Steven J. Thompson, Author
Updated: Oct 13, 2019
Local author Steven J Thompson has worked for years in the political field and is a public relations consultant. He’s currently working with the Butte Humane Society on a capital campaign raising $11 million for a new animal shelter north of Chico. An Army Veteran, Steven served overseas twice, then took up the role of Drill Sergeant after 9/11. He’s an author of three published books, two in the Daughters Daring fantasy series, and most recently, The Drill Sergeant’s Guide to Parenting. He and his wife, Angela (who served as Mayor of Biggs) have raised three children, and their oldest now serves in the Air Force.
Growing up in Biggs was the best. I mean it. But then, I’m kind of biased. I can remember when I was ten years old. It was the 80’s. Was there ever a better time to be a kid? Travis, Adam, and I would ride our bikes up to Pulliam’s Market with saved up quarters to play Pac Man and other classic arcade games. You wouldn’t find a pizza shop open at midnight here, but you might see some kids out toilet papering someone’s house.
In those days the world hadn’t changed yet. At least not for us. Sure, there was and always has been evil in the world. But for some reason, those of us growing up in small town America got to keep our innocence just a little bit longer. Our parents didn’t worry about where we were every five seconds. They let us take off on our bikes with the understanding of being home by dark. And if not, you’d better call home or have a good excuse.
And my friends and I, we were the masters of excuses.
Somedays we’d collect bottles and cans to recycle for money for candy or arcade games. Other days we’d be in a ditch somewhere, catching crawdads. In the summer we’d be at the Biggs Pool or camping. In those days the Hastings House hadn’t yet been restored. We were convinced it was haunted and would dare each other up onto the porch. On occasion, we went into the Pluma del Oro (The Colonia Hotel) to order Roy Rodgers (a Shirley Temple for boys) from the bar. We played with matches and firecrackers and got into mischief. We built forts and had sleepovers and told ghost stories, or naughty stories about the girls in high school…
It was probably the 2nd grade when I learned I was a storyteller. We were asked to write something and share it with the class. Some kids told about their summer vacations or favorite toys. I wrote a three-page description of a gnarly scene from a horror movie (John Carpenter’s The Thing). I can remember the other boys leaning forward in their seats while the girls winced and tried to pretend they weren’t listening. Even then I loved the adoration of an audience.
Years later, but so incredibly fast, we grew up. Some of us stayed while others set out to find themselves. I did two years of college before I left for the military and saw the world. I got to tour Europe. I also got sent to Bosnia, where I learned that life’s real horrors are the ones you never forget. I lived for a year in Idaho, hunting and fishing and almost getting a divorce.
Somehow, after all of it. I found myself settling down in Biggs again. Back where I started, with three young Wolverines of my own. The world has changed, and we are so overprotective now I wonder if our children’s generation will ever survive should they leave the nest. Their world is different now. They have cell phones and snapchat. They have political correctness and sexual predators around every corner. They are told that America is the greatest nation in the world, but that polar bears are dying and that it’s their mom’s SUV’s fault. They try their best to be upstanding young men and women in a world where kids in bigger cities don’t even know their gender.
But somehow, when you look at our kids here in Biggs, they’ve still got it made. For all the confusion and crap in this world, they still get to have some of the greatness of our youth shared with them. No, they can’t have shotguns in the back window of their pickups at school anymore. But they can go hunting with dad or grandpa and post it on Facebook. They can choose to go through a vegetarian phase and still raise farm animals in FFA. They can see the outside world from the safety of the homes we provide them. And they’ll turn out just fine. Why? Because Biggs, for all the things a small-town lacks, has everything they’ll ever need. Family, Friends, Faith, and Freedom.
Throw in a bike and some quarters, and who could ever ask for more?