EJ Rawson

EJ Rawson

Tomorrow is my Father’s birthday.  He would have been 93.  My Father and my wife’s Father were born in the same year.  My Dad was a bit older.

I lost my Dad when he was 42 years old.  He’s been gone many more years than he was here.  I still miss him.

As I interact with my adult children, I wonder what it would have been like to seek counsel from my Father, to have fun with him, to watch as he visited with my children.  All of that would have been great.

My wife’s Dad, Preston Jones, was the only Father I had known as an adult.  My Dad died when I was only 18 years old.

Over the years I’ve met lots of men and women who’ve lost their Dads way to early.  Men they never had a chance to really know.  We ALL still miss these men that had the courage to Father children.

Happy 93 Birthday Dad!

You’ll always be missed.  I love you!


HH Rawson – My Grandfather would be 114 years old today.

HH Rawson

Today, would have been my Grandfather Rawson’s 114 birthday.  He died in 1989 at the age of 87.

There are always people in your life for whom you have the utmost respect.  My Grandfather was that man.  My Father died at the age of 42 when I was just 18 years old.  My Grandfather tried to fill that void even though we were many, many miles apart.  He was always there for me.  His advice was always on point because he never gave me the solution to any problem I had.  Instead, he gave me the principle and subsequent value.

My Great Grandfather was EJ, my Grandfather was HH and my Dad was EJ.  Perhaps you can spot a trend.

I didn’t find out that the principles he used came from what he learned as a Mason until the last few days of his life.  He asked me to become a Mason with his last few breaths of life.  I could not refuse him.  I am a 32 degree Mason as he was.  Today, I try to give family and friends alike the kind of advice my Grandfather gave me.  Here’s the principle and this is its value to you.

I miss this great, gentle and quiet man.  He was a true inspiration to me.

All of you who have Grandfathers (still living), do not overlook the wisdom they’ve gained over the years.  It may be their greatest legacy.

What do you think?


Status Update



Time flys by whether you’re having a good time or not.  At least, that’s what it’s been for me the past few months.

August 21, 2015 was my last post.  We’re still reeling from Dad’s passing.  It was the end of an era for us.  Now, with all our parents gone, we’re truly on our own or are we?  Over the years before I married Margaret I had missed not having a parent to talk to or seek advice from.  My parents both passed within two years of each other and both in their early 40’s.  As I’ve said many times, Margaret’s parents were really the only parents I’ve had as an adult.

Why is that important?  In a word:  INFORMATION.  The gap between one generation and another is filled with information.  It’s what helps one generation move on to the next.  Each passing down information to move our species forward.  Progress.

As a parent, I see mistakes and triumphs in the lives of our children and grandchildren all the time.  We all wish we could save them from their mistakes and insure that they would win more than they’d ever loose.  However, that’s just not the way it works.

Our own FREEAgency is allowed to flourish.  It must.  For, if it is held back, then we are all held back from the progress that is ours to make.  We must all make our own choices.  Do we have to make them alone?  No.  We don’t have to make them alone.  Parents are good, even great for giving counsel.  Prayer and a spiritual connection can be even better (if we practice and use it).

No, I’m not going to make this a piece on religion (although I could).  Instead, it’s simply about communication.  Who do you turn to for advice?  Who guides you?  Who can you count on when there is NO parent or loved one available to you?

We’ve just closed out November and for me, it’s a season of remembering, being thankful and counting my many blessings.

Personally, this has been one of the hardest years on record for me.  The challenges my wife and I have faced have seemed (at times) too heavy to bear.  That is until we look around.  We are so grateful for what we have.  We’re grateful for the past even through we have made mistakes.  Good fortune and even mistakes have brought us to this day.  If it were not for all the things we’ve done in the past, we (I) wouldn’t be here to give this “status update.”

What are your thoughts?




Preston M Jones, PM, 33, PP

October 25, 1994 I married into the Jones Family. I had met and fallen head over heels in love with their daughter Margaret.  The wedding was held in their home. I hadn’t just found a wife but a set of parents as well.  This is Dad’s story:

Preston Merwin Jones, “Press” to all his friends, was born October 12, 1923 in L.A., CA. He attended L.A. Tech. High School and he had plans to attend U.S.C. but opted to enlist in the Navy at 17 with his Dad’s permission. He was in the Navy for 4 years serving and protecting a variety of islands in the Pacific. Eventually, toward the end the war, he was stationed on Guam. He said, “The island had been bombed so badly that there wasn’t a building standing.”

