I was fortunate to have a unique relationship with all 9 of my siblings. In the coming stories I hope to share memories with all. Jimmy was the oldest and I was next. So, I spent more time with Jimmy than any of the others. I looked up to him as a child because he led the way due to his seniority.
I had it pretty easy as a child. That's because Jimmy was the first to go to Kindergarten and first grade in Catholic school. I was as terrified as any kid on his first day at school. But, Jimmy did it alone, held my hand and took me to the classroom. He did the same on the bus and protected me whenever the bullies tried to challenge me. He did this at every stage of school including my first day at Junior high and again in high school. I always knew my way around because Jimmy led the way for me.
Even with his losing an eye at 3 to Glaucoma Jimmy excelled at everything, especially sports. He went on to be a state champion wrestler, a highly ranked tennis player and was indiucuted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame. He's an amazing singer-songwriter who I spent 10 years traveling the college circuit with in our band, Brothers Kingdom.
OK. Enough of the accolades. We did everything together as kids, being only a year apart in age. Let me try to recount a few of memories:
Here's Jimmy with his glasses during treatment for Glaucoma and another of me and Jimmy pulling Mum's nylons over our heads.
I remember one night waking up crying my eyes out because I dreamed that Jimmy had one orange eye and one green eye. It must've been the way I perceived his eye problem when I was very young. We played hockey on the frozen bog out in the back woods. Jimmy's skate got caught and he spun into some short narrow tree branches that were sticking up through the ice. When he fell he landed right on a protruding branch that stabbed him right in the butt cheek. I know we should've been sad for him but instead we laughed hysterically.
And then there was Fritz and Daisy, the local Weimeraner dogs that threatened us every time we walked by. Fritz was the male and he had the biggest testicles in the world dangling between his legs, swaying back and forth when he walked. One day Jimmy decided to throw a rock at the dogs to scare them back. Nobody thought this was a good idea but he did it anyway. The first throw turned both dogs around, walking in the opposite direction. Then, as if someone put a giant red dot in the center of a target, all our eyes at once zeroed in on Fritz' giant scrotum. We were frozen with the thought of how funny it would be if.....
Before the dogs got too far away Jimmy wound up like the great baseball pitcher he would become, and as if it was destiny threw a golf ball-sized rock with a perfect arc. It was like slow motion as we all were captivated by what could....and then it did! Unbelievable!! It was a perfect throw and nailed Fritz suqarely in the kahoonas and sent him off squealing to his house. We ran faster than ever before.
The next day as we passed by we were terrified at Fritz' potentil revenge. Nothing happened. He just walked gingerly beside Daisy as if we were all buddies. Then he turned around. Oh My Gosh!! There they were. Two softballs. And I don't mean they were soft. I mean the size. Blue as the sky and looking as painful as I know what.
Jimmy saved us from years of future terror and was my hero again!!
This is only the beginning of my life with Jimmy! More on the way. An many more with 9 other siblings.