like your current format for sharing your thoughts. I listen to Audible books all week long, so a break to the written work is pleasant. But I would say whatever is easiest for you is the way to go.

    It was great seeing you and Beth at the alumni gathering on Thursday night. Hopefully we meet again soon.

    • Roy Bowen on October 1, 2023 at 12:59 pm

      The # of people at Tommy’s great. Glad Beth came also. She was at TW one senior year. Also glad you and I could separate words across the table. Of course Monday is high on my calendar and priority with Cheryl. She is sprecial, tough, and you both have made it through the past year+ together. We will make the Iring drive and enjoy your both in a different, personal way. Roy

  5. Linda M on October 2, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    My discipline, influenced by your amazing wife Beth, is to jump in my barn clothes, feed horses, walk dogs, feed dogs, make coffee and sit in my courtyard to do a Meta-meditation, listen to birds, stay off of devices and be present. I try to accomplish this for my first one hour of each day. Slow down. Be patient. Remember Kindness and Goodness. You help us remember all of it. Thank you dear Roy. Can’t wait to have our coffee together again. Linda M

    • Roy Bowen on October 3, 2023 at 11:32 am

      You have summed up 13 of the worlds major faiths in your morning hour. An outstanding opened eye, opened heard day beginning.
      Together soon…..Roy

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