BROTHERS part 1


    You should know by now that I have two older brothers. The oldest is Gerry and the younger is Steve. As far as brothers go, I guess I am pretty lucky considering the age differences. With them being so much older than me I grew up much like an “only child”. By the time I was 9 both were married and out of the house….but before that time the memories I have of being the baby sister are filled with laughter so let me tell you a little about my brothers.

   Gerry…if I had to sum him up in a few words, I would say, a giant teddy bear acting like a grizzly.  

    Gerry was out of the house by the time I was 3. He had joined the Marines and was sent to Nam so I really don’t remember much about him from my early years. It wasn’t until he came home  years later that I can recall much about him.  I remember that we couldn’t go near him if he was asleep because he would strike out. I remember Mom telling me it was a result of living in the jungle, but I never really understood it until years later.

     After getting home he went to work selling used cars. I guess he was pretty good at it too. He didn’t date much but I do remember one girl that he dated only because it is connected to one of the more traumatic events in my life….a long held fear of Ferris Wheels.

    It all happened one night when Gerry and this girl took me to Ocean View Amusement Park. It was well-known for having a wooden roller coaster that everyone thought would just fall down one day and an old-fashioned Ferris Wheel where you sat in the seat and all that held you in was a lap bar that never seemed to be tight enough.

wouldn’t you know the only picture of this beast one that was drawn.

  I wasn’t really afraid of heights until we rode this crazy thing. They stuck me in the middle between them and off we went. It was ok at first. Nice and easy we started the circle. I remember looking at all the lights blinking and the people on the ground watching. Up..up..up..we went. We stopped as people got on and off to fill all the seats causing our little chair to gently rock back and forth. It wasn’t until we reached the very top that I learned real fear! As we sat up there, hanging what felt like miles above the ground to a 7-year-old, my brother decided it would be a good idea to rock the chair. Apparently this was something grown-ups found to be fun, but to a kid my age it felt as if the chair we were in was going to just flip over and hurl me to the ground. Back and forth we went and with each swing, I cried harder, she yelled lower and he laughed harder. I was TERRIFIED I tell you! By the time we were back on the ground, a well place fear of heights had taken hold and would stay with me the rest of my life. She however, was so mad that she made him try to win me a Teddy Bear. Sadly $20.00 later and still no bear, we went home.

    Months later after she had moved away a big box arrived in the mail addressed to me. Inside I found a Teddy Bear with a giant red bow and a note that said “for the one he didn’t win”. I wonder whatever happened to her.
 
    After selling used cars for a while, Gerry joined the police force where he would spend the next 20 plus years, protecting and serving. As a cop he was damn good, in fact he was actually named “policeman of the year” at one point.  In 1968 he met the woman who was to become his wife. She was in the Navy but didn’t have long left in her hitch. They married in November of 1969 and spent the next almost 30 years picking fights and threatening to divorce and raising 4 boys. To say theirs was a unique union just doesn’t do them justice.
 
   The one thing I wish is that there hadn’t been so many years between Gerry and I.  Don’t get me wrong, I grew up knowing I could always count on him, but I think maybe then we would have had more of a friendship instead of just being brother and sister.
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Posted on March 30, 2010, in FAMILY TIES and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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