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It was 1971


1971       back: Jennifer, Randall, Jeanette                                                                                                       front: Melanie, Jason, Melissa

by Randall Beaird

Here’s a fun picture of me and my siblings.  Now, for their stories…

Jason —  “I started playing golf at about 16, and was so eager to practice I

jasonkid1hung a piece of jasonold shag carpet up inside the barn near the back door.  I hit balls into it day after day.  The balls were mostly falling down below the carpet but a few fell behind it.  I was really loving my new practice facility until I went around the back of the carpet after a week and saw about 20 holes in the back barn door.  The balls I hit with the driver had been going through the carpet and right through the door.  Barn door looked like swiss cheese!”

Randall  —  I was nearly six years old when Jason randallkidwas born, and was bouncing off the walls to have a brother, finally, after being surrounded by 4 sisters.  I guess I was kind of a wrestler back then, or something, because mother would say that Jason’s first spoken words were, “Randall hit me.”  randall1So I got in trouble for being a little too rough.  Then, one  summer we all met up at the lake for a vacation. I was 23, Jason 18, and he was finally my size, so he was kind of layin’ in the weeds for me, so to speak.  We started wrestling in the shallow water; I recognized the moment, a special moment for him, and let him get the best of me, as he hoisted me overhead in a triumphant toss. I guess I had it comin’.

On a side note, Jason is an amazing musician.  He put melodies/vocals to most of my lyrics at https://www.showcaseyourmusic.com/artist/70962/shawneegrove and narrated/sang an eductional cartoon I wrote at ….

Melanie — (Written by David Frey)”The awesome woman in this photo ismelaniekids1a Melanie Ellsworth. She is an amazing woman.She had a powerful impression that she should be my kidney donor (I have Polycistic Kidney Disease.) She courageously stepped forward to donate. During her testing, the doctors shockingly discovered that she had an unusual form of kidney cancer, which is rarely detected until it is too late. Yesterday, she had it safely removed. Probably saved her life. God works in mysteriously wonderful ways. THANK YOU Melanie!”

Melanie and David Frey

Melanie and David Frey

Pretty cool story!  Melanie teaches 5th Grade Science and has her own blog http://www.raisedurbangardens.com/

Melanie’s story —  “When I was ten years old, Jennifer told me, Melissa and Jason that our house in Houston was an old castle.  She said that when she pulled off an air vent cap on the roof she found an old slide that went to a dungeon.  She had our attention with wild eyed expressions and hand gestures. Theremelanie was treasure and jewels down in this dungeon, just waiting for us. Jennifer opened the window above the bathtub and helped us squeeze through.  The moment we were all out on the roof, she slammed the window shut and started laughing.  We knew we were had, and all burst into tears.  Finally, she let us back in after a couple of minutes.  I learned that day to be wary of Jennifer’s imagination, and to this day I am afraid of roofs.

I also remember Jason as a big prankster.  His tricks included,  putting something on top of a bedroom door, usually a tennis ball, so that it would fall and startle whoever opened it, putting stink bait under someones bed, putting saran wrap on the toilet seat, stringing fishing line across the hallway to trip someone, but his most memorable prank was turning the clear plastic carpet protector, with the jagged gripper points on the bottom, upside down so that it would be a little painful for someone to walk over in their bare feet.  Dad spilled a cup of coffee from this one.

4 generations

4 generations

family pic for carda

 Jennifer —

jenniferkid1“I am the oldest, but only by three minutes. I am blessed to have ajennifer1 twin sister who I have shared many life experiences with, and is the one person who knows above all else what it felt like to be the oldest in a family of six kids. One memory I have was the time the neighborhood bully wanted to fight me at the swimming pool when I was 13. I was there with my best friend Betty Lou and as we were leaving the pool. Pam came up to us and said she wanted to fight me. I was literally scared to death. I had never been in a fight before in my whole life. She kept taunting me and even pushed me a couple of times. I told her I would fight her but only at my house. I lived two blocks away from the swimming pool. I walked home with Betty Lou at my side. I was trembling, my heart pounding faster than it ever had, and all the way home Betty Lou kept consoling me and basically trying to toughen me up. Pam and her friend walked behind us calling me ‘chicken’ all the way home. We stopped one time when Pam insisted she wasn’t going to follow me home. She tried to come at me, but the neighbor came out and told us to get off his yard. We resumed walking home—Betty Lou and I in front– Pam and her friend behind us taunting me the whole way. When I reached my driveway, I broke from Betty Lou’s side and ran in screaming, “Jeanette, Jeanette, Pam wants to fight me!” At the time Jeanette was chopping onions on a cutting board. My panicked cries were all it took, when Jeanette gave me the “killer” look, and slamming down the large butcher knife, screamed, “Where is she!” She had the look of a mad dog– she was ready to rumble! All I can say is my heart leapt with joy as I knew I was not going to have to fight. Pam was quite surprised to see Jeanette tear out the front door wanting to fight. I remember something about an an apron being flung off in the driveway. Pam protested saying something about wanting to fight me (chicken liver) when Jeanette screamed, “You fight someone then it is going to be me!” A fight ensued, mainly just two girls circling each other— Jeanette slapping Pam’s outstretched hand, and Pam occasionally pulling Jeanette’s long hair. A paper boy riding his bicycle down the street screamed, “A fight! A fight!” and wheeled his bike into our driveway. Then our babysitter pulled up and sent Pam and the small crowd of neighborhood kids home. That night she taught us all karate, but not before giving us all a big lecture on not fighting. Let it go down in history that Jeanette got every bit of courage and bravery in the gene pool we share— but I am not complaining! She was my hero that dreadful day.”kemptonfamily1

Jeanette —


“I remember Dad having a very giving heart with animals.  Hejeanettejohn1 allowed us to take in Bud, a mut stray off the streets of Houston.  One night Bud got sick and was throwing up blood.  Dad took Jennifer and I to the vet with Bud.  It was a complicated and expensive situation.  Our two other dogs were required to give their blood for transfusions–Bud had heartworms.  Several more treatments later and Bud lived a long life, making the move out to the country to Thompsons (outside of Rosenberg.)”    (Jeanette’s website is http://www.texashealthins.com/index.html)

Melissa —


“I never will forget the time my friend Dawn came over one hot summer day.  She was on her horse with the neighborhood pest following on her heels.  We were visiting by the pool when this same kid walked up out of nowhere and slapped the horse on the rump.  It was rodeo time, as the horse jumped straight up and landed in the pool.  It made a rather impressive lap, swimming around the pool, came to the steps and walked out casually,  like he was leaving a jucuzzi.  Mom loves to tell how she came home that afternoon to find all her towels draped on the horse’s back.  Dawn talked me into it–she was afraid her horse would catch a cold.


Randall:  I didn’t have a chance to keep my toys with these two. Mother on my first Christmas, “Randall did his little football training, dodging Jennifer and Jeanette in making a run, trying to keep his toys, at least for a little while. ”


Okay, so I got my fair share at the dinner table.

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