I, Olin Hal Beaver, son of Edwin Clay and Bernice Parks Beaver, was born September 10, 1945, in Stamford, Texas. I was named for Amos Olin Beaver, an uncle on my father’s side who died in infancy, and Hal Parks, my only uncle on Mother’s side. One of my earliest experiences that I can recall, was sitting like a little dummy and letting my brother Dennis mix dirt and water and spreading it on me to make me look like a little “tar baby”.
While living in Stamford, my dad had several cages of rabbits. All were solid white except one black buck. He got out of his cage and was gone for weeks. Then one Sunday morning we looked out and there he was. We wondered how he knew that it was Easter morning!
Dad was transferred to Abilene shortly before my fourth birthday. We bought a home on the banks of Catclaw Creek, at 2341 North 3rd Street, where I grew up. Here were many childhood experiences with neighborhood playmates, one who was my best pal. One day he and I were playing in an old trailer, running from front end to back to make it flip up and down. My pup was running back and forth beside the trailer keeping up with us. But, unfortunately, he got to the front of the trailer in time to be knocked in the head with the tongue of the trailer. Fun and happiness came to a halt and we cried all during the backyard burial.
All through the years we had a variety of animals at varying stages: a mama cat who presented three kittens – one for each of us boys, the parakeet stage, chickens, a white mouse that our cat soon eliminated, old Pooch the dog, and even a wild duck. A small wild duck had to land from its migrating flock in a friend’s yard. Of course it was our family that could give it the best home. We named it “Ous” with the idea that if it laid eggs it would become “Gus-Gus”. Sure enough “Gus-Gus” began la ing eggs in the spring, and no one ever forgot whose turn it was to eat the egg.
Once my dad bought a milk goat, hoping that goat’s milk might help his stomach ulcers. Dad was trying to milk her one day and he couldn’t get her to stand up, so Mother went out to hold her up for Dad to milk her. But by the time she got there twin goats were being born.
Soon after I started my first year of school, we were walking home from school and stopped to inspect the building of a new bridge across North First. The worsers had quit for the day. Dennis and others had found it fun to jump off the bridge onto a sand pile underneath. I was a bit smaller, but I had to keep up with the older ones. So, I ran on a loose plank to try to make a successful jump. The plank kicked up and I fell a bout ten feet onto some rocks and cracked my cranium. Gail carried me home in a semi-conscious state and my parents soon had me to the hospital. It was termed a skull fracture and I had to stay in bed six weeks before returning to school.
As soon as I was old enough, possibly twelve, I had a paper route. Dennis had one that Gail formerly had carried, and we both had motor scooters. One day I rode mine down to a play area and while there my scooter was stolen. We found a few clues and after some investigation a boy did confess and my scooter was recovered —now with a flat tire. My dad had to rent a trailer to go and get it.
Our next door neighbor, Henry Hart had a pet monkey. We soon learned not to tease the money for he could be mean by scratching and biting. We’ve learned to keep our distance from Mr. Hart, too, especially when he was driving. On day later, we had a ghastly experience when a neighbor asked us to go with him into Mr. Hart’s house. There we saw that Mr. Hart had sat down in a chair with a gun between his legs and had blown his entire head off. It was an eerie experience for teenage boys.
I don’t have a clear memory of Granny and Grandpa Beaver. I was just four years old when Grandpa passed away at our house. I do remember that Granny came to see us occasionally during the seven years that she outlived him.
My dad’s health began worsening soon after Granny died in 1957. He and Mother decided that it would be best for Mother to complete her last year of college so that she could possibly get better employment if she should need to make tne living. The day of her graduation she sent me to a local barber for a haircut. I reauested that he give me a “Mohawk”. To make it more outstanding I wanted the sides shaved. Graduation night, Dennis and I pranced down to the front seats. My parents wondered if it was so we could see better or to be seen better. Gail refused to sit by us, saying he didn’t want people to think that we were kin.
The next year, in November of 1959, my dad died. Gail already had a full time job. Dennis and I had jobs after school and in the summertime. Mother had a part time job until my senior year, then she took a full time job. During that year my grandmother, Mary Parks, was flown to Abilene to have surgery on a broken hip. She had to be given two blood transfusions. Dennis gave a pint and after school I went to give one. I made the mistake of glancing down and seeing all of that extraction, I passed out.A frantic nurse called Mother, for they had done this without parental consent. Mother had to calm the nurse before she could learn the cause for alarm. Seeing blood is a weakness of mine. I certainly couldn’t be a surgeon nor a veterinarian. Some years later I was helping Merle castrate a pig. I was sitting on the pig’s head and forelegs, watching Merle perform the surgery; I began to feel faint and released my hold just long enough to get a nip in the rear.
During high school and college we had friends who had boats and we learned to water ski. Another privilege was a swimming pool on a street back of our house where we served as life guards and were allowed to swim all we wanted to. Also a miniature golf course was adjacent to it. The manager and his wife took special interest in us and allowed us to clean the course and play golf all we wanted to. He also took us fishing often.
We worked at various jobs, saved our money and bought diving eauipment. We could stay under water about an hour with our air supply. Mother said that, ’’If I don’t have some under, I have some falling out of the sky”, for by this time Gail had taken up parachute jumping.
After finishing college I tried teaching for one year. The pay was so minimal I began looking for a better paying job. I had missed the draft because of a hearing loss in one ear, caused from an injury in grade school. I was soon hired by General Dynamics in Fort Worth. I was transferred to San Diego, then back to Fort Worth. I was later sent to Belgium where I spent six years in Brussels. While there I had several trips to neighboring countries. Fort Worth was still the home office and I made freauent trips back there. I met an attractive young lady who worked in the Fort Worth office whose parents I had met before, Vernon and Louise Oliver. Vernon was also a General Dynamics, employee in Brussels. Sue and I were married March 18, 1982, in the Oliver’s home in Fort Worth. My brother, Gail, had recovered from surgery in time to perform the ceremony. I acquired two boys, Vinny and Nicky, adding two more boys to the Clay Beaver line.
We went back to Brussels for awhile, then were transferred to Detroit, Michigan. While living there we began exploring var ious fields of business, with the idea of one of our own. After much thought and prayer, we invested in Maaco Paint and Body Company. We, both, vanted to return to our native state, and to live in my hometown of Abilene. The company was new for this area, and the possibilities promising. Our first responsibility was to buy a home. We both liked antiques, and the older homes were appealing. We found a large, two-story brick on College hill that we both liked. A business building was soon erected and we began operation in March of 1984. After one year of being in business, we are quite elated and we feel that this was an answer to prayer. I am among long-time friends and acquaintances in business and church work. We feel there is a need for us here and hope to serve as He wishes. Mother is near and we can better see to her needs.
As I reflect over the some forty years of memories which started with such incidences as being the “tar baby”, life has been filled with joy and excitement. If my boys pull half the stunts that Dennis and I pulled, I will be prematurely gray and a nervous wreck. But let’s hope they do keep the honor able name of Beaver going.
This is only a brief sketch of the many events in my life, and knowing where to cease is difficult, but this will have to suffice as of this date – April 10, 1985. Best wishes to all you aunts, uncles and cousins.