42 Things About My Brother

Today would have been my brother's 42nd birthday.  Here are 42 facts/memories/things about the boy I grew up with.

  1. His impending birth was the reason my family started going to the Jersey shore.  Prior to that my mom, dad and I went to Cape Cod.  But because my mom didn't want to be far from home we went to the Jersey Shore instead.  Twenty two years later my mom would finally be able to buy a house at the NJ shore.
  2. He was born during the day.  My mother left for the hospital while I was watching Sesame Street.  Don't think I paid much attention when they left.
  3. He was a scrawny runt when he was born.  They had to put him in a light box
  4. My mother got terribly sick after he was born. They both came home after a few days in the hospital (because that's how it was done), but my mom went back in after a day or so.  She left in the middle of the night and I don't remember much of that time frame.
  5. I do remember looking forward to getting a new Partridge Family (Up To Date) album and Barbie doll more than seeing my new brother.
  6. He cried a lot (what baby doesn't).  That was annoying as I just started first grade.
  7. He was born approximately 2 months before we moved to our new house.  My new bedroom was painted pink just for me.  It was also the larger bedroom; he got the smaller one with the closet that lead to the attic.
  8. Not too long after we moved in (within the first year or so), a new family moved in across the street with lots of kids.  The youngest (at the time), Brian, would become my brother's best friend and the two of them would play all over the street (it's a dead end...kids run all over the place here.)
  9. He was a really cute kid.  (Not that he wasn't a good looking man, but he was really cute when he was a little boy with sun bleached blond hair and a killer smile.)  He was also really charming.
  10. In school he started out playing the trombone, but eventually switched to the tuba.
  11. He played the mouse Gus Gus in his elementary school production of "Cinderella."  (There are photos somewhere.)
  12. He was a gourmand.  Even as a kid, one of favorite birthday treats was going out to lunch with my paternal grandmother.  The two of them would go out and have lobster. He also loved watching The Frugal Gourmet on PBS and had all of Jeff Smith's cook books.
  13. He was once one of the three wise men in our church's Christmas pageant.  One of the wise men was played by actor/comedian Jay Mohr.  It was Jay Mohr who stood up for my brother when he was in middle school.  
  14. He was a sailor.  He crewed for several people during Sunday races at the NBYC. He also worked as a waiter/busboy/dishwasher/whatever was needed for several events at the NBYC when he was a kid.
  15. He broke his big toe while riding his bike at the NJ shore while wearing flip flop.  (He got his toe stuck in the spokes...don't ask me how.)  My mom didn't think it was broken so they didn't go to the hospital until the next day where x-rays clearly showed that it was broken.  It wasn't the first incident he had on a bike.  He was once hit while he was riding his bike in town.  He was fine; the bike was not.
  16. He and I went with my mother to Florida in June of 1982.  My father was there on business.  The three of us (my dad was working so he was excluded) went to Disney World and Sea World.  This was the beginning of my brother's long term love of Disney.
  17. We trick or treated together for the last time when he was in high school and I was out of college.  I don't remember what he was but I wore a dress suit and a gorilla mask.  (I was an Executive Gorilla.)  We only went to certain houses for fun.
  18. He graduated from high school on a hot summer evening.  It had been raining, so the ceremony was held in the gym.  Rainy and hot...not the best combination for a graduation ceremony.  Luckily, his college graduation was much sunnier.
  19. He went to Bucknell University, which is also where my mother went to school.
  20. He majored in psychology.
  21. He was also interested in marine biology and took a summer course/trip to the islands when he was in college.  I believe there once was a video of the trip (lost in Hurricane Sandy) which was titled "Bucky Bison Goes Scuba Diving" (I may be incorrect on the title.  Bucky Bison is Bucknell's mascot.)
  22. From one of his trips he proudly brought back a bottle of Pusser's Rum.
  23. He continued to play tuba even when he was in college. Just like he was in high school, he was in the college marching band.
  24. He played tuba at Rockefeller's Center during the holiday season...for Tuba Christmas.  I still have the hat and scarf he bought. 
  25. We went to see the Monkees during their first "reunion" tour in the 1980s at the Garden State Art Center (as it was then called).  We had "lawn" view tickets for the afternoon show.  Which means we didn't see very much.
  26. We also went on a whim to see Elvis Costello play at the Art Center.  We managed to get tickets at cost for "A" section...we were about 20 rows back.  It was Elvis' "Might Like A Rose" tour.
  27. He went to Bermuda with my parent after his graduation from college.
  28. His first "real" job was in Springfield, NJ.  He worked for a computer company and I bought my first computer from him in 1994.
  29. He was an usher at my wedding.  He also claimed he was going to go skinny dipping later that night in the neighbor's pool.  I don't think he did.  (Although I wish he did)
  30.  I drove him and this then girlfriend (later wife) to the airport right before Labor Day one year so that they could do a long weekend trip to Disney.  They stayed at the Grand Floridian and dined at Albert and Victoria's.
  31. For a while they came over most Sunday mornings for brunches of bagels and coffee.
  32. He was married on July 24th.  The reason he got married in July was because that was the only week the company he worked for allowed for vacation.  The whole company closed for a week and that allowed for him to take a honeymoon.  My husband acted as the videographer for the event.
  33. Do I need to tell you where they went on their honeymoon?  Yes, it was Disney.  And yes, I drove them to the airport.
  34. When I received 4 complimentary tickets to see "Beauty & The Beast" on Broadway, he and his wife were the ones I asked to go with my husband and me.
  35. He loved Anime and Sci Fi.  He was a regular at Time Warp Comics and Comic Cons.
  36. He was a Grand Master at the local masonic lodge and did a great deal of charity work with them.
  37. He cooked turducken for Thanksgiving (sometimes).  He was a good cook!
  38. He had a problem with kidney stones.  I can remember taking him to the ER the winter after my son was born. Of course, he also drove me to the ER once and stayed late into the night.
  39. The last time I saw him was after my last trip to Disney World, in April of 2012.  I brought him back an Orange Bird cup/container (it's a Disney thing).  After his death, I searched his condo for it as I wanted to keep it, but I never found it.  My mother-in-law bought me a new one when she went to Disney.  It's not the same one, but I keep it on display in my china cabinet because it reminds me of him.
  40. He has more friends than he ever knew he did.  He was well loved; I'm not sure he knew that.  Perhaps that's something we should all remember.
  41. He never thought he would live long.  He said he would die before he was 40 and he did (2 months and 23 days before).
  42. His body was cremated and his remains are buried along with my paternal grandparents
There is so much more I could say.  There is probably a lot more that I don't even know.  

But here's what I do know...I miss him and I'm not the only one who does.


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