Daddy’s mother Jessie was married four other times and so he has three half-brothers as well as his seven full siblings, who were all the following: Charles William Teague, 1919-2008, married Mattie Marie Braden, 1920-1977, they were divorced, then Marjorie Louise Degenhardt, 1923-1995; Harold Crawford Walls, 1924-1997, married Mildred June Lynn, 1931-1986, they were divorced, then Lucy M. Wright; Dorothy Helen Beard, 1926-2009, married J B Loftis, 1918-2004; George Anderson Beard, married Donna Jean Beair, they were divorced, then Lois Louise Jones, 1939-2009; Audrey Dale Beard, 1930-2014, married Robert Ray Sharp, 1931-2002, they were divorced, then Charles ‘Bud’ West, 1921-2010; Donald Ray Beard, 1932-2004, married Bertha Irene Woodburn, 1938-2001; Jackie Loy Beard, 1934-2004, married Mary Howard; Jack’s twin sister Violet Joy Beard, married Norris Mahan and the baby of the family, Bobby David Corley, married Charlene McDowell. All ten of these children were either born in Webster or Crittenden Counties in the state of Kentucky. The following is a picture of my Daddy when he was about a year old and then just a little bit older, being held by his father Aubrey. Also one of my Daddy next to his Mom, Jessie, then his sister Violet and his brother, Jack in the white clothes and long curly hair.
A couple of years after my Daddy was born the family moved back over to Crittenden County where they lived in a number of different homes throughout the county. My grandparents never really got a long and by 1940 things were really starting to go downhill for them. They were living in an old house back behind the Love Graveyard in Crittenden County in 1940. That little house was still standing in 2012, though no one lives there any longer. From what Daddy told me about some of the houses they lived in when he was a kid, this one probably looks better now, than it did when they lived there. I took the following pictures of that house when I was back home in 2012. Between the two pictures of that house is also a picture of my Daddy and Uncle Jack, that has always reminded me of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, which may have been take somewhere near this house. Daddy is the taller of the two even though Uncle Jack is 18 months older.
In 1941 they left the above house and moved to a house on Walker Street in Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky where the family continued to live until July of 1943. My grandparents had gotten divorced in 1942 and my Papaw Beard moved out of the house and rented a little room there in Marion, while Mama Jessie and the kids continued to live in the house on Walker Street. These were bitter and trying times for my Daddy and his siblings, but they all eventually made it through and turned out to be some very fine people. On July 12, 1943 Papaw Beard took his seven children, Helen, George, Dale, Don, Jack, Sis and my Daddy and boarded a train in Princeton, Kentucky for California. After a very long tiring and slow trip on a troop train, they arrived in Tulare, California on July 19th. World War II was in full swing so that is why they were traveling on a troop train. My Daddy’s, Uncle George, his father’s brother and his cousin, Peggy, met them at the train station and took them to the small town of Woodlake where they lived for several years. The following pictures are of the train tracks leading away from Princeton that I took when I was home in 2011 and a couple I found online of an old truck that might look like the one Daddy and them road to the train station in, from Marion to Princeton and one of the train depot in Tulare, Tulare County, California about the time they arrived.
After arriving in Woodlake they moved in with their Daddy’s sister and her family, Aunt Nina and Uncle Clyde and their children Buster and Peggy. Aunt Nina’s house was pretty small, but somehow she made it work for a while until Papaw Beard could find a job and get back on his feet some. Papaw Beard was able to get a job as a guard at Sequoia Field in Visalia during the war, but after the war he had to look for other work. After a few months they left Aunt Nina’s house and moved out to McGee’s Camp, just outside of Woodlake and lived there for about a year. There wasn’t much room for everyone at the camp and the building they lived in wasn’t much more than some boards and nails with cracks in the walls, and so Papaw Beard worked on convincing his brother, George to let them live in the house on Walnut Street, that George had built for their mother. Uncle George finally agreed on the condition that Papaw Beard would now take care of their brother, Petieman, who was mentally handicapped. Papaw Beard agreed, and so the family moved into that house and lived there for a number of years. It was the nicest house any of them had ever lived in before and they so enjoyed living in a house where rain and snow would not being blowing through the cracks in the walls and onto their beds. It was a palace compared to everything else they were use too. The following is a picture of that house, it is still standing, but has been added onto and doesn’t even look the same anymore.
They all like California for the most part, but the kids all missed their mother. Over the next several years Daddy and his brothers would hitchhike back and forth to Kentucky. They would just get a hankering for home and their Mother and take off, usually without telling their Dad, because he would have said no to their request. I can’t remember for certain how old Daddy said he was the first time he hitchhiked back home, but I am thinking it was when he was around 15 or 16 years old. Times were different then and it was safer to, for the most part. Daddy said he was always able to catch a ride and never really had to walk too far. The following are some pictures of all of Daddy’s siblings. First his sisters, Dale, Helen & Sis in 1949; then Don, George, Jack and Daddy in 1951; then their mother with their two oldest brothers in 1939, Harold Walls on the left and William Teague on the right; then their little brother Bobby Corley in 1942.
