Friday, September 14, 2012

Meet the Barefoot family - part 3

Here is part three of the family biography series.  Parts 1 and 2 are here and here, respectively.

Harvey Leon Barefoot is the middle of the three children of Popeye and Annie.  He was a top high-school athlete; his sports were football and wrestling.  In the latter sport, Harvey made the North Carolina state high-school quarterfinals in the 154-pound class.  After graduation, he worked for Black & Decker for a decade before he was laid off, then spent some years at Barefoot's Auto Mart.

Recognizing that the period after Jesus' return would see a shift to the use of handmade, low-technology items, Harvey diligently learned the techniques for crafting them.  Once he moved to the family farm, a workshop was established.  Today, just about every significant object, from furniture and appliances to toys and dolls, comes from his hands.  And Harvey is still at it, working from 9 a.m. to as late as midnight, six days a week.

Harvey has joined Popeye, Ralph, and cousin Landon Jr. in forming the Barefoot Boys, a Southern gospel quartet singing group.  Harvey also continues his love of sports, including hunting, fishing, and softball.

Avatar: Justin Barefoot, former college baseball player and current owner of Barefoot Outdoors in Smithfield, NC.


Buddy Wayne Barefoot is not only the heart and soul of the extended family, he is also a modern-day cult hero, beloved by millions of people across the United States and around the world, especially in the South.

The story of his old life is well known.  Born with birth defects, in a fractured family, he became an outstanding high school student and athlete, and also learned to play country acoustic guitar.  When he heard about Baldrige Island, and the opportunities it represented, he decided to take the biggest chance of his life, far from home.  However, he (and his brother) had to leave the U.S. in secret to overcame his unloving birth father; the subterfuge that led to their flight out would be the basis of his hit song "Bluebird."

While he was overseas, he built the career combination - race-car driving and country music - that would make him famous throughout the world.  Once he returned home, B.W. took both of them to a whole new level, becoming the only person in the history of America to win both a major professional sports championship and a major entertainment award.  However, his racing career was cut short when that birth defect - a heart-rhythm problem - endangered his life.

A few years later, B.W. made a comeback as a musician, and won the inaugural Sing for the World, the Olympics of popular music.  That win, he spread his platform of returning to the times of simpler lifestyles to over 40 countries around the world.  It also set the stage for his post-Rapture life, one in which he would live where he always wanted to be.  He has called the residence "a world in which hard work is rewarded, no one has a care and joy lasts forever."

B.W. is the head of household, scheduling activities for all 13 members of the family each day.  He is the chief planter of food and other crops, gathers honey from the beehive, and represents the entire family in dealings with neighbors and others in the outside world.  But B.W.'s most rewarding task is as father figure to Bryson, an older (but younger-looking) brother revived in this life and in need of guidance.

B.W. is also in charge of "shooting the breeze," a regular series of storytelling and entertainment sessions held nearly every night in the house.  While there, he carries over one of the things that made him famous: his incredible guitar-playing skills, with an instrument he calls "Beulah" (he borrowed the idea of naming that instrument from the legendary bluesman B.B. King).

Avatars: John "Bubba" Britton, former contestant on the ESPN reality show Beg, Borrow & Deal.  He now works as a computer software salesman in South Carolina.  The "action photo" is a Photoshop composite of Britton's face with that of a resident of Lawrence, MA.)


Brandy Nicole Barefoot was born and raised in Raleigh, NC, the state capital located about 40 miles from the family farm.  She was an honors student in high school and after graduation, joined the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League as an intern.  Brandy was later reassigned to join the Ice Storm cheerleading team.  In her featured task, she rode around the ice rink with a "gun" that fired off promotional T-shirts.  A few years later, Brandy was promoted to director of community relations for the Hurricanes and got her name on the Stanley Cup when the 'Canes won the title in 2006.

When the New Earth was established, Brandy expected to join her parents Daniel and Laurie and brother Britton "Bunky" in their house.  However, when she heard that Bunky was instead sent to live with extended relatives on the Barefoot Family Farm, she volunteered to go there instead.  "That just speaks well to her character," Daniel (Alfred's brother) says.

Brandy is learning domestic skills from the older women in the family and considers the quilting bee the highlight of her time in the house.  She also loves ballroom dancing.

Avatar: Amanda Barefoot, Miss Benson 2010; currently a student at UNC Wilmington

REBA PEARL ("Hambone"), 19
Reba Pearl Barefoot is the youngest of the three children of Popeye and Annie. She could also be described as the quintessential "redneck woman." On one hand, Reba has a curvaceous body, a cute smile, and a beguiling accent. On the other hand, she loves hunting, fishing, drinking beer, loud country and rock music, and is notorious for being the dumbest of the 13 residents. (For example, she thinks that ESPN is a TV network for psychics.)

Her nickname that everyone calls her comes from an unique talent: hamboning.  It's an obscure and very elemental form of music that doesn't use instruments at all, but rather one's own body.  For decades, hamboning was popular in southern Appalachia and scattered other parts of the rural American South.  Today, the art is considered lost due to the apathy of more recent generations who prefer modern musical styles.

At the farm, Hambone helps in feeding, farm upkeep, and household chores. She also has a lucrative side business as owner of Camp Paradise, a 210-acre hunting lodge and mud bog which she has bought from four of Buddy Wayne's distant cousins.

Avatar: Alyssa Barefoot, senior at South Johnston High School in Four Oaks, NC

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