Boytt and Lola Hardy, his brother Estes and other relatives lived in and around Delight, Ark. Boytt and Lola were both from share cropping families, moving wherever crops were ready for picking or gathering. Both had Gospel preaching fathers and they were also involved in tent revival activities around crop picking seasons. They also became lifelong friends of Wes and Carrie Campbell.
Boytt and Lola moved to Detroit, Michigan in the early 1930s. His brother Estes was a missionary preacher and moved from Delight to Lindrith, New Mexico around 1934 and established the Lindrith Baptist Church (that still exists today).
In the early ‘40s, Estes convinced Boytt and Lola to move from Detroit to “picturesque” Lindrith, to join him and his family. Lindrith is a small town in northern New Mexico with around 200 people. It fit Glen’s description of Billstown…”You have to be going there to get there”.
When Boytt and Lola arrived, they soon purchased a couple of trading posts and began acquiring land from early homesteaders in Rio Arriba county around Lindrith. The trading post in Lindrith was known as “The Lindrith Store”, which Glen worked at. They sold food, as well as shoes and clothing. The Post Office was at this location. Mrs. Hardy ran that also! The original “Lindrith Store” still stands today.
Around 1951, Boytt and Lola brought Glen to their home in Lindrith from his home in Billstown, to raise him. It is believed that this may have helped the Campbell's out as they were poor sharecroppers with a large family and possibly the Hardy’s by having another hand around the house. They had also heard Glen play and thought he could pick up some work as a guitar player around where they lived while helping around the house and farming duties.
In Glen's autobiography, Rhinestone Cowboy, he shared:
"Boytt and Lola Hardy had lost a son in WWII and they seemed to shine up to me as if I were his replacement. They had some land to farm in New Mexico and asked me if I would go with them to work it. I needed the job and those folks needed me, so I took them up on their offer. ...While in New Mexico I enrolled in the tenth grade....I didn't learn a lot that year...All I could think about was playing music. I got a job playing on Friday and Saturday nights at the Coon Hollar Club in Regina, New Mexico, with a singer named Texas Slim."
From the Garden City Telegram (Garden City, Kansas) February 26, 1971...Glen stated in an interview:
"With such a big family, everything we did was a scramble: At dinner, you had to fight for a place at the long table with big benches along each side for the kids and Mom and Dad sitting on the end." "...some old friends of my folks came through Billstown and took a liking to me. Mr. and Mrs. Boytt Hardy were living in Lindrith, New Mexico, and they said I could go stay with them. And having heard my music they seemed to think I could pick up some work thereabouts. My mother really didn't want me to go, but she could see I was determined...Soon after I Ieft Billstown, I was playing weekends at a place in Lindrith called Coon Holler."
The Woodfills share:
Glen’s reason for moving with Boytt and Lola was to afford him an educational opportunity at the local school and an income from working at the store. Glen, having missed several years of school, re-enrolled in the 10th grade for a short period of time while living in Lindrith. The school that Glen attended was built in 1931. It is the oldest and last adobe structure to be utilized for educational purposes in New Mexico. It was renovated sometime in the 90’s…but the original structure exists under the renovation. Sadly, 2019 was the last year the school could stay open due to a declining population of children in Lindrith. (Glen actually performed a “concert” for the folks of Lindrith)
John shared this story that his father, Jimmy Woodfill, shared with him:
During the summer of 51, Glen accompanied my parents to Arkansas following my parents’ marriage. My dad joked that he wanted to throw Glen out of the vehicle because he wouldn't put that dang guitar down and quit singing when others were trying to get some rest. They were going to Arkansas for my mom Hope (Hardy) Woodfill to introduce my dad to her extended family.
Glen helped the Hardy’s around the house and at their trading posts. John shares that Boytt “was also a musician and knew other local musicians. He introduced Glen to H.C. “Texas Slim” Lasater, Tommy Collins and others who played in local “honkytonks”, including Coon Holler. These “gigs” gave him notoriety and afforded him extra monies.”
It is felt that he left the Hardy’s home and went to Houston in the latter part of 1952. But that doesn’t mean he turned his back on the relationships he forged in Lindrith. If you follow Glen’s career, you will find he always remembered the important people in his life.
The Woodfill’s remember “Glen and his wife coming to Lindrith on various deer hunting outings. These NM excursions were filled with good home cooking and music. The last hunting trip I recall was when I was in junior high school (mid sixties) when Glen and his wife, Billie visited. At that time, he gifted the community an “open to the public” concert at the local school gymnasium. To this day “old folks” still talk about that evening.”
It is reported that Glen came back to Lindrith many times after moving to California, as well as the Woodriff’s visiting Glen in LA. The following pictures were taken during one of Glens visits to Lindrith at Boytt’s home.
Around the same time, this article appeared in The Terre Haute Tribune:
In 1970, Glen gave this autographed check to John:
And in 90’s, Glen was appearing at the State Fair in Albuquerque. It was the last time John saw Glen in person. “His first reaction to my mother was “Oh my God, you look so much like your mother!” It was a good short visit, but Glen's show had to go on after a few pictures…
From the outside looking in, it seems clear that Glen’s time with the Hardy family was one that he held dear and was appreciative of. It certainly gave the young teenager Glen a period of stability with an opportunity to attend school, work and play guitar in a band. Glen left Lindrith over half a century ago...but the love that brought him to Lindrith by Boytt and Lola Hardy, still remains in the decendents of that family.
It is only right that a picture of John Boytt and Lola Pearl Hardy on their 50th wedding anniversary finalizes this post. One has to admire their generosity and kindness to take in Glen and give him a stable environment to normalize his daily routine…for the period of time he was willing to accept it.
I could not close without thanking the fine folks at The Lindrith Baptist Church…the same church that Estes Hardy founded in 1934…for forwarding my letter to John and Teresa Woodfill (Boytt’s family). Additionally, I have to mention again how accommodating the Woodfill’s were to all my questions and requests. Without their warmth, support and goodwill, we would have never gained a personal glimpse of Glen’s early days in Lindrith, New Mexico.
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