Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Other Brother

This picture of my niece, Kristi, and her Dad was taken at Ron's birthday party in May. We had lunch with Gene & Kristi today to celebrate Gene's birthday. (July 22, 1942)
Our family has always called him Gene but his full name is Harold Eugene Beavers, so he also answers to Harold or 'Beav'. He's been a citizen of Creston for many years.

Gene was raised by his grandparents on a farm near New Market. After high school, he went into the Navy for three years. He got home from the Navy and started classes in the fall of 1963 - just in time to meet my sister, Betty. They were both enrolled at Clarinda Junior College.

I was waiting outside the HyVee in Corning for Kenny to get off work Saturday, October 26, when Betty & Gene pulled in to the parking spot next to my car. Betty came over and asked if I would do her a big favor - go out to the folks farm and tell them she wouldn't be home that night - she and Gene were eloping. I didn't want to, but I finally agreed. I didn't know how to tell Mom & Dad what was going on so I finally just blurted out, "Betty won't be home tonight," without thinking how they might interpret that. But before they could imagine the worst, I told them she was going to Oklahoma with Gene to get married.

That is how I got my third brother. This picture of Betty, Gene and Mike was taken on the folk's front porch in 1964. In October, 1968, their daughter, Kristi, was born.
They were married almost ten years when Betty died of a brain aneurysm, October, 1973. Even though he eventually remarried, Gene always called my mom, "Mom" and me "Sis".
I remember shortly after they got married and were living in Clarinda, I had gone down to see Betty one Saturday night. We were sitting in a cafe having a coke when one of their friends came in and told us Gene had been in a car wreck and was in the hospital with a broken back. That was a scary night. He recovered but I know his back still bothers him.
Gene was born in eastern Kentucky near that state's border with West Virginia. His mother was from that area. His father, Harold R. Beavers, was a career Army man, serving in World War II (D-Day) and the Korean Conflict. He was killed in action in Korea in 1950. Google Harold R. Beavers or Camp Beavers Korea, for information about Gene's Dad's military career.
Another interesting thing about Gene's Dad is that he came to Clarinda, Iowa on one of the orphan trains in 1922 when he was five and was adopted by Roy and Gerene Beavers of New Market. His name was Walter Colowsky before it was changed to Harold Roy Beavers.
Harold or Gene, Colowsky or Beavers, I am lucky to have my third brother.

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