The Rev. and his beautiful wifey

April 30, 2005

Here’s a new pic of me and the mrs. for our church directory. Looks like a preacher and his wife, huh?


Have a WONDERFUL weekend! It’s finally cleared off here and the sun is shining! WOOHOO!!


Rain Rain, Go Away….

April 29, 2005

Ever have one of those days when you feel like just crawling back into bed and saying, “Aw, heck with it?”

Well, today is ONE of those days. It’s dreary outside; the rain is steadily drumming down. The constant drone is enough to put you to sleep. NOT a good thing when you’re trying to write. 🙂

Lots to do this weekend; mainly, working on websites and trying to do some much needed gardening, IF the weather clears up. I will never be so glad to see summer get here, even with the hot weather. This rain is for the birds. We need it and thank God for it…but, ya know, enough already, Lord. Please! 🙂

Here’s hoping you and yours have a blessed weekend! Stay safe.

I Know, I Know….

April 28, 2005

Here it is Thursday, and my last entry was almost a week ago. Oops.

No excuses, just being busy as always. Last week of the month is always the worst; seems like all of my meetings fall during this week, and with Community Chorus practices every Thursday night, and church on Wednesday….well, this week has been HECTIC.

Spring usually means rain and severe weather in the good ol’ Midwest; this week has been no exception. Got cloudy yesterday; weatherman says we won’t see the sun until Sunday. Fun, fun. Makes me contemplate a move to the desert. 🙂

Turned the monthly column in this morning; I procrastinated this month because I am writing about my mom, and there is so much to say in a short space. I pray that the words will touch someone’s heart, and make them stop and think about how blessed we are to have loving, caring and nurturing parents.

Another issue I am thinking about is furthering my biblical studies by attending seminary, either as a full-time student or online somehow. I feel that God has called me in to spreading His Word as a minister of the Gospel, and after taking my first lay speaking course…I feel that calling more strongly than ever. Pray that I will do what God wants and not what I want. There is a big difference, and all that this humble servant of God asks for is the Holy Spirit’s direction on this call.

Besides that, it’s work as usual; Community Chorus puts on their big spring event on Mother’s Day (May 8th) at Trinity UMC in Brookfield at 2PM. It’s entitled, “An Afternoon At The Movies.” Jeannie and I will attempt “Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong” from the movie An Officer and a Gentleman. I don’t pretend to be a tenor, but, by golly, the male part IS a tenor part. Oh, well. God will provide. 🙂

Look for the column in Monday evening’s paper! I will post it after it is printed. God bless!

Finally a Friday!

April 22, 2005

The weekend is here!

Weather was fairly nasty all of this week; had a lot of pouring rain and some strong thunderstorms. So far, so good; NO tornadoes!

The day broke clear and sunny this morning; breathing in the crisp cool air gave me yet another reminder of the joy I have in my heart for being back home in north Missouri.

Jeannie and I are taking some time off to enjoy family and friends; going to Springfield to visit my brother (who has a very interesting blog filled with news that the mainstream doesn’t often carry, plus his own view of things…it’s in the links and is called CHATTER). Also going to deliver a car to my favorite niece-in-law Kimmie, who is going to college in Bolivar.

Fish fry tonight for our men’s church group; Men4Jesus. A time for fellowship, food and fun, which are the three basics of a healthy Christian life. Plus the middle word is one of my favorites. 🙂

Enjoy your weekend.

Ahhhh, Spring Has Officially Sprung

April 21, 2005

The joys of springtime…mass quantities of pollen; the reemergence of long-thought dead creepy crawlies; and, of course, those inevitable tornadic storms that haunt our waking/working hours. Don’t you just LOVE this time of year?

But, to be fair, it does get warmer, and those weary dreary short winter days fade into our just as short-term memories. Spring is a time of rebirth; a time to share in the joys of being able to garden, lounge around outside in the lawn chairs; and the best thing of all…


I don’t think there is anyone in the world who doesn’t like a freshly cooked steak or hamburger from the outside grill. Charred on the outside; juicy and pink on the inside…makes the taste buds jump into hyperactivity! Even when the days are cloudy and wet, a grilled burger can do wonders for the inner “kid” in you. It hearkens us back to a time when the world seemed young and families were still together for summertime weenie roasts and campouts in the backyards of America.

My, oh my. How times are a changin’.

That’s what I love about Marceline; a quaint Midwestern town that hasn’t lost its’ sense of friendliness or neighborliness (if that’s a word; if not, it is now). People here are still laid-back, thoughtful of the world around them but not jaded by the hectic pace of life today; where late afternoons and evenings go by at a snail’s pace and weekends were meant to be times for families and friends.

It’s a wonderful place to raise kids; to meditate and vegetate; and most of all…to experience life as it once was.

Yup….think I’ll go outside and watch the sidewalks get wet from the rain…later on, we’ll gather to watch them roll those same sidewalks up at 5 o’clock. Then, perhaps, we’ll go stroll in the park for a nice way to end the day.

Come join us if you can.

Being in love….

April 20, 2005

There are many things I have to be thankful for; life, salvation, my job, my family…but most of all, the love that I share with my beautiful wife, Jeannie Marie.

Recently, we celebrated our 1 year anniversary, and I was humbled by the experience, because for so many years I thought I really knew what love was really about. Sadly, I was mistaken. What the world mistakenly shows as love and what love and marriage in Christ is about are two entirely different things.