Daddy learned to play guitar on one of his hitchhiking trips back to Kentucky, when his little brother, Bobby let him use a guitar he had just recently gotten. Daddy never learned to read music, he played by ear and soon was picking and a grinning and never stopped till the day he died. Daddy was always good looking, at least as his daughter I sure thought so. The following are just a couple of pictures of Daddy in California when he was in high school. In the one his sister, Violet or Sis as everyone called her is in the dark top and white skirt and in the other she is in the front of the sled. They were up at Sequoia National Park in that one. If anyone that reads this knows of an Alma and an Alta, who lived in Woodlake in the 1950’s, I would love to hear from you. I ask Aunt Sis about them and she couldn’t remember their last names, but she said they were in the same grade as her. Maybe they have some pictures of my Daddy they could share with me.
Daddy quit high school in 1952, bummed around for a while and then joined the Air Force, but ended up getting a medical discharge less than a year later, after he got rheumatic fever I believe it was. After he got out of the Air Force, Daddy went back to Woodlake, California and graduated from Woodlake Union High School in 1955 and got his diploma. Right after that he hitchhiked backed to Kentucky again, where he became friends with Harold Fraley, they both like to go to honky tonks and they both were excellent singers and since Daddy played guitar, a lot of times they could get their drinks for free. J Anyway it wasn’t long before my Daddy met my Mom, because Harold Fraley was her Uncle and they started dating and the rest is history. Three days after my Mom graduated from high school on May 11, 1957 at the home of the Rev. David Winters in Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky my Dad and Mom were married, thus begin their next 52 years together. The following is their wedding picture.
Daddy and Mom soon started their family and I (Vickie Dale Beard) was the first to join in, followed by my sisters, Kimberly Ann ‘Kim’ Beard and Deanna Jeanette ‘Deno’ Beard, and then my brothers, Anthony Franklin ‘Tony’ Beard and Barry Alan Beard. My Dad and Mom had us five kids, followed by 14 grandchildren and at this date, December 2015, there are 16 great-grandchildren living, twin girls passed away shortly after birth. The following are some family pictures, first my Dad and me with my Mom who is pregnant with my sister, Kim, in Marion, Kentucky in 1959; then me and my sister, Kim with Daddy at Church in Visalia, California in 1963; then me and my sisters, Kim and Deanna, with our parents in 1965 in Henderson, Kentucky. Then us five kids in 1975 and a picture of my two little brothers, with our parents in about 1982, Barry’s in the shorts, hope he doesn’t shoot me for posting this picture of him. J
While I was still living at home we lived in Kentucky, California and Utah, however after I was married my parents and my siblings also lived in Texas for a little while. My Dad was an instructor at the Job Corp, first at Camp Breckinridge in Morganfield, Kentucky and then at the Job Corp in South Weber, Utah, he taught plumbing and electrical while he worked there. After my Dad quit working for the Job Corp he and my Mom became property managers for over 30 years, managing apartments, houses, and mobile home parks as well as storage units. My Dad did all the maintenance and my Mom collected the rents, kept the books and also did most of the cleaning after people moved out.
Like I said previously my Daddy loved music and kept us all entertained for years. We loved his cow songs, his imitations of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Hank Snow and Ernest Tubb just to name a few. Daddy even won an all-expense paid trip from Salt Lake City to Nashville in a talent contest in 1983, he was very proud of that accomplishment. Daddy could play guitar, piano, banjo, mandolin, harmonica and a few other instruments, all he had to do was have someone play a song on whatever instrument and then he could play it right back to them. He never could figure out the fiddle though and I know he really wanted to learn that one. He was also in the choir in high school at WUHS in 1955. After they moved to Utah he was always playing for church parties and at the local nursing homes and other groups, his name got around and he was playing every Friday and Saturday nights and sometimes even in the middle of the week as well for many, many years. The following are just a few pictures of him in the high school choir from his yearbook, a newspaper article with him and a couple of ladies that sang with him for a little while and Daddy and his guitar in 1962, the 1970’s and in the 1990’s.
Daddy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and so he slowed down on his music, he was embarrassed to be shaking while playing and singing and he thought he didn’t sound as good. We of course thought he still sounded just fine and we would get him to play and sing as often as we could. I even started having a birthday party for him every year up at my house and would invite some of his music friends and other friends so that he could sing and play for all of us. Following are a couple of pictures from those parties, Daddy with his friends the Capener’s in 2007 and 2008 in my backyard. In the first picture he is playing a guitar that belongs to the Capener’s now, but originally had belonged to Johnny Cash.
The birthday party in 2008 was the last one we were able to have with Daddy. That next year he just wasn’t feeling himself, he seem to be slowing down a lot and the Parkinson’s seem to be even more pronounced. My first grandchildren, twin boys, were born on May 10, 2009 and the first Sunday in July they were blessed at church and Daddy was there to see them and be in the circle when their father gave them their blessings. He was pretty weak and we had a stool for him to set on while he was in the circle. Just a little over a week later he suffered a massive heart attack early in the morning and lasted almost two weeks before he passed away at the age of 73, on July 27, 2009. The doctors were amazed that he survived the heart attack because his heart was so damaged. I believe he wanted to give us all a chance to get use to the fact that he wouldn’t be with us anymore. I don’t know that over six years later we are any more use to it, we still miss him so much and I know we always will. Daddy was buried at the Clearfield City Cemetery in Clearfield, Davis County, Utah on August 3, 2009 and my Mom was buried beside him two years later on October 8, 2011.
The following are some videos I did with my Daddy singing a number of different songs that I posted on You Tube. You can access them from this link: Daddy's videos