by Randall Beaird
My father is buried close to Scotty Beaird Road out in Moffett, Texas. Scotty was my father’s cousin, my second cousin, and is buried not far from my father.
As is usually the case, Scotty once lived on Scotty Beaird Road, and it gained his name while he was still living–quite an honor. The only problem is they misspelled his name, and left out the “i” on all the street signs, spelling it “Beard.”
I thought that was a tragedy, to name a road after someone and then misspell his name. I called the highway department. They were shocked it happened, but the red tape and recent budget cuts at the time made it seem nothing would be done anytime soon.
So with clipboard in hand I put on my walking shoes. I hiked up and down Scotty Beaird Road, knocking on every door. My speech was simple, “Scotty Beaird was my father’s cousin. They named this road after him in his honor, and they misspelled his name on all the street signs–yeah, they left out the “i.”
Most everyone agreed something should be done, and signed my petition to have it corrected. There was only one person, out of about thirty houses, that dug in their heels….was worried about getting their mail and the “address change” hassles. “Sorry, I’m not going to do it,” as the door clicked shut. But, a few houses before that one, is the one I never will forget.
The front door wasn’t easily accessible, so I ventured around back. A huge dog roared to attention, out of nowhere. About the time I thought I was a dead man, I saw the chain–he was chained, but every muscle was straining to break it.
I was determined to reach that back door, not to let Scotty down. I thought if that dog breaks that chain, there will be no retreat. No one was home, but the chain held, and I should have thanked God, but I thanked Scotty, my great cousin Scotty, as I quickly walked to the next house.
I took all my signatures to the next County Commissioner meeting–they let me speak. I had my speech memorized of course, the same speech I gave all the nice people on Scotty Beaird Road. But, this time I could hardly get through it–my voice cracking with emotion. I remember lots of heads nodding in agreement, that it just wasn’t right, that it was just wrong……and it worked! Scotty Beaird can look down in peace, as that one big dog, waits for one more chance, one more jerk at the chain, to get that little cousin.
(Scotty and his wife Burnice never had children. Scotty was known for being an artist and very kind. He was an Eagle Scout and Scout Master for many years. He was also a Sunday School teacher, and put the Gideon bible in many rooms.)