Saturday, September 3, 2011

Brotherly Love

I've got two brothers. They make up the respectable side of our family, what with them being doctors and all. I guess, as doctors go, they must be ok at what they do. When I visit them in the small Texas towns where they live, I can't help noticing that people stop them on the street to say hello, shake their hands, thump 'em on the back a time or two. It might be that. It could also be that each of these towns have populations of, say, eleven. Max.

I'm five years older than my youngest brother and four years older than my middle one. That age difference generally meant if I wasn't beating the tar out of them as kids, I was making their lives hell by getting my own way, generally to their detriment. Things haven't changed much.

During family vacations, we were captives on the road. It's where we learned to make uneasy truces, which, depending on how hot it was in back seat, often came crumbling down at the slightest provocation.

We each excel at slight provocation.

My parents loved acts like the Eagles, Simon and Garfunkle, The Mamas and the Papas, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Elvis, Dan Fogelberg, Loggins & Messina, Carole King, Waylon Jennings, Anne Murray, The Carpenters, Don Williams, The Steve Miller Band. Pretty sure Eddie Rabbit made an appearance a time or two. Seriously, who doesn't love a rainy night?

Since this was during the time Lawrence Welk was king. I'd say we made out ok. Besides, as we got older, we introduced them to groups like The Sugar Hill Gang, The Gap Band, Prince, Rick James, The Beastie Boys, Eminem.

Over the years, the seasons and the scenery changed. The tunes rarely did. 'Already Gone' by the Eagles is the highway between home and the Guadalupe Mountains, Big Bend, Balmorhea, Garner State Park, Carlsbad Caverns, and Ruidoso. Windows rolled down, hot wind blowing, I'm in the window ledge of the battered station wagon (or maybe it was the red and black suburban), one brother's in the other and the other's on the floor...probably crying or playing with Hot Wheels.  Or maybe they're on the ledges and I'm on the floor with a book. Wind blows my Dad's hair.  He's hand on the wheel, the other crooked out the open window.  

It was against this backdrop that my brothers and I gained an abiding love for road trips and the soundtracks that accompany them. It's also where we learned to forge temporary peace, typically in 3 min 21 sec intervals.

I know my brothers are good doctors. More than that, though, they're really good people.

My youngest brother didn't make our last family outing to Port A this summer, but my middle brother and I held this hootenanny in his honor. Liquid refreshments may, or may not, have been involved.

If you are not part of my family and you listened to every one of those clips, you are probably just now realizing you're never gonna get those 15 minutes back.  

I'm sorry.



  1. now that's what I call sangin'

  2. I fear no one but your Mother and Father are going to listen to that whole thang. And you had to really be there to appreciate it. But I thought it was WONDERFUL!! Yall are the best!
    Love, Mom xoxo


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