I had to admit something to my brother today. Back when we were teenagers I used to sneak into his room when he was at work and listen to his records. I would even record some of the tracks onto cassettes to listen to on my Walkman. I knew if I ever got caught that would be the end of me. I can only remember some of the tracks, something about James Bond living down the street by the New York Dolls or maybe Toy Dolls. Some punk band from the UK. It was like pure bliss, listening to your albums was the best.
Once I shared that all kinds of other stories started to pour out. There was this time we were in Florida with the grandparents. That night NASA was shoot some satellite into space and we were going to be able to see the light of the rocket, nothing was more exciting than that. I’m thinking I was maybe in 4th or 5th grade and my brother was two years ahead of me in school. Well at some point PT wandered away down the beach to get a better look. My grandparents were beside themselves with worry. My grandmother whisked me away to the hotel room while my grandfather, a former FBI agent, ran some search grids. I never got to see the rocket. Maybe an hour or so later PT came wandering back into the room, not a care in the world. I was never worried, he is the smartest person I had ever met, I knew he would be fine. I had to laugh, that wandering away to get a better look sounds a lot like my son. I was super jealous that he got to see the rocket blast off.
That story brought me back to spending time in Wisconsin. Our gramps kept a small patch of dirt for us to play in. We would spend hours with a set of garden tools digging and making tunnels. Once gramps stepped on our tunnel thinking it would support him but it quickly collapsed. I’m not sure why that story stuck with us for so long but it did. We also had gramps scope out the tallest hills he could find and drive us up and down them when we were in town. It scared us to death but always wanted to do it over and over again.
Then there was that time when I visited in college. I was only in high school but we still sat up drinking beer and listening to Metallica, Master of Puppets. That was life changing, if this was college I wanted in!
I remember when you called me when I was in the Corps to tell me you just had your son, Patrick. I had just been up all night… uh… sitting on a hill watching the base burn with Crow. After that went on a 12 mile run and you called me. That was a pretty sweet thing to start the day with.
It breaks my heart to have to say goodbye to you today.
I love you and miss you dearly.