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Papa Bear's Tale: The Interview - Part III


Continued from Papa Bear's Tale: The Interview - Part II

1.  You have a prominent tattoo on your forearm. Tell us about it.  When I was fifteen I tattooed a crude J for John on my arm.  I've always hated it.  A few years back I found a decal in a motorcycle magazine that portrays a bald eagle overlaying an American flag. I thought would make a cool cover-up tattoo.  When I met Josie she decided to have it done for me as a Valentine's Day gift.  It turned out great, with vibrant color and amazing detail. I've been given hundreds of compliments on it. 

2.  (Guest question from Annie)  I understand that you think of sushi as bait.  I must assume by this that you like to fish. What is the biggest fish you ever caught? (No "fish tales"...tails?)  The biggest fish I've caught was a fifteen pound striped bass that I landed at Lake Proctor last month.  He put up quite a fight and I didn't think I was going to land him. He tasted mighty good in my belly :-) My favorite place to fish is Caddo Lake in East Texas where the above photo was taken. It is the only lake in the state of Texas that has 2000 year old cypress trees and alligators. I've been fishing there since I was nine years old.

3.  Of all the places you've visited, which was your favorite, and are there any places you've never been that you'd like to see someday?  The place I loved the most was Colorado.  I rented a jeep and drove over mountain passes that were over 13,200 feet in elevation. It was the most beautiful place I've ever been!  I'm still trying to persuade Josie to go there with me, but she has a strong dislike of heights and winding mountain roads.  What a weenie! :-) I'd like to visit the Giant Redwoods in California, and go to Alaska, and Ireland - the home of my ancestors.

4.  What made you decide to become a Freemason?  When I was a young boy I used to notice that many of the town's men went to a building each month, all dressed up in nice suits.  I didn't know what the place was back then, but I remember seeing a square and compass on the front of the building. Many years later I noticed my great uncle wearing a ring with the same square and compass.  I asked him if he was a Freemason and he said yes. Then I asked him how I could become one, and he said "You just did - to be one ask one." Thus began the process of me becoming a Freemason.  In 1995 I was raised to the degree of Master Mason, and became a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason in 1997.  I served as Worshipful Master of my Lodge in 2009, and now enjoy the status of being recognized world wide as a Past-Master.

5.  What effect has being a Freemason had on your life?  Freemasonry turns a good man into a better man through it's teachings and precepts, and thru fellowship with other brethren.  No matter where I go, when I see someone wearing the square and compass, I know that I am in the company of a brother Mason.  Many of this country's founding fathers were Freemasons including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.

6.  How has time and experience changed you? In what ways are you different from who you were 25 years ago? Over the years I've developed more patience and tolerance. I guess you could say I've mellowed out. I've learned that I'm not bullet-proof and I'm not going to live forever. Other than that, I think I'm pretty much the same person I've always been, my beliefs and opinions haven't really changed all that much.

7. What would you like to tell today's young people who are graduating?  To be self-sufficient and accountable in their lives, to work hard for they want, and to conduct themselves with integrity.

8. You have a great sense of humor and playfulness, and have been known to address unsuspecting people in silly voices.  What other funny things have you done?  Picture two people in their fifties engaged in a food-fight over a shared piece of chocolate cake in a restaurant! Cake was flying everywhere and we were both laughing so hard tears were running down our faces.  People sitting around us were staring and probably wondering who let us out of the home!  We did clean up the mess before we left.

9.  (Guest question from the Lady in Red)  How and when did you know that Josie was the one for you?  I knew that I wanted Josie to be with me forever because she made me happy, and she made me laugh, and she helped me forget all my troubles.  We knew we wanted to make a life together just a few weeks after we met.  A lot of people thought I was getting married again too soon after my last wife died, but I asked them how long I should be alone. I have always been married and I am used to having a woman to share my life with.  Josie is the most unusual woman I've ever met and I knew our life together would be fun and interesting. I love Josie even more today than I did yesterday, my love for her continues to grow with each passing day.

10. What advice would you give to couples regarding relationships?  To always say your sorry.  It doesn't matter if you think you were wrong or not. The best way to end hard feelings is to apologize. Don't go to sleep angry with each other.

11.  (Guest question from Louise) Have you counted your blessings today? And is Josie at the top of the list? :)  Not a day goes by that I don't thank the Lord for everything that He's given me, including Josie.  I love her more than all the stars in the sky; I love her more than words can say.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This concludes my interview with Papa Bear. We hope you've enjoyed these brief glimpses of his life.  It doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of all that he has experienced in the past 58 years. I am planning to write his biography as a gift to his children, his grandchildren, and the generations to come. Papa Bear's tale is the story of overcoming hardship and becoming the kind of person you want to be, despite what life has handed you.  Papa Bear is an amazing man, to be his wife is an honor and a most precious gift!  I urge you to treasure the people in your lives, and listen to their stories! - Josie

22 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the entire series of the interview, Josie. I think it's beautiful you guys decided to do this together.