God wants a marriage to be about placing Him first and foremost as the centerpiece of a loving relationship that is nurtured through Him and by Him. But, as the story goes, the world gets in the way and offers temporary things that take our mind and our focus off of Jesus…and it is there that we are doomed to fail, not only in our marriages, but in life as well. Because without Him…do we really have anything? We try to fill the void in our heart with stuff and drugs and booze and everything else that gives us a fleeting respite from the world’s woes…but in the end, we are still left wanting and lacking; and that is because we do not have Jesus there in our lives and hearts to heal that void and make us complete in Him.

So, as I celebrate this first year and look forward to many, many others with Jeannie, serving the Lord with gladness, I just have to say “thanks” to God. For His mercy, His lovingkindness, His grace…and His ever present guidance in our lives.

And, Jeannie…thank YOU…for loving me and for being there again…after 25 LONG years. You ARE my best friend, my confidante, my soulmate, my helpmate, my lover…and my wife. ILY!

April 2005 Linn County Leader Column – “Dancin’ Meant Everything”

April 20, 2005

Two words…Cedar Cinema, and disco dancing.

I know, I know. That’s FIVE words (plus an inserted comma), but I hope you get the picture. If not, read on!

Back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, disco was king in America; the rage even hit Brookfield in all its’ leisure suited and pastel shirted glory.

The now-defunct Cedar Cinema was our home to weekend dancing action, complete with a shimmering disco ball and hardwood floors to spin the latest moves on. Here one could gyrate, rotate, and stay out late listening to The Bee Gees, Donna Summer, KC and the Sunshine Band and numerous others; it was a time of innocence and a chance to emulate John Travolta, much to the envy of your high school peers.

Hence the title of this piece; part of the lyrics herald from a song called “Cherry Bomb” by John Mellencamp (if you haven’t noticed by now, I feel a certain kinship to John, as his songs deal with teenage angst and growing up in the Midwest. He is a Bloomington, IN, native). One of the lines of the songs states matter-of-factly, “Dancin’ meant everything…we were young and we were improving. Laughing, laughing, with our friends; holding hands meant something, baby…” That is how it felt back then, to be young; on the dance floor with the person you cared most about; when the world was yours for the taking (or so you thought) and Friday and Saturday night dances were your proms and homecomings rolled up into one big blowout celebration.

It was on this magical dance floor at the Cedar Cinema where I found the one true love of my life and the woman who I would one day marry. Her name was Jeannie Bagley, and dancing with her was an experience that I still fondly cherish these many years later. I was 16, and she was 14; both of us young, innocent, foolish, and full of the vigor and vitality that only comes with being a teenager.

On those ever-so-short weekends, we were THE couple to reckon with on the dance floor at the theater; our bodies glided with the simplest of ease across the floor. There was never any hesitation nor missteps; we simply knew what the other one was thinking or going to do and we followed suit accordingly.

As a point of reference, there are numerous scenes in the movie “Saturday Night Fever” where Travolta and his lady partner would be dancing, and the envious crowd would open up into a circle to watch them; this is how it was at the Cedar Cinema when Jeannie and I danced. I kid you not. It was one of the most surreal things I have ever experienced. My chest puffed out (as much as a skinny boy’s is able to, anyway) and I felt like I was Mr. Disco himself. John, eat your heart out!

And then, at other times, the beat would thump down to a steady and lulling cadence and our arms would wrap around each other; the comfort I felt as Jeannie rested her head on my shoulder was immeasurable. There were no words, no thoughts, to describe what that young love felt like…only an assurance that it was meant to be.

Somehow; someday.

During those two short years that we were dancing partners many things happened in our lives; both sets of our parents bitterly divorced; I wound up working as a deejay at the local radio station (some of you remember when it was KGHM-AM; I was one of the younger homegrown “talent” and it was there that I found my “gift of gab”); many B-Liner editorials worked their way from the slightly warped and creative Davis mind to Jim Hart’s class, and then on to the Daily News-Bulletin pages. Yet, through all the turmoil and strife we faced, we always found time to dance on those weekends; it was the outlet where we would share our thoughts, our fears, our everything in bursts of feverish dance routines.

Then, in the blink of an eye, high school graduation loomed on the horizon; beyond that was the great unknown of military service, and our adult lives. The years quickly marched on, and those bittersweet memories of time spent with Jeannie faded into the background. Never forgotten, yet never fully realized to sweet fruition.

And thanks be to God, the story ends happily…except for one rather sad footnote. I relocated back to northeast Missouri, found Jeannie was still here; we rekindled our close friendship and found that both of us still had those feelings for each other. We courted, fell in love again, and just before we were to be married, both of us tearfully watched arm-in-arm as the Cedar Cinema was completely torn down. It was a very meaningful day for us as this iconic structure faded not only from our pasts, but also from the pasts of thousands of others, to be lost forever.

My wife and I managed to retrieve two cherished physical memories from the huge pile of debris that early evening; one was a small piece of our precious wooden dance floor…the other, lying bent and forgotten in the dirt, was the ticket window speaker, aka a sound transmitting ventilator, patent granted on November 1, 1938.

Talk about memories…

Not so very long ago, Jeannie and I completed our trip down memory lane, when we stood in the now grassed-filled lot where our magical dance floor once was, and held each other on a crisp fall evening.

And slowly, we danced…as the inner music once again filled our ears, and we were swept back in two-step time to a more tender age, when the night was young, and our hearts beat as one.

DeGraw Theatre/Cedar Cinema/Lain’s Cedar Cinema…thanks for all those wonderful memories that we’ll cherish for the rest of our lives.

And for my precious wife, Jeannie…happy 1st anniversary, my love.

Dancin’ really did, and still does, mean everything.

Richard occasionally breaks the ol’ dance shoes out and cuts a rug with Jeannie during warm summer evenings. His column appears monthly in the Linn County Leader. If you would like to leave feedback, whether good, bad or indifferent, please contact him at