Hello, friends…and others I hope will soon be friends. Welcome to Life With Richie Dee Stephens. I am Richie Dee Stephens and Richie Dee Stephens is me. Yet Richie Dee Stephens, is not my name. Richie Dee Stephens is a tribute to three people in my life who have helped make me who I am. Richard and Stephen are my grandfathers, and “Dee” is the initial for my father’s first name, Dennis. In trying to figure out what to call my blog, I just wasn’t comfortable using my own name. It just seemed a bit self-serving. I just couldn’t do it. It’s ok if you do.
I kind of understand that for good or bad we all are only the end result of our external influences. So I thought it appropriate to make the title of the blog a tribute to the three men who came before me. Each of them stand in my life as examples of how to be good fathers, good spouses, and good men. Each one of them have flaws and each one of them would admit it. I love them as they are, and they love(d) me as I am. So I hope a blog about how I understand my life is a worthy tribute to them.
Richie is in relation to my grandfather on my father’s side- Richard Scott. He actually goes by “Dick” and will probably bristle at being referred to as “Richie”. But to be honest, there are a few reasons Dick isn’t a great name for a blog. I couldn’t make it roll off the tongue and it’s not a particularly safe name to google. Stephens is in relation to my grandfather on my mother’s side- Stephen Nease. But I was using it as a last name, so I thought it needed an extra “s”. Dee is the phonetic spelling of my father’s first initial, D. His name is Dennis Scott. Actually, all of these men had or have a tremendous wife. If I could, I’d use all their names, but that would get cumbersome. So I needed to develop something else. I thought about “Richard Stephens” and “Stephen Richards” but I know people with both of those names and it left out my old man. So Richie Dee Stephens it is; a pseudonym of sorts.
Who am I really? My name is Jeff. That’s me in the above picture with my super-hero wife. I’m the great-grandson, grandson, son, and brother of clergy. For some reason, I’ve not followed the clergy road. But I can’t separate myself from a desire to understand the Divine (aka God) and our relationship to her. If my use of “her” in relation to God causes you heartburn, just rest in the fact that I’m not clergy and I’ll rest in the fact that you will not be able to remove me from my pulpit. Having said that, I’ve come to understand God exceeds our understanding of genders. But I’ll make a compromise with you, if you’ll allow me to refer to God as “the Divine,” I’ll also use masculine pronouns at other times. Deal? Good. Let me continue…
From a professional standpoint, I’ve been down a few roads. I have a Master’s Degree in College Student Affairs. There is a myriad of things college students are concerned about in addition to their classwork. Student Affairs professionals are dedicated to all those other things and to supporting the academic process. I also have about 10 years in the Security Guard Personnel industry. I think I made up that title, but essentially, I started a job as a weekend security guard and worked my way up to a position as a National Account Manager for a client who needed security guards. I’ve also spent time as a welder. So I’ve done a few things- academia, business, and blue collar.
I enjoy writing and intend to use this blog to develop my writing and my understanding of the Divine. I grew up in the Christian tradition. I am still a Christian, though I now have a different understanding of my faith than I did growing up. I hope to be able to flush some of that stuff out here as I write.
I am also a husband and a father of two kids. I imagine the other three in my life will be in my writing often. They’re great. In fact my teenage son and I have started a podcast together. He is a lot like me in good ways and bad. We’ll see how it goes…
You’ll note in my list of things I’ve done there is no mention of anything specifically related to technology. Listen, it’s not my thing. I had a blog before, and one of my friends said he wouldn’t read it again until I figured out how to use the “more” tab. I still have no idea what the “more” tab is. So if you have a suggestion for me from a technology standpoint, please let me know what it is. I have a lot of respect for that friend, he’s very good with tech stuff, but I don’t think he’d know what an oil pan drain plug was if it fell out, hit him in the face, and he was then covered in oil. So I kinda wish he’d just told me what a “more” tab is. If you know, please let me in on the trick! All this to say, bear with me. I’ll do the best I can. If I waited for it to be perfect, or even good, it would never get up. So I’m posting as I go hoping to learn to make it better.
I’m not entirely sure how often I’ll be able to post. I am employed full-time with almost two hours of commute a day. Also, some of my creative juices will be dedicated to the aforementioned podcast. Hopefully there will be some overlap. From a consistency perspective, all the professional bloggers say to let me readers know they can depend on a consistent blogging schedule. I hope that will be the case, but right now I just don’t know what consistent means for me.
So thanks for checking in. I’d love to have you along for this journey. Richie and I invite you to come along.