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’67 graduate publishes two books

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Cowboy Psalms

You might call him successful.  Of course, it’s according to how you measure success.  As an author, you might want to judge him by the number of his books that have been sold.

Ron Secoy, Christian cowboy poet and author of two books, figures if it is numbers that determine success then he isn’t.  Ron’s first book, Cowboy Psalms, has sold less than 500 copies.  It was released last September; published by Tate Publishing in Mustang, OK.

His second book, The Cowboy, the Creation and the Creator, has been out since early June.  That volume of Christian cowboy poetry has sold less than 20 copies.  He went with PublishAmerica to produce that book.

Secoy is a former resident of Benld and Gillespie and a 1967 graduate of Gillespie Community High School.  He is a graduate of the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, earning a bachelor of arts in mass communications and the University of Oklahoma School of Health Sciences with a bachelor of science degree as a physician associate.

“Accounting-wise,” according to the 63 year-old Secoy, “there is more red than black ink in the ledger.” But, Secoy admits that his ideas of success may be a little different than others.  He counts success in intangible but what he calls ‘precious’ things.

“Just like watching an Oklahoma sunset astride my quarter horse Rogan is priceless so are a lot of things that you can’t purchase with a greenback or deposit in the bank.”

He points out that his books are chocked full of local color, western culture and themes about the Big Trail Boss that have no value except deep within the heart and spirit of a person.  At the recent Summerfest in Fuqua Park in Duncan, Oklahoma a smile spread across his face while he wiped away sweat when someone pointed to Cowboy Psalms saying, “I got one of those Bibles.”

Comments like that he counts as success.

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Another indication of success was the woman who bought the book so she could read it to her six year-old son.  The boy was decked out in cowboy hat and boots during the Day of the American Cowboy last July at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center, also in Duncan.  The gift shop there carries both his books.

Then there was the lady who bought a copy at the Center and wanted it personally dedicated to her 100 year old father.  Secoy says it does his heart good to know people think his books are good enough for their kids and their parents.

Cowboy Psalms and The Cowboy the Creation and the Creator grew out of poetry Ron Secoy has recited at numerous churches, mostly cowboy churches, in the Oklahoma counties of Stephens, Cotton and Comanche.  His intent was to present the gospel in a version palatable to cowboys and those who love the western lifestyle.  When he’s approached for a book by someone in a cowboy hat, boots and a big belt buckle – what he calls a cowboy three piece suit – he thinks that is success.

“I’m not a cowboy by trade.  I’m a poet by the grace of God. I’m a Christian cowboy poet by calling.  That’s it.  The Big Trail Boss called me a few years back and I’ve been writin’ the poetry ever since.”

Ron got introduced to cowboy church three years ago.  He says it took a lot of prayer, counsel and heart searching to leave the traditional environment of Central Baptist Church in Central High, Oklahoma and venture “down the trail”.

“From Sunday school and business meetings
To sermons uttered from red dirt floors
Prayer meetings with beans and cornbread
And services in the great out of doors…”

Excerpted from the poem “From Three Piece Suits to Cowboy Boots” in the book The Cowboy, the Creation and the Creator.

Secoy got a request from a person to send a copy of Cowboy Psalms to her daughter at a youth camp in Arkansas.  Come to find out the girl was a counselor at Camp War Eagle.  She wanted several copies for the other counselors.  He said just knowing his book was being shared with people who influence youth is a sign of success to him.

The Cowboy, The Creation, The Creator

Most of his poems were read aloud at Chisholm Trail Cowboy Church in Duncan and Cross Creek Cowboy Church in Marlow.  Some of the poetry is about or dedicated to the people there.

“Time spent among people and critters rubs off on you.  When it comes time to put pen to paper whatever flows is usually what is most familiar to you.  Like in the Bible when it says out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks so the poems flow.” He explained.

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Both books are full of characters from cowboys to truckers to soldiers or family members.  You’ll find horses, cattle, wolves and a cow dog.  He’ll take you back to the pony express, Gold Rush and cattle drives then fast forward you to 9-11 and the new times along the old Chisholm Trail.  Oklahoma is his favorite subject whether it’s the Land Run or a sunset over the Wichita Mountains.  Guess he thinks success is about letting others know about where he lives.

Living on six acres with Anneliese, his wife of 30 years and Rani-Anne, his teenage daughter, Secoy settled in Central High. Oklahoma 19 years ago after a 20 year stent with the US Army.  When it came time to retire he knew he wanted to be west of the Mississippi and not live in an apartment building.  The quietness of the country suits him as does the sound howl of pet wolves, the nicker of their three horses or the bark of the black and white cow dog. Success may just be living the lifestyle you like.

