Welcome to the Darden Records.
If you’ve just joined our journey, we’re so glad to have you along on this wild documentation of previous and current thoughts, memories, musings, and of course, music.
For those of you who have been cheering us on from the sidelines for years, we thank you. We are so inspired by the folks who have been along for the ride, and there are many more adventures to come!
Our family has never been “normal” (but really what family is) and we love it that way. Music has always been our thing. From the moment our grandfather Joe Tatar perched on a piano bench as a young boy, knowing he’d fallen in love, a precedent was set. Forever.
The four of us have been singing long before we can remember. What started as a lifeline for Mom to keep four little girls age five and under from tearing up the house beyond repair has now blossomed into our life purpose.
Upon finding out we’ve been homeschooled our entire upbringing, people have always inquired, “Do you think you missed out, not going to ‘regular’ school?” And in truth, there have been moments of curiosity for each one of us, wondering what it would be like to be in a classroom with kids our age, doing assignments and homework and all that fun stuff - then we realized- pretty much every day growing up we sat at desks (or chairs or parks or the beach etc) with people around our age (okay, siblings, but still people) doing assignments, HOMEwork and all that fun stuff and more.
Things got even more exciting when we took our little singing gig on the road. Mom, Dad, and daughters piled into an RV and started a six year journey as “Singing Evangelists,” bringing a Gospel/Patriotic Von Trapp Family-esque experience to predominantly churches nationwide.
For the most part, life on the road was bliss. Scenes of dazzling golden wheat fields, snowcapped purple mountains, and exquisite sunsets flashed rapidly past the window of our home on wheels as we hurried to finish our school work, hoping to prevent becoming too carsick to enjoy the constant entertainment that was zooming by just outside.
Each day was a new adventure, with places to go, things to discover, and more wildflowers to press for our ever-expanding collections.
Once we finished our required studies for the day, we would have the rest of the afternoon to play I Spy out the window if we were driving, a game of cards (with grip material), or if we were lucky we could turn on the generator and watch a couple episodes of Little House on The Prairie or The Andy Griffith Show until we arrived at our next destination. Once parked and leveled, we would set up camp, then have some free time to pick blackberries in Washington, ride horses in Wisconsin, be pirates on a playground ship in Texas, and build forts and “make house” in every forest we could find.
By the way, for those curious about what leveling means, when you live in a motorhome or trailer, it’s pretty important to make sure your little house isn’t leaning one way or the other once you’re parked. So using a construction leveler, we had to make sure it was perfectly straight and if not, we traveled with little blocks to drive up on to ensuring a pleasant living experience.
Come holiday season we would return to Orange County to have a few stationary months with family. Those months were just as fun as traveling for us. Our grandparents ( Nana and Papa) would be waiting for us in the White House with Green Shutters, arms wide open.
When springtime came along, we were back on the road and off to a new adventure! We thought those days would never end.