Saturday, July 11, 2015
But enough about me.....
This is my youngest brother. He is three years younger than I am. The little guy in the picture is his son.
My brother got married at 24, had three children with his first wife. Then he divorced after 20 years,and married a woman about 10 years younger than him. This presented a problem. She wanted kids.
Moreover, her father knew that his daughter was the last chance for a male grandchild. He refused to give his blessing, without which the woman wouldn't marry my brother.
So my brother and her father worked out an understanding. My brother underwent painful surgery to reverse his vasectomy. I'm damned if I would have done it for the Queen of Sheba. But, they had a son, which placated her side of the family.
I am a talker and letter writer. My brother is a man who believes in taking action. He graduated from Oregon State in 1977, did his four year pay back as a Marine Officer (he was a combat engineer), and then worked for a law enforcement agency in a number of capacities before he transferred to the anti-gang unit of a California urban police department. Inevitably he was injured in the line of duty, and was medically retired. Now he splits his time between a little beach house on the coast, and his home inland.
He has a boat that's capable of going out of sight of land, and he does that frequently, just him and his son. One of these days, I may go out there and visit, but if I do, I'm not going out into the Pacific on the boat. Maybe up a river would be ok.
I've had my own troubles with the Sheriff's Department here when things happened out away from the house that caused me to negatively interact with unpleasant people.
But I can't hold a candle to my little brother.
I always think of him when I watch "Grand Torino" and Clint Eastwood says to the gangbangers " Ever notice how every once in awhile you come across someone you shouldn't have &^%$ed with? That's me."
I have always been really proud of my youngest brother. He's led a life that counted. When he believes in something, he doesn't hold back. I've never known him to be afraid of anything.
Given what he did for a living, I suppose that's a prerequisite for the job.
Better him than me.
I've been in some real third world hell holes in my life, but never alone. It's bad enough going into some places with your comrades around you. Going in with just indigenous personnel, no thanks.
I've never seen the allure of poverty, dirt, disease and danger. Apparently he saw something I missed.
My brother developed a real affection for South and Central America.
He's been down the Amazon River twice on on clapped out boats that hauled cargo up and down. He just strikes a bargain with the boatman and takes pot luck.
When he made those trips, he stayed with the indigenous people along the banks of the river for weeks at a time. He used to carry old clothes with him in a bag, which he would hand out to his hosts. He is very good at getting along with just about anybody, which is strange considering he has a temper even worse than mine if you cross him.
I never had any interest in being pals with people in the third world. Never saw much I liked in any of those countries.
Long before it was a "thing" he participated in the Minute Man project down on the Southern border, trying to do something, anything, about illegal immigration. This is what I mean about him being someone who actually does something besides just write letters.
He's old now, but he's still a force to be reckoned with. I've told this story here before, but it bears repeating. Not so long ago, he was in a bar on the Oregon coast line. He was there with my other brother, and a friend.
There were some late twenties beach bums in there with filthy mouths. There were women in the bar. My brother told these trashy individuals, once, to either clean up the language or leave. They mocked him. The picture above was taken just minutes before they made that mistake. There was a horrific fight, in which the younger men learned a salutory lesson about not disregarding a guy just because he has gray hair.
The police came. My brothers and their crony got thrown out of the bar. But no charges were filed. That's the kind of guy my brother is. He should have been born during the Crusades, because he'd have made one hell of a Knight Templar.
My brother is very religious. He's a Southern Baptist. He's more of an old testament Christian than a new testament Christian. The world is black and white to him, there's right and wrong, and he never had an issue with picking which path to take. Probably now a lot of people would turn their nose up at that kind of man, but we were a damned sight better off when there were more men like my brother.
Warning. Vulgar Language: