Karen and Jason Winslow as my friends

As you read my post on Jason and then look back at my timeline you will see Karen and/or Jason mentioned several times. Today, I want to share a little more information, from my journals and from my heart, about those interactions. I mentioned earlier that I first met Jason, and shortly thereafter, Karen, through my work at the Financial Planning firm where we were each employed in Springfield, MO, in 1968. My wife, Rachel, and I became close friends with Karen and Jason from that time. These regular friendship and family activities continued when we each, over the next few years, moved to Tucson. Knowing Rachel and I well by that time, the friendship and family activities continued after I left Jason’s firm to set up my solo Financial Planning practice a few years later in the summer of 1975. We continued to attend University of Arizona concert and athletic events together as an example. We shared family picnics in Sabino Canyon and other locations around the valley surrounding Tucson.

When Rachel died in that unbelievable accident in 1983, Karen and Jason were there for Randi and I in our time of need. We will never forget the support they provided to get us through that very difficult period of our lives… and in the years that have followed. I was told at the time that the grieving period following such as loss lasts for several years, regardless of the way in which each of us handles grieve. I can attest to that being true.

Karen and Jason, for serious family reasons, moved from Tucson to Oak Springs, Missouri, her hometown, in February 1987. They initially expected to be gone for two years and then return. With that in mind, I enjoyed going back to visit them in the late spring of 1987. When they decided to stay, a stay that has turned out to be permanent, I continued to enjoy my visits to them each year as I went back to Missouri to continue to work with a few of the clients I have retained over many years since my time in Springfield.

Sadly, during my visit in June 1993, as Jason was returning from a business trip to the state capital in Jefferson City, he died in an automobile accident. As hard as it was, I was happy to be there for Karen as she experienced that strong sense of loss that I experienced nearly ten years earlier. She was, and is, a very strong person and has returned to her “normal” life, just as Jason would have expected her to do.

I continued to visit each year as I had done. Karen has done a great job of continuing to operate the Homeplace Country Inn in Oak Springs along with taking an even stronger and more active role in the family business, The Bevins Trust, that brought them back to her hometown in 1987. In 1996, their oldest son, Matt, and his wife, Susan, and their two children moved from the Boston area to Oak Springs where Matt is leading the effort to bring the Internet to the community of Oak Springs from the nearby Community College. I spoke with him about my needs, at the time, as a college instructor teaching online courses. When he assured me they were then, in the fall of 1996, able to meet my Internet needs, I decided to move to Oak Springs, myself.

This move took me back near my roots, near a very dear friend and her family, and much closer to my daughter and what other family I have left. It is a decision I have not regretted for a moment. This move is part of what has brought me to this writing project related to my journals. This brings me full circle. I hope you enjoy reading ‘the new me’ as well.

And that is how it went!

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My friend, Jason Winslow

My friend, Jason Winslow

I first met Jason in August of 1968. I had just joined the Osbourne firm as a new financial planner. Jason had been assigned as my mentor. I learned later that he was actually five years older but, from the first time I met him, he seemed just like the brother I never had. In all the years I knew him, I never saw him upset. He was always in total control but also always pleasant to be around. He had a kind word for everyone and was always encouraging. He could have been a politician, but was too smart to waste his time at that exercise.

Now, in case you were beginning to get the wrong idea, he was also as tough as nails in his personal discipline and his expectations of those around him. However, he just had an aura about him that made you want to understand what he was saying and to adopt that as your position. He was very open to questions, loved to discuss issues, and appreciated being questioned about his stand. Along with that, however, I learned, as most others did as well, his mind was so far ahead of you, on what ever was being discussed that, if you wanted to seriously challenge his thinking, you needed to have done your homework, and done it well. If not, he would very quickly, and in very calm, reasoned terms, pick you apart on the facts and logic of your position. Even then, however, he made you want to feel good about having asked, even though it was clear you were wrong, most of the time. If you had new evidence, of course, that clearly added to the discussion, he was very ready to accept that, and add it to his bank of knowledge once he had confirmed it. Once he accepted that new information, it quickly became part of his set of information as well.

He was probably the smartest man I’ve ever known, in his own way. Notice, I said man. The smartest person might well be his wife, Karen. Rachel and I first met her at a firm mixer shortly after I met Jason. She was trained as a nurse, a good one, but I picked up early on that she could keep up with Jason in any conversation. She was always very low key, almost staying in the background. But, it was obvious they had long discussions about just about every topic that was likely to come up in conversation. She was well versed but kept in the background when he was taking the lead in a discussion. However, when she was the lead in a discussion, I was amazed to find he stayed in the background, as well. A truly amazing couple. I was proud to know them as close friends.

I am providing this background information on Jason and Karen Winslow because, over the years, our relationships have face several serious challenges. Knowing our mutual backgrounds is essential to understanding our relationships.

And that is how it went!

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Selected timeline points of my life

Today, I am ready to share with you, my readers, some selected ‘timeline points’ of my life:

  • July 4, 1939 – born in a small town in Iowa
  • May 1957 – I graduated from high school there
  • Spring 1961 – I graduated Drake University, B.S. Finance
  • 1962 – I met Rachel, an English major
  • Spring 1963 – Rachel graduated Drake University, B.A. English
  • Spring 1963 – I graduated Drake University, MBA
  • June 10, 1963 – married Rachel
  • August 1, 1963 – joined FBI in Kansas City as Financial Analyst
  • December 23, 1964 – daughter, Randi, born
  • Spring 1968 – I obtained Financial Planner Certification
  • August 1, 1968 – we moved to Springfield, MO; I joined Financial Planning firm
  • August 1968 – I first met Jason Winslow; first as mentor, then we became close friends
  • September 1970 – Jason and Karen moved to Tucson to join bigger firm
  • April 1972 – Rachel, Randi and I moved to Tucson; I joined Jason’s firm there
  • Summer 1975 – I left Jason’s firm and established my own solo practice
  • May 14, 1983 – Rachel killed in car crash in Tucson; my life changed forever
  • Fall, 1983 – Randi had already early enrolled at UofA
  • Fall, 1983 – I enrolled in PhD program, University of Arizona
  • May 1986 – I graduated UofA, PhD in Services Management
  • Fall 1986 – I joined faculty of Central Arizona University
  • June 1987 – I visited Jason and Karen in Oak Springs, MO, for first of annual visits
  • Fall 1987 – Randi graduated UofA, Information Systems Management and Computer Science degrees
  • Fall 1987 – Randi took Defense Department position in Washington, D.C.
  • June 1989 – my unforgettable visit to Weatherford, MO
  • June 1993 – during my visit to Oak Springs, Jason died in car crash returning from Jefferson City
  • Fall 1996 – with all my teaching now online, moved to Oak Springs, MO

And that is how it went!

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Journal Entries to be shared

Over my long lifetime, I have created many journal entries in many journals. So far, I have kept them all to myself. I have had an interesting life, that is for sure. Some say I should write and publish a memoir – or more than one. Some say a few of my individual experiences would make good novels, or novellas, perhaps.

There was a period in my life when, it seemed, where ever I went, a dead body appeared. Some say, “Raynor, that was a mystery story – you should write about it” Perhaps I will, one day.

For now, I’ve moved from central Arizona back to a little cabin in the Southern Missouri Ozarks, not far from where it all began. Perhaps it is time to share some of my life experiences, but, just a little at a time. Let’s see how it goes.

And that is how it went!

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