A measure of success might be the woman at Rush Springs, Oklahoma who wants to use Cowboy Psalms for a Bible study.  Secoy thinks that’s also an honor.  He doesn’t put himself up there with King David who wrote the Book of Psalms in the Bible but admits he meant his book to reflect the relationship the cowboy has with the Big Trail Boss (God) just like King David’s relationship with God.

Secoy continues to write.  His next book will be a devotional.  He plans on marrying his poetry with scripture then add in some prose of encouragement; all in cowboy vernacular.  After that a book of poetry dedicated to the state of Oklahoma.  He also mentioned he owes his writer friend Dutch Henry of Appomattox, Virginia, a book of poetry based on Dutch’s novel, “We’ll Have the Summer”.

While his favorite venue is a cowboy church Ron Secoy has done readings at other churches, a nursing home in Colbert, Oklahoma, the Rush Springs (Oklahoma) Lions Club and even onstage at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma.  At Cameron he was part on annual program called the “Cowboy Story Hour”.

Ron says he is open to reading his poetry and talking about the books and of course, the Big Trail Boss anywhere, anytime. “I’ll saddle up and get on down the trail anywhere the Big Trail Boss leads.”

He can be contacted via his Facebook page or emailed at rsecoy@cowboypsalms.com.  His website is cowboypsalms.com.  The books can be found on Tate Publishing, PublishAmerica, Amazon or Barnes and Noble websites.

You might catch him at a festival, rodeo, church or library.  He’ll be glad to sell you a book.  Of course, he’ll sign it “God Bless and Happy Trails”.  That’s success to him.

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Progressive Club to celebrate 90th anniversary

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Benld Entreprise

The Wilsonville Progressive Club will celebrate and host a 90 year Anniversary Party on Saturday, May 11. The party will include a catered dinner, a live band, and fireworks.

Doors will open at 2 pm with a catered dinner being served at 4 pm.  The Shane Kessinger Experience (live band) will play at 5 pm, and a grand fireworks display will be held at dusk.

The Progressive Club was originally established in 1934 by the Progressive Miners and was located on the northwest side of Wilsonville’s main street. The Club moved to their new building in January of 1949 and today this is still the current location at 212 Wilson Street in Wilsonville.

Wilsonville was founded in 1917 when Superior Coal Co. Mine No. 4 was sunk and this was the most modern mine in the Superior field. At that time, the little settlement which grew up around the mine was called Wilson. One day a worker paused and asked, “What are we going to name this town?” President Wilson was in office, thus the town was then and there named Wilson until 1919 when it was incorporated and the name expanded to Wilsonville.

The Wilsonville Progressive Club is operated and maintained by an elected panel of trustees and loyal members.  The Club is open to the public and membership is always welcome.  The large outdoor covered pavilion and manicured grassy side lot offer an attractive and convenient venue for any event along with inside facilities. 

If you are interested in renting for any kind of event, call 217-835-3122 during open hours which are Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 4 pm to close, and Sunday doors open at 2 pm.  Every Sunday afternoon at 4 pm is the Queen of Hearts drawing and the Club is on Facebook as well.

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Gillespie Police Report: April 14-20, 2024

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SUNDAY, APRIL 14, 2024

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Oak Street in reference to a dog bite.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Abba Street to pick up a found item.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Maple Street in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of West Chestnut Street in reference to a burglary.

An officer was out in the 200 block of North Macoupin Street in reference to a motorist assist.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Schmidt Street in reference to a 911 call.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of South 1st Street in Benld in reference to a domestic dispute.

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An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of Broadway Street in reference to a medical call.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of South Illinois Street in Benld in reference to illegal burning.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of South 5th Street in Benld in reference to an animal complaint.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of Horizon Street in reference to a 911 call.

MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2024

An officer was dispatched to Gillespie Police Department to speak with a male in reference to a theft in the 100 block of South Main Street in Benld.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of West Osie Street in reference to a violation of an order of protection.

Nicholas O. Landolt, 36, of Gillespie was arrested on multiple warrants including one out of St. Clair County for possession for methamphetamine, a second one out of Montgomery County for failure to appear for driving while license was revoked, and a third out of Macoupin County for failure to appear for methamphetamine.

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An officer was dispatched to East Walnut Street in reference to a suspicious noise.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Abba Street in reference to a juvenile issue.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of Broadway Street in reference to a medical alarm.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a theft in the 200 block of West Oak Street.

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to criminal damage to her property.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to identity theft.

An officer spoke with a female in the 100 block of North 7th Street in Benld in reference to a neighbor dispute.

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a violation of an order of protection.

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An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of Southern Street in reference to a suspicious person.

TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2024

An officer was dispatched to the 1100 block of South Macoupin Street in reference to criminal damage to property.

An officer was dispatched to the 900 block of South Macoupin Street in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of East Walnut Street in reference to criminal trespass to property.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of North 7th Street in Benld in reference to criminal trespass to property. Melissa J. Hughes, 49, of Benld was arrested on a Montgomery County warrant for theft/larceny.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Maple Street in reference to criminal trespass to property.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of Francis Street in reference to a traffic crash.

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An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a civil issue in the 700 block of Rose Street in Benld.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of South 5th Street in Benld in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of East Pine Street to assist the Department of Children and Family Services.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of Broadway Street in reference to reckless driving.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of East Central Avenue in Benld in reference to a 911 call.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2024

An officer spoke with a female at Gillespie Police Department in reference to fraud in the 200 block of South Macoupin.

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 500 block of East Elm Street in reference to criminal trespass to property.

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An officer was dispatched to Route 4 and Staunton Road in reference to reckless driving.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of Gillespie Street in reference to unwanted solicitors.

An officer was dispatched to High Street and Gillespie Street in reference to a suspicious noise.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of High Street in reference to unwanted solicitors.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a civil standby.

An officer was flagged down at Elm Street and Clinton Street and spoke with an individual in reference to a civil issue.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of Mt. Olive Road in Eagarville in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to a suspicious circumstance.

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THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2024

An officer was dispatched to a business in the 400 block of South Macoupin Street in reference to a panic alarm sounding.

An officer was dispatched to the 1300 block of South Second Street in reference to a civil standby.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of West Osie Street in reference to a dog bite.  Heather L. Kimberlin, 47, of Gillespie was issued a citation for dog at large.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of West Baker Street in reference to a juvenile issue.

An officer was out with a suspicious vehicle in the alley in the 500 block of Park Avenue.

An officer was dispatched to East Walnut and South Main Street in Benld in reference to reckless driving.

An officer was dispatched to the Veterans Memorial Park in Benld in reference to a suspicious vehicle that had been parked there for a couple of days.

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Gillespie Police Department was requested for traffic control by the Gillespie Fire Department for a fire on Eagarville Road.

FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2024

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of East Walnut Street in reference to a traffic crash.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of South Street in Gillespie in reference to a juvenile issue.

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Litchfield Road in East Gillespie in reference to a suspicious person at the storage units. Kathy J. Henderson, 49, of Sawyerville was arrested on a Macoupin County warrant for failure to appear for bad checks

An officer initiated a traffic stop at Maple Street and Macoupin Street. Kenny L. Fults, 18, of Belleville was issued a citation for possession of cannabis.

An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of Mt. Olive Road in Eagarville in reference to civil standby.

An officer was dispatched to the 500 block of West Burton Street in reference to an animal complaint.

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SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 2024

An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Abba Street in reference to a domestic dispute.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of North 7th Street in Benld in reference to criminal trespassing. Timothy J. Dalpozzo, 57, of Benld was arrested for criminal trespassing to residence and a Macoupin County warrant for criminal trespassing to a residence.

An officer initiated a traffic stop at South Street and Chestnut Street and charges are pending crime lab results.

An officer was dispatched to the 100 block of East Maple Street in reference to reckless driving.

An officer was dispatched to Macoupin Street and Elm Street in reference to reckless driving.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of Osie Street in reference to a dog at large.

An officer was dispatched to the 600 block of North 8th Street in Benld in reference to medical assist.

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An officer was dispatched to the 200 block of West Spruce Street in reference to a suspicious person.

An officer was dispatched to the 400 block of West Baker Street in reference to criminal trespass to property.

An officer was dispatched to the 300 block of Park Street in Benld in reference to a medical call.

An officer spoke with a male at Gillespie Police Department in reference to an ordinance issue.

All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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HSHS St. Francis Hospital offers volunteer opportunities for feens

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LITCHFIELD, Ill. — HSHS St. Francis Hospital is offering service opportunities to area teens this summer through the 2024 Junior Volunteer Program. Applications are being accepted now through May 1.

Applicants must be high school students maintaining at least a “C” average, be a minimum of 14 years of age by June 1 and be willing to volunteer at least two hours per week during the summer program. Junior volunteers will perform a variety of duties in various hospital departments. 

Registration materials are available on the hospital’s website volunteer page at https://www.hshs.org/st-francis/community/volunteer.

All participants in the program will be required to present proof of immunizations for MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), and Varicella (chicken pox). An additional requirement includes attendance at a hospital orientation.

A limited number of positions will be available. For more information, contact HSHS St. Francis Hospital at 217-324-8200.

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