He was very proud of his parents. He felt they sacrificed a lot for his Sister and him. He would always say, “My Mom was a short Italian.”

Preston worked for the Railroad upon his return from WWII. He found his true calling as a salesman selling asphalt for Douglas Oil that became ConocoPhillips and upon retirement from them he sold the services of an asphalt company until he retired from all “work” at exactly age 65. He then spent almost all his free time working in or leading Masonic organizations and gardening.

In 1951 at the request of Ray Echles, his Brother-in-law, he became a member of Hollywood Masonic Lodge #355. In his 60 plus years as a Mason he’s been the Master of his Lodge, a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason (40+ years (where he helped establish a childhood language clinic for Children suffering from Aphasia)) and the head of all local York Rite Organizations. In addition, he was a national officer in the Red Cross of Constantine, a very prestigious “invitation only” organization.

He was a Shriner and in 1981 he served as the head of the organization as Potentate for Long Beach, Orange County, Riverside and San Bernardino County. He also served on the Board of the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Los Angeles. He and his wife Marvel were heavily involved in Masonry and especially the charitable efforts of Masonry on behalf of children.

He married Marvel Leah Millhouse in 1949 in Las Vegas, Nevada with a few friends in attendance. They lived in Long Beach, CA and in the same home for the past 49 years. Their marriage lasted until June 22, 2012 when his wife, Marvel suddenly passed away.

Preston passed away in his sleep at the age of 91 on August 16, 2015 . He would have been 92 on the 12 of October; my wife, Margaret is the only living relative.  With his passing, it’s an end to an erra.

He’s best described as a man who served others, carried nothing about honors and was “hale hearty and well met.” His nature was to joke with and have fun with people. He was a people person.

Dad always said, “keep moving.”  He suffered but never told anyone about his arthritis. He always said, “keep moving.”

His favorite saying was: “Life is short.”  Even though he lived to be 91, he still felt life was short.

Rest in peace Dad . . . rest in peace.

4th of July

Most of you readers here know that I’m a Vietnam Veteran.  Our daughter Morgan served in the Army.  Our son Doug retired from the Army every inch a soldier, having served in Kosovo, Iraq and Pakistan.  Each of them are certainly Veterans and this post today honors them and all those that have fought for our Freedom.  It is NOT FREE.

I received the following via email from my wife Margaret and added a few of my own experiences and comments:



I hope there isn’t anyone on my list of friends and acquaintances that won’t at least acknowledge (to themselves):

Happy 4th of July





KEEP IT LIT!!!          KEEP IT LIT!!!

For all of our military personnel, where ever they may be.


Please support all of the troops defending our country.  God bless our military personnel who are protecting our country for our freedom.  Thanks to them and their brothers-in-arms from all the proceeding conflicts and wars of the past, we can celebrate the 4th of July.


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We must never forget who gets the credit for the freedoms we have and for which we can be eternally grateful.

US Flying Flag


I have watched others, including a young Marine, salute the flag and then stand at ease.  I looked at them in uniform – so young, so tall and so proud.  With his hair cut square and eyes alert; he’d stand out in any crowd.


As a parent I wondered how man men and women like him had fallen through the years.  How many died on foreign soil; how many Mothers’ tears?


How many pilots’ planes were shot down?  How many died at sea?  How many foxholes became soldiers’ graves?  How many are still missing from every conflict and war?



Many of us have laid in our bunks listening to the sound of Taps in the night.  Everything is still.  I listened to the bugler play and felt a sudden chill.  I and many others before me have wondered just how many times the sound of Taps had meant “Amen”, when a flag had draped over yet another coffin of a brother, sister, mother, father or friend.


I’ve thought about the graveyard at the bottom of the sea and the unmarked graves in Arlington.  This past week I visited a National Cemetary and saw this:


Enjoy your Freedom and God Bless Our Troops.

Feel free to share  comment or thought about someone you’ve lost or someone that has served.  They will all be posted.

Happy Freedom – the 4th of July.