Billie Silvey
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"I LOVE Turners, especially the unfinished ones, where the light swallows up the figures and
one passes over...  
Thanks for this issue!"  
--Marilyn Adams

"Hi Billie,
Thank you for writing about
Mr. Turner and drawing my attention to him. I look forward to
visiting this Getty to see his exhibit.
Have a good week!"
--Shelly Cox

"Thanks and happy new year. My mom is a big fan of Turner's work so I have forwarded
your email to her."
--Joan Jakubowski

"Billie, Thank you for your comments on JMW Turner. He has long been one of my two
favorite artists. I’m glad to know his work will be at the Getty. No one paints light like
Turner. I was introduced to Turner a few years ago when studying one of Edgar Allen Poe’s
stories, “The Fall of the House of Usher.” The painting described in the story appears to
have been based on a Turner painting, and trying to find which one is when I was introduced
to Turner’s work.
I look forward to seeing the movie."
--Nancy Ellen Dodd

"Hi Billie, I really like your idea of sharing a new topic each month. I have improved my
cooking skills, but like you I cook on holidays mostly. I love living in ca. with all the many
different foods to sample."
--Elsie Tatum

"I half expected to see a photo of this summer's groaning board at Castel Gandolfo, too. I'm
fond of the theory that it is the sharing of food that distinguishes homo sapiens from extinct
humanoid species, gathering around the Paleolithic campfire and passing around the
mastodon shank. Just think, if they had only shared, as their mother told them to, they might
not be extinct."
--Robert Silvey

"Food, family and community.  Loved this issue Billie."   
Sheila Bost

"It  is so sad and so wrong on all levels that it is hard to read the article."
--Keith Brisco

"Hi Billie, I have always felt that I play a part in my status in this world. God's formula of
tithing works for me. I'm happy where I am, too much money can destroy peace of mind."
--Elsie Tatum

"Billie (Lynn),
First, I loved the issue about your
trip to Europe with the kids.
Second, did you hear about the 2012 sun event that scientists have just figured out would
have fried almost all our electronic infrastructure if it had erupted in our direction?  Scarey!
Great to hear from you every month!"
Bonnie (K.)

"Great article.  Looks like you guys had a great time.  I really like the Villa."
Keith Brisco

"Appears that you had a great trip."
--Father Loyd Morris, KCHS

"What a wonderful treat this must have been (and surprise!) for you and your family!!!
It was wonderful reading about your reunion of the Silvey brothers.  They are a talented
group!  Frank and you are in my prayers. . . ."

"So exciting!  Looking forward to reading it.  Happy 4th!!"

"What a marvelous way to have a family reunion!  Italy is our favorite travel destination,
although we haven't been back since we returned to the States.  I loved seeing the pictures
of Frank and his brothers, and of you folks at the Colliseum."

"So glad to see your updates and photos on FB.  What wonderful family time."

"Great month November, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
Keith Brisco

"My kids and I have been Dr. Who fans since the beginning.  Well, since I found it anyway.  I
did not own a t.v. until 1980.
There is no surprise to me that you and Frank are fans.
Thanks for letting me know.
Love to you,  

Happy 50th anniversary!  
--Bob & Norma Blair

I sing with Frank and just finished reading your web site and am so moved. It is just
wonderful!  Thank you for sharing yourself in such a straightforward, thoughtful, personal
manner.  I love your writing style and the information is so helpful.  I have recently retired
and resonate to everything you have said.  What a brilliant idea to create this web site.  I
plan on reading it and other's comments regularly.  
I'm so happy for you and Frank!  He is such a wonderful man.
Thank you,
Dorothy Yungman

Dear Frank and Billie,
What a great picture!!  I am so glad that you had such a wonderful time!
I was glad to hear that you received the plate.  I was afraid it might not have made it to the
right place.
It was good to see you all in LA and in Asilomar.  Katyana is such a beautiful little girl and it
was great to finally meet her.
September blog came and is interesting.  I enjoy reading them so much.
Thank You,  With all my love,  
Kathryn Silvey

Billie, I meant to email how much I enjoyed your anniversary web site. I read part of it, and
enjoyed the photos so much! I want to read more.
Our youngest, Elizabeth, is getting married in October, so we're happy about that.
Enjoy your darling Katyana!
Lindy Adams