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    1. Thank you Elsie, it was fun to share a bit of the blogging experience with Papa Bear! I told him that he's welcome to do a guest post anytime the spirit moves him! He says he's not a writer, but I think he's a pretty good communicator! :-)

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  2. Awww so loved this final portion of the Interview! I especially loved the answer to my question - and the answer to Louise's question as well. Thank you for sharing so much. It's been very uplifting to read!

    Josie, voting has opened at Pish Posh's blog

    http://www.the-pish-posh.com/2012/05/week-12.html

    The prize is a Kindle. Ken is a contestant as well, and a few others which you may or may not be following, but if you have a spare vote I would love to receive it!

    You just have to scroll down to the bottom of the page and right before the comment section you'll see the contestants' images with a little "vote" link under each. Voting ends Monday morning. Thank you :-)

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    1. Thank you Lady in Red! I love the openness and heartfelt sincerity of his answers too. Nothing has been edited, including called me a weenie to see if I'd include it! :-) These are his words, not mine.

      I'm headed over to Pish-Posh to vote for you now. I know you've worked really hard on this challenge, so you've earned my vote!

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    2. Thank you, Josie! Pish says two contestants have pulled to the front - but of course she can't say who they are. Funny thing, I would like to win, but for some reason I feel like someone else should. I'll just have to wait and see :-)

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    3. You never give yourself enough credit, Lady in Red! You've worked hard not only to lose weight in the past year and during the challenge, but also to examine your life and see what direction you want to take it. You have my vote, and so does our good buddy Ken-inacape. I'll be delighted if either of you win this great prize! :-)

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  3. This is wonderful! Now go fill in all of the blanks, so I can read & review the book for you!!
    You have a winner of a book, a winner of a relationship, and a winner in each other!!
    ~Hugs to you both~
    P.S. My ancestors were all Free Masons (in Tennessee).

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    1. Ha Annie! That's going to take some time, but we've made a start now, that's always the hardest part. We'll be in the process of recording his stories, from the earliest he can remember until now. I wish I'd been walking around with a recorder for the last four years, I've heard so many amazing ones already! Then, I'll begin the process of crafting them together into his book. We have a tentative title too, but that's underwraps for now, as it's part of the story. When it begins to take form you'll be the first to know, I know your insight and input will be invaluable! Thank you so much for all the kind and encouraging comments!

      I knew almost nothing about Freemasonry until I met John, other than being aware that many of my Father's friends where Shriners, who are Freemasons just as Scottish Rite and York Rite members are. I have learned a great deal and am very impressed with what I've learned. One hears so much negative and untrue about Freemasons, people always fear what they don't know or understand! If John says its a good thing.. it IS! :-)

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  4. Another great installment loved it

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    1. Thank you Jo-Anne! It was fun deciding what questions to include!

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  5. This is great. I am starting to do the "love dare" on my husband. I love him more as we are together, there were times when it was not this way!

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    1. Thank you Kristi! Real love grows, and it takes rain as well as sunshine to make things grow! :-) I loved John a great deal when we got married, I love him even more now, and cannot imagine my life without him.

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  6. Aww those last three answers had me in tears. (of happiness)

    I've kind of given up on finding the right one for me but this gives me a little ray of hope.

    Thank you Josie, for letting us badger you into badgering John. And thank you John for being such a good sport in allowing this to happen.

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    1. LOL, Lily, I didn't have to twist his arm much to elicit his participation in this project as you can see!

      My message in all this is clear, NEVER GIVE UP HOPE! I am the strangest of strange, possibly the most difficult to live with, and certainly not eye candy, and yet Papa Bear has chosen me, and somehow, magically, it works! If there was someone right for me at this time in my life, there is also someone just right for you. The past doesns't matter, what you experienced before doesn't matter. I've changed, you've changed, someone out there will find you to be the most amazing woman he's ever met... I'm sure of it! :-)

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    2. Thanks so much for those words Josie!♥

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  7. What he said about you, Josie, is so beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. That is wonderful!

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    1. He knows all the right things to say to melt my heart, more importantly, he knows the right things to do!

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  8. I come back to catch up and find this. It's like I'm being rewarded for coming back.

    This was so much fun to read. Great questions and some excellent answers.

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    1. Monkey!! I'm mighty glad to see you back among the blogging! :-) Glad you enjoyed this interview, you know how much I love them! We had a lot of fun doing it together. Maybe you should do one with Chele!

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  9. This was a great interview. When you meet people you have no idea what they have experienced throughout their life and what has helped to build their character and integrity. John is certainly a keeper. You both are blessed to have each other.

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    1. Thank you Tee! John is indeed a keeper, everything he has gone thru in life has just made him that much stronger and more determined. What amazes me is how kind and caring he is, not a trace of bitterness in his heart, and afraid of nothing! I wish I was more like that!

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  10. Hubby is a York Rite member and a mason too.

    Great interviews.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)