Beulah Byrd Soprano, Baton Twirler, Poodle Stylist,
Cosmetologist for the Deceased
You need to know my history, or my biography like on them TV shows so I’ll
be as brief as I can, but my life story is about as fascinating and
exciting as any of those dumb shows, so here goes nothing.
I moved from Nearly There, AL, to Box Springs, TN, when I
was a little girl. My momma and daddy took us on family vacation there onct when me and my brother, Punkin Moon (that was my maiden name, Beulah
Moon), and we stayed at the RV Park where we made lots of new friends.
Mom and Daddy fell in love with Box Springs and when the owner of the
“Shoes and Cheese” store offered daddy a job he threw up his hands and
shouted “Praise God, I’ve found my calling!”
So I feel like I’ve always lived in Box Springs. Momma ran a local beauty
parlor, so I spent my time playing with people’s hair under the sink, and
then when I got older, wrenching their hair out before momma took her
scissors to it. I am now the local beautician for the funeral home, and I
believe the reason people trust me is because I’ve made them up when they
was alive and then when they was dead. That kind of close up touch is what I do best and makes for real good
I also work part time at The House of Poodles, fixing their hair and
cleaning off the ticks and stuff that gets attached to them.
Having two jobs shows you what an overachiever I am, but I seem made to
handle it. There was only one time I almost got fired from the funeral
home. It was when I had worked a double shift at the Poodle Store and
went straight to make up old Mrs. Doubledunn. Her family complained that
she looked very much like a poodle at the viewing and I realized I had
teased her hair a bit much and the purple bow dead center of her forehead
(excuse the pun, ‘dead’ I’m funny too...) did give her a canine effect.
Anyhow, I distress...or digest or digress or something like that. This is
really mostly about my role as the pompous and proud soprano of the Glory
Bugles and an irregular member of the Whiteside Fellowship Choir.
It was Farley’s idea.....the Glory Bugles. I just love him so much! We
have been married since we met in high school, and he’s the smartest man
God ever made. The only source of pretension between us is that we can’t
seem to reproduce. Farley Byrd says it’s because my eggs won’t hatch. I
say it’s because his tadpoles never learned to swim. But we have each other
and that’s how God must have meant us to be. Maybe we’d be bad
parents, I don’t know, 'cause The Glory Bugles are gonna really take off
someday and I imagine we might be so busy we’d flat forget we even had a
baby and leave it on the road somewhere!
Singing with the Bugles has given a whole new meaning to music for me, and
Queenie Delphine and Harley Never are like family. (The only thing about
Queenie, and don’t you dare tell her I said this, is that I think she does
flaunt her boobs to get attention. They are huge! But they’re all
Queenie, no fake plastic stuff.....but when she gets pouty and in bad way,
she just sticks her chest out and the fellas do whatever she wants. And
they bounce too much for my taste. Other than that she’s my best friend.
She is also great with fixing the bus when it breaks down. Her wig gets
caught up in the flywheel sometimes but we always take up a collection to
get her a new one.)
We found Harley Never, who is an animal psychologist, mostly pigs,
but he’s good with almost any critter.....well, we had a fire down at
The House of Poodles and it nearly scared the poodle poop out of
a few of my more nervous dogs. I took one of them to see Harley
for a counseling session, and heard him singing something in pig Latin
to calm the dog. It was like a message from God! THERE WAS OUR
So Farley asked Harley to join the Bugles and we was complete!
(It’s been hard to keep tenors. We go through them like a good coffee
cake. Ernst Smoot ran off with the youth director at church when they was
on a missions trip in a third world country. Never heard from him since.
Then Hobart Padmore -- a Civil War re-enactor -- stopped taking his medication and wandered off, we
have no idea what happened to him. He was married to Queenie but slept in
a pup tent in their backyard.....You can imagine what that was like for Queenie, and now she’s a
widow.....or not.....just single again I guess. Secretly I am hoping she
and Harley will see stars in each other’s eyes or hear Casablanca stuff
around their heads.
Then we had Maynard Wool who just couldn’t stand the pressure, so he
quit and went back to his tuxedo and canoe rental business.....oh and there was a guy named Guy Penrod. Mr. Bill Gaither stoled
him away from us and I still can’t believe it! We make it a point never
to play near a “Homecoming” concert so Mr. Gaither can’t steal no more of
Harley has been an answer to prayer.)
The only person I haven’t told you about is my brother Punkin Moon. Now
he’s our prodigal Bugle. My brother is a good man deep down but he has
one big problem. He steals things. Can’t seem to stop. He’s our
drummer, and he does a good job playing considering he’s wearing handcuffs
and his prison uniform. Sometimes he can play for us and other
times the parole officer won’t let him loose. The last gig we had he’d
been picked up at the local Boxmart, they caught him with a tube of Zem’s
Crack Creme, some self tanning crud, and two Vestal Goodman CDs. He’ll be
Anyway, I’m a bit of a fashion plate as well. I consider it part of my
ministry to present myself as boldly as possible to our audience. God made
woman second and I think it’s because He looked at man and thought, “I’ve
got one better.” So I like to dress up real nice and even at work I try
to look like I’ve just stepped off the page of the National Globe Weekly.
My dream for the Glory Bugles is that we might somehow make it big, and
take our songs all over the south, maybe even north or west. I watch
“Women at Large” on tv every week and they talk about how they bounce
their show across the galaxy. If we could ever sing for them I would
think I’d died right then and there. But singing at local BoxMarts and gas stations is good too cause there’s a need for
good gospel music everywhere.
Well, now you know a little about me, but if you ever want to interview
me, let me know cause I talk a mile a minute. OH, I forgot, one of the
things I bring to the Glory Bugles performance is my baton twirling
gymnastics trick. In our “Hallelujah To Ya:” medley, Harley sings “Glory
Hallelujah” and halfway through it I pull out my baton and go slowly
slowly slowly down into the splits while twirling ..... people gasp out
loud and a few have been known to cry.
OK, I guess that’s all. The other Bugles won’t be quite as interesting as I
am, but that’s just how it goes. Every group has one person that kind of
sticks out, and I know that’s my gift.