Who Gets the Drumstick?

Long before the Duggar Family became famous on TLC’s reality show, there was the Beardsley Family. For those familiar with either the original 1968 movie, Yours Mine and Ours, or the remake in 2005, the Beardsleys were a blended family. In 1961, Helen North, a widow with eight children, married Frank Beardsley, a widower with ten children. Together they had two children, for a total of 20 altogether. The movie is a fictionalized account of their story together and loosely based on Helen Beardsley’s book, “Who Gets the Drumstick?

I recently borrowed this book from a friend of mine. “Yours, Mine and Ours” starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda has always been one of my favorite movies. So I was very interested in reading the true life story written by Helen Beardsley. I found it to be a wonderful, entertaining read.

While it is dated in some of its attitudes, it is a beautifully inspiring story of what it means to be open to life. Just after their first baby together (Joseph) is born, Helen Beardsley shares some revelations:

“It was 5:42 in the morning….How can anyone alive not revere life? To see the beauty of a newborn child is more startling than the most glorious southern sunset; more enchanting than purple mists on the mountains. What could be more beautiful than a new little life? A little form born of love? What sounds could quicken your heart, what knowledge fall more happily to your mind than the recognition of a new little life?”

And later…

“But the new baby was important…he was a blessing over the new love between Frank and me. He was our answer to the weak-hearted, those afraid of life; more, he was our answer to our own fears. We placed little Joseph John Beardsley and his future into the hands of the Lord with faith that was a reflection of Abraham’s. By all the rules of our time and society, we should have been afraid. We had by any modern standards too many children to support and raise properly. Now we had another. Joseph John Beardsley was the greatest act of faith we could perform. I hugged him as a mother and loved the life in him and was deeply grateful than his father was a man of faith in this age of doubt.”

In this day and age of widespread abortion and contraception, Helen North Beardsley’s thoughts are even more relevant and inspiring. She died in 2000.

The book is no longer in print, but several Amazon sellers still carry it. I highly recommend it!

To check out more interesting information on the Beardsley Family:


4 thoughts on “Who Gets the Drumstick?

  1. Helen’s quote is so inspiring. I love how she says that Joseph John was “the greatest act of faith we could perform.” I certainly felt that way about my last child.

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