Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Siblings Day - Yeah, I Got One

Apparently today is National Siblings Day, as declared by some nonprofit somewhere and not by any goverment thing, but what the heck. I have a sibling. I celebrate his birthday with him by sending him a card and giving him a phone call, but he is good for another day.

My brother Loren is the little fellow in the car seat in the photo to the left, taken circa August 1966 or thereabouts. That's me, the big sister, giving the camera the evil eye whilst I am holding my favored Grandma Doll.

About two years after this picture was taken, my brother pushed a chair over to the counter and climbed up on the stove after a cookie or something. In so doing, he turned on the stove eye, which then set fire to another of my dolls that my mother had recently rescued from a dog and which needed a little stitching. He nearly burned the house down.

Not long after that he swallowed a bottle of children's aspirin, which I saw him do and immediately tattled on him. I saved his life. And what thanks do I get?!?

Now this is my brother with his Rock 'Em Sock 'Em robots, somewhere about 1973. That would make him seven years old in this Christmas photo.

I am sure we had many fights and arguments over those Rock 'Em Sock 'Ems. I mean, they weren't any fun with just one kid, so that meant we were probably screaming at one another while we were playing. I imagine we mimicked the commercials with "I'm going to knock your block off." I can see my mother rolling her eyes now.

Seems to me like he also received an Erector Set around the same time. He always received the good toys. Who wants an ol' doll for a present when you could be building something really cool, like a Ferris wheel?

In 1976 my brother had a little accident with a farm tractor that put him in the hospital. It was very scary. At the time they didn't let kids under 16 in to visit patients, and I was only 12, so I didn't get to see much of him until he came home a week later. He came home with goggled eyes from a hit on the head and had to undergo therapy for that. Apparently they fixed it, though they couldn't do much about the fact that he was a little boy with cooties. Just kidding, brother!

Oh, the incidents I could recall about my brother. Like the time he got mad at me on the school bus and called me a "Playtex Deodorant Tampon," even though he had no idea what that was (or so I thought, anyway). I remember the horror on the faces of the teenage girls and the laughter and hoots coming from the boys (one of which was my future husband). I recall my face turning scarlet with embarrassment. What a brat, eh?

Or the time he got left behind at school and I nearly got kicked off the school bus trying to get the driver to turn the bus around. Or the time he nearly got his head knocked off by an older boy and I went after that kid like a firecracker on the tail of a cat. Nobody picked on my little brother, nobody.

Anyway. We grew up. It happens.

My brother sang at my wedding. He had - and still has - a good voice. I always enjoyed hearing him sing, though he didn't do much of it. He did a nice job at my wedding, though, not fumbling or being a doltish little brother or anything. I hope I thanked him properly for that.

I moved out of the house and away from home before he turned 18. That was 30 years ago. We have always lived fairly close to one another but with jobs and life, and his children's many outside interests, we don't see much of one another. We talk on the phone a couple of times a month.

This is my brother and his daughter in 2008, five years ago, now.

We both grew out and not up, I'm afraid. Family trait. Sometimes those genes are hard to overcome.

This is him as Santa Claus in I think 2011, singing with the local community choir.
This is him dressed in costume at the daddy-daughter dance that he performed with his daughter for her dance recital.


  1. Happy Birthday to Anita's bro. Make it a good one.

  2. This is a nice homage to your brother. We may not always get along with our siblings, but that blood connection surpasses all that.
    I just saw the rock 'em sock 'em robots on PBS's Market Warriors. Someone found a set at a flea market. They're worth a nice little bundle these days. Although I wonder how many of them survived the violent childhood we gave them. My cousin had one and we were pretty rough with it.


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