Stephenson Tales


I was born the fourth child of what would eventually become a family of six children. Our parents, Jim Bob and Lucy Chase, are very unique people. They have that rare gift of staying in touch with their inner-child: the wonder of looking up at the stars, admiring the full moon, applauding the performance of a thunderstorm, playing make-believe, telling stories, singing songs, and laughing--a lot. It was a unique way to grow up and certainly unlike the families of any of my friends. We had problems just like any family, life was not always perfect, but we enjoyed a closeness that has continued through the years and through distance, and stretches to include the ever-expanding group of people in our lives.

As most families do, we had our share of adventures, and events that became treasured family stories. However, many families eventually lose their beloved family stories. The people who remember them and tell them grow old and the stories are lost to time, age, and loss of memory. Happily, that may not happen as quickly with some of our family stories thanks in part to the age of computers and my father's willingness to write them down.

The stories cover a long period of time and have a large cast of characters. Those of us in the family know most of these players, for those of you who are new to our adventures, you may want to review the cast of characters. You will find a link to the cast of characters on each of the pages.

I hope to have many more stories added to this collection as time goes by. This is only the beginning.

If you wish to see tales related to a specific topic, please select from this list:
Kids Say (and DO) the Darndest Things
Quips and Fast Retorts
Tales from the Military
Extended Family and Friends
The final curtain.

Or use this search to find a specific tale:
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Or select from the list here:

Dad Meets Buffalo Bill - The secret life of Oie's father.

Oie Turns a House Around - Oie, Jim Bob's father, was definitely one of a kind.

Inny May tales - Jim Bob's much-loved Mammy.

Lucy Chase Denny Wright Slosson - our grandmother, strong-willed and a creative mother.

The Beginning of Jim Bob's Professional Career - the theater bug bites young Jim Bob.

Irrepressible Jim Bob - Jim Bob behaves for company

How "Dude" Got the Name - How does one get "Dude" from his given name - and what is his given name?!?!

HOW DO YOU GET THAT WAY? - Jim Bob in school.

The Easter Egg - Jim Bob's Easter Egg Hunt adventure.

Some Depression (but not depressing) Memories - Nan's culinary magic and "shopping" with Oie.

A Female Solution - Jim Bob's adventure with gasoline.

Mom's Hobo Help and a black "uncle" - Nan's wonderful way of meeting the needs of multiple people.

Clothes Make the Man --Or Woman - Jim Bob's adventures with hats, wigs, and dress.

Reading the "Funnies" - Reading the comics at home and neighbors' homes can be educational.

The Gull Lake Bible Conference Meets a Smart Mouthed Kid - Jim Bob shows his skill at memorizing his lines, debate, and hoisting folks on their own petard.

White Mice - Jim Bob's brother's career in mouse breeding.

The Hills of Home I - Elephant's Head - The Only Time I Ever Went Skiing - Jim Bob tries his hand at downhill skiing.

Animal Husbandry- some of the myriad of animals that have enriched our lives.

Piano Adventures - Part 1 - how Jim Bob learned to repair pianos.

How Dude got into Theatre - A career is born.

Aladdin, Africano, and Fredrico - The birth of Fredrico.

The Arab Dagger - Jim Bob acquires a unique souvenir during the war.

The Home-Made Dagger - Jim Bob acquires another souvenir during the war.

Piano Adventures - Part 2 - Jim Bob puts his piano repair skills to use in the military.

Our Town in Italy - Working with Thornton Wilder - Jim Bob's amazing experience working with the play's author.

Two Near Brushes with Death - Jim Bob comes close to death, but gets a sourvenir

More on (read "moron") Major English - More on Major English's method of command.

Army Fellows and One Official Jerk - Some of the characters in the 849th.

Col. Myers, gentleman - One of Jim Bob's superior officers.

Saving Lucy Chase from Military Disaster - Sometimes the enlisted men know, and speak, truth far better than most of the "officers and gentlemen" above them can possibly realize.

How I Did NOT Become An Officer - The Military's Measure of a Mature Man.....

Busy Boys are Better Boys - How a Stephenson catch phrase was born.

LORELEI II - how Dad came to be a sailor and own his dream boat.

My NBC Chimes - The tale of the 3-note chime that graces our home.

Our Director and the Stanislavsky Influence on our Art - Our theater pedigree runs deep.

A Hidden Heritage - The skeleton emerges from the closet.

Radio & TV Acting - Jim Bob's acting transitions from radio to TV.

Are You Stephen Nelson? - Jim Bob's alter ego.

