Carole Lee Bierdeman Bean Booth
When I was 13, my family moved from Chicago to Ft. Worth, so by the time I got to Paschal I was just getting used to being a Texan. Do you remember Western Day when everyone dressed “Western”, and some of the boys even demonstrated how to roll cigarettes like cowboys did? That was an amazing event for a Yankee girl to witness.
I smile as I remember how friends would drive by honking their “Hello’s” in code, and how we wore layers of horsehair and crinoline petticoats under our poodle skirts. After Paschal, and after graduating from SMU, I taught high school, got married to Larry Bean, a tax attorney, lived in Dallas and had two children.
When my children were young, a friend and I got involved in trying to influence neighborhood gardeners to go organic. We started an organization called, The Pesticide Task Force, which was later merged into the Texas Committee on Natural Resources. We gave lectures and put on Dallas’ first Organic Garden Tour, during which we sold beneficial insects like ladybugs and praying mantis’ and convinced a few nurseries to do the same. We were some of the first “organic” people in the city back then. That was probably the reason for getting involved in Mayor Eric Jonsson’s Goals for Dallas Program, back in 1971. It was a neighborhood movement designed to generate ideas on how our city should plan for the future. It was exhilarating being involved in the planning process for Dallas’ future.
I married again in 1978 to my husband, Daryl. We moved from Dallas and now we live outside of Allen, just north of Dallas in the country and in a geodesic dome, which we built ourselves. We work together, running an electronics distribution company, known as Prime Distributing. I did outside sales in Austin for several years, especially because both children were in school there and it was a good reason to go down there frequently. Now, I work out of the office in Allen. We just celebrated our 34th year in business.
My interest in beneficial insects expanded to beekeeping, and I have been a beekeeper for twenty-eight years. Some folks in our area don’t like to drive at night, so we started a little association in Allen, which has become the leading club of beekeepers in the state. I sell the honey to health food stores and a farmers market. The number of colonies topped at about twenty-hive colonies but dry weather has reduced the amount of honey produced as well as bees, so now the number is at 10. Most customers are people with allergies.
In 1991, an acupuncturist got me started with Tai Chi, and after practicing what is called, “The Form” for eight years, I began to teach classes through the Recreation Center in Allen, two nights a week. I am pleased to say that the Tai Chi classes are very popular, and teaching it has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life.
Back in 1971, I met a lady who changed my life and directed me into the spiritual path that has been mine all these years. Now, I also teach Meditation and a course written by her, called, “A Balanced Path”.
I think back to the people who influenced our lives in high school. Many of you who have written biographies mention the names of a few who have changed and molded their being. One person can make such a big difference. I like to think that being a facilitator, more than being a motivator, is what helps the right people come together at the right time, to make a positive difference. I commend the committee who have taken the time and dedicated it with their energy and drive to facilitate this reunion. It puts a totally different perspective on those days and on those of us who walked the halls together. I love reading each person’s story. I was glad to leave when it was time to graduate, but now I will be glad to return to see you again. Carole