Thank you.  How was your Anniversary celebration?
Father Loyd Morris

Dear Billie Lynn,
We also truly enjoyed our visit with you and the opportunity to take part in your
Much love to you,
--Bonnie K. Leitch

It was quite a serendipitous moment for Kay to be here on your anniversary. When I
preached in Connecticut, Kay was one of the main congregational leaders and part of the
search committee that called me to ministry there. I had not seen her in 12 years but have
stayed in contact. Two of her children, who I know well, live in the Los Angeles area, so
when she came for a visit I made it a point to get together with her and husband. I invited
them to church, and that morning I shared with Angela, “I wonder if Kay knows Billie and
Frank? I bet they were at ACU at the same time.” I am so delighted you did know each
other and this was the Sunday they were at Culver. Your
celebration was wonderful—you
and Frank are much loved!
Mark Manassee

Billie & Frank,
Let me tell you that I was so sorry to miss your celebration last Sunday at the Church....for
your wedding
anniversary !!!  
Amy Jo and I wish that you and Frank will have many more happy years together. Billie, we
have always been thankful for all the work that you do for the Church....teaching, greeting
and encouraging others.
God Bless You......Love you.
Charlie and Amy Jo Runnels

Dear Frank and Billie, Hope you had a wonderful anniversary. I will always remember your
wedding day! It's hard to believe that it has been 50 years!! Hope you get the gift soon. Love
always, Your sister,
Kathryn Hamilton

Dear Frank and Billie,
We are thinking of you today.  Wish we could be there to
celebrate with you, but we will just
have to raise a glass on the other side of the country.
Once again congratulations, auguri, and best wishes for many more.
Perry and Renee Silvey

Dear Frank and Billie,
It was such fun to be part of your
anniversary party, and what a lovely job Kathy did in
putting it all together.
I would love to have stayed for some of that delicious cake (had to walk very fast to resist
Thanks so much for including MCS.
Hermione Wise

Billie and Frank,
Congratulations on your first
fifty years together.  I wish for you years more of happiness.  
Should you ever come to Austin, I would very much like to see you.
Larry Norwood

We plan to be there!
Carla Williams

Hi Billie,
Growing up as an only child of a single mother, I felt this way when I first met Paul, too:
Family events at the Silveys’ seemed like a crowd to me.
Loved the pictures and the stories so far – wish we could be there to celebrate once more!!!
Cari Silvey

Great story  I am now salivating to find out more. I loved the photos. Hopefully you will
have a slide show at the anniversary celebration.
Thanks for writing, but now I want to know more.
Keith Brisco

Thanks for not giving up on me and continuing to send your monthly websites. I especially
August.  50 years seems like a long time but the way I feel life has been going
recently -it is just a few blinks of the eyes.
Happy Anniversary.
Joan Jakubowski

Congrats, Billie!!  Really looking forward to it!
Ben Wilson

Great article this time of your history together.  So many pieces I didn't know, but was
pleasantly surprised of how much of your history I did know..  Congrats on 50 yrs. What a
sterling example for the rest of us.
Gail Brisco

Small world.
I remember Carol and Harold Straughn in Abilene.  We went to church with them.  Carol
once taught a children's art class at the Art Museum that our son, Dustin, attended.  I also
remember her faith and strength after enduring a breakin in her home.
My sister, JoLee, knew them at the West Islip church on Long Island, NY.  I'm now sure
where they are now.
Thanks for telling
your story.
In Him,
Jackie Williams

What an amazing journey - congratulations.
Carla Williams

It was very poignant to read your fiftieth anniversary issue.  I had heard some of the stories
before and shared some of them.  I have always admired the way you live your faith.  
Reading the story reinforces the impression: what a testimony!
Pax et bonum,
Marilyn Adams

Dear Billie,
Fun to read all the wonderful
memories you've shared.  It brings back lots of memories for
me, as I was in college here in L.A. in l963 -- but I came out here from a little town in
Our own wedding anniversary is August 28th, but we didn't get married until l971.
Fifty years!  Wow!  Looking forward to celebrating with you.
Hermione Wise  (Mansfield Singers)

