Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Happy Birthday to Brian

My brother Brian turns 40 today.

That means he was born on April 3, 1967. He seemed to be a pretty good sport when I came along four years later, as far as I could tell. Here are some "Brian and Deana" memories from our 35.5 years as siblings:

- Me, 5; Brian, 9. I was about to start kindergarten and still having trouble with the whole potty training concept. My mom was about to pull her hair out over it. One day I had an accident AGAIN and our mom lost it and I wound up crying in my room. Brian thought Mom's treatment of me was horribly unfair (yeah, he wasn't the one trying to potty train me for THREE YEARS) and he offered to help me run away. We packed our lunchboxes with cheese slices and water, I climbed into our red wagon and he pulled me down the street. When we got to the end of the block, we turned around and came back.

- Me, 7; Brian, 11. I thought it was cool that our ages sounded like a convenience store. We lived on the side of a ridge in Big Spring, TX, and the street we lived on was on a steep slope. I would get on my Big Wheel and Brian would get behind it, start running and then hop on. We would fly down our sloped sidewalk until we came to a cross street. That's when I would make a sudden, sharp turn to the left with the handlebars. Invariably, we would tumble into the neighbors' yard, the Big Wheel would shoot across the street on its side, and the old neighbor lady would come out and screech at us for being on her grass as we lay there trying to get our heads to stop spinning. We did this over and over and over. Good times. No permanent injuries.

- Me, 8; Brian, 12. For a while in Lovington, N.M., we lived in a parsonage right across the street from the church where my dad was a minister. Some nights, when my parents had something to go to at the church, they would leave us home alone since they were just going to be across the street. On one of these nights, we were flipping channels and found "Carrie" on Showtime. So we watched it. Two kids. At home. Alone. We ended up scared out of our minds and trying to comfort each other until our parents came home.

- Same ages and house. A revered elder at our church had died -- a man who had been something of a surrogate grandfather to us. Right before the funeral, Brian and I were in the backyard playing with our dog. We had found a rickety cart on wheels and had tied our dog's leash to it and stood there laughing as the dog ran around dragging this squeaky, rattling cart. For some reason we went inside. Our parents were ready to go across the street to the funeral, so we all left. Halfway through the funeral, it occurred to Brian and me that Snoopy was still tied to that cart in our backyard. Even been cracked up in church? Getting cracked up at a funeral is infinitely worse.

- Me, 11; Brian, 15. He had his driver's license now. He also had a car where the backseat would fold down and leave an open space into the trunk. We did "magic" tricks for the neighborhood kids where Brian would close me in the trunk, I would fold the seat down, roll onto the floorboard and pop the seat back up. Brian would open the trunk and I was gone. The kids were in awe.

- Countless prank calls, tape-recorded "radio shows" (we would write scripts for soap operas, news reports and commercials and then record them) and jam sessions featuring Brian on bass guitar and me on piano playing the lead guitar part since I couldn't actually play the guitar. We sort of had visions of forming a family rock band, but who didn't? Brian did, however, go on to earn a music degree and now has a jazz organ band in Austin called The NeoTrio. You can go over to his blog (the "NEWEST BLOG EVER!" over there under my Blood Blogs) and see what he's up to.

Oh, and tell him happy birthday.


  • At Wed Apr 04, 08:27:00 AM, Blogger WinSpin said…

    Wow ... what great memories ... I knew about most of those but had forgotten about the "running away" bit. You mean that you all took that wagon without permission?

    -Me, 32; Brian, New Born: Baptist Hospital, Beaumont, Texas, April 3, 1967. The nurse came and said, "Will you settle for a fine baby boy?" I looked at her and grinned from ear to ear and replied, "Yup, I'll take him." Brian weighed a little over 10 pounds and was the cutest baby I had ever seen. He looked like my dad in the face. Fortunately, after his little body adjusted to the outside world, his looks improved immensely. None of my family could stay in the waiting room because Grandpa was in there smoking cigars. The rest of us stood out in the hallway. When they wheeled Mardell out of the delivery room, I leaned over and kissed her and said, "Thank You." She smiled back at me. Her lips were ice-cold ...
    It was a glorious time...

    Dad --

  • At Thu Apr 05, 08:11:00 AM, Blogger Brian said…

    Thanks, Deana. Here's to 40 more!


Post a Comment

<< Home