Dulcie Brown was her married name, from her second marriage. I’m not confident of her maiden name; it was probably Ford, but I cannot say for certain. If I’m right, then her father was Jay Ford, her mother Hattie, or Harriett, and she herself may have gone by Beulah, or perhaps the census take got it wrong. Dulcie was born in Oregon—on 25 February 1899—but moved to California at some point. (The Fords moved from Oregon to California sometime between 1900 and 1910.) According to later reports, she finished only eighth grade, which wasn’t surprising for a girl who grew up on a farm.
As Dulcie remembered it, her father had a sense of humor. He’d grown up in Iowa—Jay Ford was from Iowa, too—and had supposedly been kept busy hunting bears for his family, who enjoyed ursine meat above all else. (Already this sounds like a fable.) Soon enough, he became an adept. In 1968, Dulcie wrote about his failsafe technique, trying to capture he father’s voice:
“I’d track that ol’ bear ’til I could see the whites of his eyes. Then I’d sneak up on him, kinda easy like. When he’d get sight of me he would lomp [sic] up on his hind legs and put his arms around me and start huggin’ me. Right then I’d start ticklin’ his belly. Then that bear would start laughin’ and I’d keep on ticklin’ him. It wasn’t long before he laughed himself to death. I tell you, that’s the best eatin’ thar is—laughin’ bear meat.”