Very good!  I remember both of you from ACU, even though I didn’t  know either of you.  I
graduated in Spring 1964 (meeting Sheila, who was a freshman, two weeks before I
graduated), so you, Frank, Sheila and I overlapped for at least one academic year.  I read
your by-lined articles in the Optimist and met Frank somewhere (he was working in one of
the barracks over by the tennis courts as I recall, but I may have it entirely wrong).  In any
event, God richly bless both of you and your extended family.
Tom Bost

Congratulations on a very special occasion, Billie and Frank. You are a great and important
example to people around you. Sorry we cannot attend, but we will celebrate with you. Joy
and I were married Sept. 1, 1962.
--Lynn and Joy McMillon

Aren't the Grandparents proud!  
--Jackie Williams

Very cool!  Three generations!  It sounds as if Katyana stole the show!
Pax et bonum,
Marilyn Adams

I doubt that the production of 1961 went into the socially radical potential (which I believe
Baum had in mind) about the oppressed worker munchkins and their liberation, and other
aspects such as the troubled situation of agricultural families.
Flying monkey, that would be interesting to see.

Keep on flying.

Am I recalling correctly that this month is your anniversary celebration?  Congratulations
regardless of when.

--Joe Maizlish

"Hi Billie,
What a great
subject!  A new version of Much Ado About Nothing comes out this Friday.
--Zena Kapsoff

"Great article extremely well written  I cry easily when I am touched by truth.
"I don’t think we think about the joy  of crying or blessing it can bring and what it is
"Thank  you for another good article."
Keith Brisco

"Dearest Billie,
"Thank you so much for your always insightful website.  I especially enjoyed your latest
April 2013
edition about the song, 'Hallelujah'.  It has been a favorite of mine for a few
"In an interview with Cohen about the song, he was asked why he thought it was so
popular.  He didn't really give an answer.  I think the answer is obvious.  As you said, 'It
plays with ambiguity - the religious and the sexual content…, the awe and sorrow…, and its
holy or uplifting, as well as its broken or painful, nature.'  I think that this song (as many
great songs do) expresses our human confusion, our conflicted minds and souls.  Our lives
are full of beauty and sorrow, glorious happiness and paralyzing grief.  This song validates
that I am human; that in my weakness and confusion and grief and anger I can still
acknowledge that I believe in God and that I want to praise Him.
"Since Rusty's death, there have only been a very few books that have been helpful to me.  
They are books that just tell the truth, that don't sugarcoat the grief or give me some
packaged way of walking through it.  In the same way, 'Hallelujah' just tells the truth.  It
expresses angst and praise in the same breath.  When I listen to it, I almost always cry.  It
reassures me that, maybe I'm not crazy, just human.  It is interesting that Cohen refers to
David in a couple of the verses, since I am blessed with the same reassuring realness and
conflictedness in many of the Psalms.
"My favorite cover is probably Jeff Buckley's, but I also love a version by
Brandi Carlile.  I
am sad that most of the covers do not include the last two verses of Cohen's song.  I thought
it very beautiful and fitting that you included the last verse at the end of your musings.  
Thank you."
Much love to you, dear sister,

"Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring piece on '
"We also loved
The West Wing. Your thoughts was so heart moving.
"Thanks again,"

"Hi Billie - just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your website! I'm a big fan of
the song 'Hallelujah,' of course - it is hauntingly beautiful."

"Billie, I'm so sorry - I meant to send that email to Ken because we so, so love that episode
West Wing. I meant to just be sending him the link to look at! Oops.
Love, Lindy

"Good morning Billie!
My name is Aaliyah and I am a history teacher at North Central Plains Charter School in
Texas. My students have been using your
press.html, and brought to my attention yesterday how helpful your site is for some their
history of media projects!
As a thank you, one of the kids, Danielle, suggested another resource "Invention of the
Printing Press "
Would you mind adding it to your page? I think it would be a great help to your visitors! I
researched the article and it is very educational which is why I agreed to write to you when
she asked me yesterday.
We would like to thank you again for the wonderful site and hope that you add our newly
discovered resource to your page! Let me know if you add it, as I would love to show her the
suggestion up. She will be featured in next week's Student's Showcase as well for her
awesome suggestion!
Have a great day!"
Aaliyah Phillips

"If I had been told Perry was stage manager of the NYCB, I had not remembered it!  I'm
impressed.  (But then, all the Silvey brothers were extraordinary.  Somehow it was so
obvious even when they were young.)"

