Friday, June 22, 2012

Penny Nixon's 'My Hometown' - Karen (Bevins) Winslow Interview

Penny Nixon's 'My Hometown': 
Karen (Bevins) Winslow Interview

[Hi! I'm Penny Nixon. I am a reporter for the Oak Springs Enterprise. My dad, the editor, Dick Nixon, has encouraged me to write stories for the paper about my hometown, Oak Springs, MO, beginning in early 1987. This is the first of several interviews with local residents and visitors. These articles will appear in the weekly edition of the Oak Springs Enterprise. I hope you enjoy my stories.]

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Karen Bevins Winslow, the oldest of the four Bevins siblings involved in the estate settlement of their parents regarding their beloved "Homeplace" farm, located just east of the town of Oak Springs:

Penny: I understand that in coming to this upcoming meeting on your mother's will that you and your husband, Jason, have committed to devote the following two years to the farm. Is that correct?

Karen: Yes, that is correct. The terms of Phase I of the will provided to us last fall were very clear. We needed to make the commitment. Knowing how strongly our mother felt about this land, that has been in her family for over 150 years, we decided it was critical that we make this commitment.

Penny: What are you sacrificing by being here? It must be a lot, at your stage of life.

Karen: It may be a big sacrifice, or, it may be an even greater opportunity. We really do know now, at this time. None of us know what this Phase II will reading will involve, except that if we want to be a part of it, we had to make the commitment. We have made that commitment, and we will see what happens.

Penny: I understand both you and your husband have put your careers on hold, for now. Can you tell us a bit about what that means?

Karen: Yes. My husband, Jason, is a partner in a Financial Planning firm in Tucson. He has been for nearly 20 years. He has taken a leave-of-absence, and his partners will carry on. My career has been as a nurse. I have also taken a leave-of absence from my position there. Some of our friends, trying to be supportive, suggest it is much like those folks who accept a political appointment back in Washington, D.C., when a new president takes office. They take a leave-of-absence, find out how it goes, and make the next decisions as that time arrives. I suppose it is a reasonable comparison, but not nearly as sexy as a political position.

Penny: Do you still have children at home?

Karen: Oh, yes. Our youngest son, Kevin, is a senior in high school. We are already missing some of his basketball games. He has already been accepted at the University of Arizona, in the fall, but we do hate to miss those final high school activities of his.

Penny: You have three other children, as well? What do they think of your decision?

Karen: Yes. Matt, the oldest, is married and lives in Boston. Lori is a flight attendant out of Los Angeles, and Erin is in college at the University of Texas in Austin. They are each doing fine, on their own. They each say they support our decision. They see it as a bit of an adventure, actually.

Penny: Did I hear correctly that all three of your siblings came back, as well? Are you surprised at that?

Karen: I really cannot speak for them. Jason and I made our own decision to come back, based on our feelings and situation. I have to assume they each did the same. You'll have to ask them about their motivations.

Penny: Of course. I hope to do that. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me today.

Karen: No problem. I know people want to know about this will settlement. We'd like to keep it private, of course, but that just won't happen in a small town. Perhaps we'll talk again when we know more.

Penny: I'd like that. Thank you.

Well, that was the interview. I hope you found it useful. Letters to the Editor are always welcome. Please be kind. Penny, out.

These interviews lead up to the beginning chapter of "Back to the Homeplace." Have you read it yet? Available in sidebar links both in Kindle and Print Editions.

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