The YOITY Society and Our Ghastly Trophy - One of the great Societies of our day!

Our Second Wedding Cake - A lovely tale of wedding cakes during war rationing times.

Thunderstorms - no fear here!

TC the Unhandy Man - Not all handymen are created equal....

In which I learn the awful truth: I am not sterile! - Jim Bob's hospital encounter with facts.

Gale Densmore - poseur - Never try to pull something literary over on Jim Bob!

Basil Rathbone - Basil comes to the University of Michigan to star in The Winslow Boy.

Same Ol' Evadee - Evie shows her independent spirit at a young age.

Music at Michigan - Bending the Twig - My Meetings with Maddy - And the tree grew to full flower.

Lucy Chase Chastises a Star - The "Captain" learns you cannot solve a problem like Lucy Chase!

The Pigeon In Church - How a pigeon in church can become an homage to a classic.

Harper House - our summer home.

The Hills of Home II - Coffee Pot Hill - Apparently, even at this young age, Robin didn't think much of coffee.

The Guest House - the ever changing structure.

Lawrence builds a "boathouse" - The first chapter in the life of the famous boathouse.

Orlando Worth Stephenson - Oie, a most unique man.

"Jim" Gets Stopped for Speeding - Nothing like a good family name.

Pizza in a Cave - Words sometimes come faster than meaning and application in kids.

Chipper (Dr. Chipper Lane) - the family dog for many years.

Mama Kitty - one of longest lived, and most beloved, pet cats.

Mama Kitty, the Homing Pigeon and Aqua-cat - More on the special kitty that was Mama Kitty.

The Hills of Home III - Nightmare Hill - A dream that led to a road identifier.

The Hills of Home IV - Lucy Chase's Hill - The Souvenir from a glacier of three million years ago - ownership—it has many levels and many definitions.

Other Beasties - Birds and Dogs - more on the collection of animals that padded, and flew, through our lives.

Sermon at Interlochen - when Mother Nature calls during church.

Ring the Bell! - Our family's unique way of calling us in from the lake.

My Blue Eyes - Robin makes an astute observation.

Road Kill Meals - Jim Bob's method of living off the land.

The Trailer Song - a traveling theme song is born.

Old MacDonald - who else lives on that farm with all those animals?

Petey's Non-Confession - Our neighbor in Ann Arbor found a niche for himself in our family stories.

Robin & Annie - Robin's memory talent.

Evie's Claim to Fame - Evie learns the thrill and agony of being related to the author of the school textbook.

I Only Had Two - the love of chocolate starts so young.

Irrepressible John - Like Nan, like Jim Bob.

A Found Wallet and Its Tasteless Reward - No accounting for taste.....

Piano Adventures - Part 3 - a piano moves to Interlochen.

Wee Wisdom (or) Bright Sayings of Bright Children

More on The Lorelei II - Dad's beloved Star sailboat.

Our Dock - the longest dock on the lake.

Mr. Yon and Sheriff Hanes - priceless.

The Harp - The story of Lucky's full-size Lyon & Healy harp, a thing of true beauty.

Sheriff Hanes and the Diapers - the eye of the beholder.

Toni Tries Out for Peter Pan - a most unique audition and performance.

Junior High Robin Wows College Kids or The Littlest (and Youngest) Fairy Queen - Robin reprises her role of The Fairy Queen.

Christmas Gifts for Lucy Chase - Jim Bob's unique, and productive, Christmas shopping trip.

Mr. Yon in Florida - our Interlochen neighbor experiences Florida home ownership.

Several "Ladies" - the collies that shared our lives.

Robbie's Name - The longest name for the tallest of us siblings.

The Challenge of Billy Bounce - Jim Bob takes a character from his childhood and brings him to life for us.

Buckle - the very special product of a beautiful pure-bred collie and a neighbor's dog.

Spartacus the Skunk - the obese skunk that shared Robin's bedroom for a time.

The Play Package Company - a triumph that was born after a tragedy.

A Deer Through the Window - The hazards of driving in the country.

Foxy Liza - a natural born dog of the theater and a beloved pet.

Raccoon for Supper Then to the Beach on Christmas - A Florida Christmas vacation.

Peppy - sweet ol' mutt adopted right off the road, a dear dog.

A Porcine Valve as a Literary Stimulant - Whoda thunk it? - Creativity flows so unexpectedly and beautifully!

These Are Some of My Favorite Things - Some of Jim Bob's favorite roles and theater experiences.

The final curtain - Lucy Chase, Jim Bob, and Harper House take their final bows.

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