My brother has a girlfriend! And I am tickled to death!
|WADE AND HIS COON DOG|
SPEAKING AT A
HIGH SCHOOL PEP RALLY
I remember when I was 14, a freshman in high school. Wade was 17 and a senior. I remember being totally shocked when girls would tell me how cute he was, how sweet he was, that they had crushes on him. Several tried to get ME to help THEM get a date with him. And I would think, “You’re talking about MY brother? Wade? You have GOT to be kidding me.”
Growing up, I idolized my brother. He was the only son, the only grandson on my father's side of the family, and we all thought Wade was the greatest thing since sliced bread. He was smart. He was funny. He was mischievous. And he was downright mean to his little sister!
If he didn’t have me stepping on bees, he was convincing me to try one of mother’s skinny little green peppers, fresh from the garden. He would take a bite and say, “Look, Kerry. It’s not hot! You’ll like it. I promise.” Or, “I SWEAR this one’s not hot.” And, like a puppy wagging its tail, I would stick my tongue to the tip of the pepper and start screaming from the heat. Nothing made him laugh harder that summer.
|HE CALLED THIS OUR|
WEDDING PICTURE SO
WE COULD BE BROTHER
I won’t even try and count the number of times he left dead snakes in the path between our house and Granny’s to scare the living daylights out of me.
And so, when all those giggling girls in high school starting saying, “Oooooooh, Waaaaaade!” I would roll my eyes and think they were nuts.
A lot has changed since those days, though. Now I am 47 and Uncle Wade is 50. But he is the one person in my life who shares the same memories I do:
Being banned to the apple tree in the middle of the pasture and pretending it was a fort. Riding his pony around our grandfather’s 40 acres, playing cowboys and Indians. The smell of Paw’s cigarette lighter fluid; the sound of his laughter. The taste of Granny’s biscuits and
dumplings and fried apple pies. Riding
over to Pea Ridge with Granny to help her pick blackberries so she could cook
one of her cobblers or make blackberry jam. The
sound of mother and daddy and Granny singing around the piano after Sunday
back bedroom at Granny and Paw’s house, where we would run and slide across the
cold linoleum floor in our sock feet. The
sight of Paw and Granny playing Rook around the kitchen table with Uncle Bud
and Aunt Myra. Watching
Granny take such loving care of Paw while he was bedridden with Rheumatoid
|LONG AND LANKY|