"Hi, Billie!  Thanks for your website on Russia.
I went to Moscow once for a conference.  I'm afraid I would never do it again.
The conference was sponsored by the Society of Christian Philosophers in conjunction with
one of the local philosophy departments and the orthodox church.  The orthodox were
cordial, although they didn't see the point of our philosophizing.  But the philosophers were
downright rude, talking loudly during presentations, etc etc.
The foreigners' hotel was another experience.  The men who came without their wives
received hotel-sponsored calls at 2 am from prostitutes.  We were told not to use the ATM at
the hotel because they would steal our identity.  Conference members told how people in
their apartment buildings poisoned relatives to obtain their apartments.
It was chilling for a child of the cold wars to tour Red Square.  The museums were
interesting.  I remember pearl and emerald studded horse gear that the czars used when they
rode in their carriages.  The paintings told of a harsh history.  No wonder people are harsh, I
thought.  They have been starving here for centuries. Since then, organized crime has
become even more of a problem.  Icons or not, I will not go back!"

"Dear Billie,
I appreciated your nostalgic
references to a childhood in which toy guns were part of your
playthings. I, too, had my share of plastic and wrought iron toy six-shooters. Never did it
occur to me, at that time, that our child's play of "Cowboys and Indians," "Cops and
Robbers," "Good Guys and Bad Guys" carried any implication of meanness, racism, or
disrespect for others.
As a young, fresh faced military man in the United States Air Force in the 1960s, I
exasperated my supervising sergeant by leaving my rifle in a restaurant when we had
paused there for a rushed meal while on a convoy in Suwon, Korea.  We were a hundred
miles away when I realized that I had forgotten my gun!
As an adult, guns are completely uninteresting to me.  Hearing you speak of helping
neighbors by shooting jackrabbits in Texas amazed me.  I have known you for many years.
Yes, I knew that Happy, Texas is your hometown, but it never occurred to me that you knew
your way around a rifle of any caliber.
I have enjoyed countless conversations with you regarding Lord Byron, Shakespeare, and
King Tut.  My personal prejudice (for which I am ashamed) is that I don't equate gun
ownership with erudition and refinement.  When I put away my Roy Rogers lunchbox in the
1950s, I set my sights on higher things than Country and Western memorabilia.
But now, I am horrified that guns are the means of so many killings in America. It falls upon
me, all too often, to explain to good friends in foreign countries why Americans love the
Second Amendment so much. I am at a loss for words to explain the phenomenal
proliferation of guns in America.
That photograph of the great icons conveys so much: the flag, the pistol, the Bible.  For
some people, those items compose a sacred trinity.  I find that placement jarring.
As for me, I would be happy if all guns were limited to the police and the military.  I would
want everyone to buy their meat in supermarkets.  I wish Scrabble were a pastime preferred
to hunting.
I understand that there are people who, without knowing anything about me, would hate
me.  In such minds, probably I am too old, possessed of too dark a complexion, too
interested in the wrong political party, and too committed to the Word (as it applies to the
Bible and as it applies to all communication ("fitly spoken") to be worthy of life.  But I have
no desire to buy any kind of gun for "protection."
I am depending on God, Reason, and Goodwill to preserve my life and the lives of all those I
Once in a while, my faith is challenged, and I begin to fear that Those Grand Three Items of
my trust are not really there. It chills me.  But I want to believe that Peter spoke truthfully
when he said that "We have not believed cunningly devised fables" (II Peter I: 16).
I have gambled that there is a merciful and protective God.  I cannot explain how He could
allow the recent carnage.  I  pray that He is really there, and that He really sees all of this."

"Billie, thank you these articles on guns and your childhood were very enlightening."

Hi Billie,
"I read your
comments on guns and am in complete agreement with your conclusions.  I
hope this country wakes up before it destroys itself from within with guns!"

"Dear Billie,
Always enjoy reading your website, but
this month's topic of gun ownership, use and control
is particularly spot on. I appreciate the clear and concise way you have presented your solid
rationale, including your questions about how Christians could possibly be proponents of
unfettered gun ownership.
Just thought I'd let you know.
Happy New Year!!"

"Go get 'em, Mom!"

[Editor's Note: To see feedback from years before 2013, see links at the top of the page.]