Thursday, December 07, 2017

duck, ma

7 December is a memorable day.

For some, it is a terrible day. The day that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. A day that will live in infamy -- as FDR would have it.

For me, it is my sainted brother's birthday. My father would tell anyone in earshot that my brother was born the day before his wedding to my mother. Of course, he would omit the fact that the wedding was in 1946 and Darrel was born in 1950. My mother found the joke gauche.

Darrel is now my best friend. It was not always so. At least, not in the beginning.

For almost two years, I had life's stage to myself. All of the wonders of being an only child were mine. Then, one day, my mother came home carrying a bundled baby boy.

So, I reacted as any well-bred child would do. I picked up a toy truck and hurled it at the enemy. It missed Darrel and smashed into my mother's glasses. My peremptory attack failed. Darrel stayed.

And I am glad he did. When we both entered grade school, I came to his aid in the playground after classes one afternoon. A bully had gotten the better of him, and I sallied forth in true quixotic style. I would like to say the moment was altruistic, but it was summed up by comment to the bully: "No one beats up my brother but me." (Yup. I talked like that back in the third grade.)

There are plenty of tales about my younger brother. Even some where I am not the central figure. But there will be an appropriate time for those. On some occasion where he cannot defend himself.

I called him a couple of hours ago to wish him a perfect birthday. He is still in Bend, and will be celebrating over a plate of prime rib with our mother this evening. I wish I could be there.

But he will soon be here. In just over a month. With Christy (his wife) and my mother. We may even see a guest appearance by my niece Kaitlyn.

Until then, brother, enjoy your dwindling 60s. They go past rapidly. I know.

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