When he was three, his parents had their second child – a sweet adorable, easy-going little girl. Soon after the little girl was born, the family moved to Indiana. This lasted for only two short years. The next move would be to Muscatine, Iowa.
When that little boy lived in Muscatine, Iowa, his sister can remember that he was a crazy Elvis fan – recording himself singing “You Ain’t Nothing But a Houndog” and “All Shook Up” on the family’s groovy new EIGHT TRACK! He was also a loyal Minnesota Vikings football fan. As he grew a bit, he became a rocking KISS fan. So much so, in fact, that his mother and neighbor took him, his best friend and his seven year old sister to a KISS concert in Chicago (with the help of an uncle, because they just couldn’t drive through CHICAGO for cyrin’ out loud.) His sister would love to tell you more about the concert like how she was sure she saw Gene Simmons about TEN TIMES in the parking lot not realizing probably 5% of the total attendance was in full KISS make-up. Other than that, his sister doesn’t remember much of the concert because 1) she fell asleep before the opening act was finished 2) her mom put cotton balls in her ears to protect them and 3) what the hell is a 7 year old doing at a KISS concert anyway?
Also in Muscatine, the little boy had several good neighbor friends with whom he would pal around and sometimes tiff. Like all boys in the 70’s, several of these boys would eventually turn their struggles into full-fledged brawls. The little boy was always a bit small of stature for his age. One particular day, the little boy was found by his ever-loving and nurturing (for real) mother taunting and antagonizing the neighbor boys from the side porch. As the boys would close in on the little boy, he would run onto the porch, lock the screen door and taunt some more. The neighbor boys would tire and eventually begin to leave until the little boy would once again come out, taunt and then run back into the porch locking the door and yelling insults. The mother, who had a good name to uphold in the neighborhood, could not be known as the mother of the wuss, so she made him fight. When he refused, she threatened to spank him with the wooden switch she kept on hand until he relented and went out the face the now laughing Neanderthals awaiting him on his own front lawn. The mother carefully watched the spectacle and after the little boy took a couple good licks to the face, she broke up the fight and made the other boys go home. The next day, the boys were friends and played again as if nothing happened. That is how boys handled conflict in the 70’s.
In Muscatine, the little boy and his sister were blessed with another sister. This happened exactly 5 years and 364 days after the little boy was born – forever shadowing both of their birthdays and making July the second most expensive gift-giving month to their parents.
After Muscatine, the family moved to St. Louis, MO where they would hang their hats for the longest time of their lives. The little boy had a beer can collection in his basement room in St. Louis – over 100 beer cans arranged in a meticulous pyramid along the wall over his bed. He was very proud of his beer can collection although he was no where near drinking age. One day, in a fit of rage, one of his sisters slammed the door to his room and upon hearing the crash and cursing that ensued, ran into the nearest lockable room (the bathroom) until one of her parents arrived. However, once the sisters made this revelation, they would often intentionally slam the brother’s bedroom door and immediately run to the nearest lockable room or outside to a bike or other escape mechanism.
As years went by, the boy grew into a teenager with a troubled high school life. Troubled being that he was wicked smart, extremely talented, athletic, but the size of 5th grader causing him to be overlooked by coaches. Troubled being that he was handsome, but also had the face of a 5th grader causing him to be overlooked by girls. The college years came upon him and the teenager grew 6-8 inches in the first 18 months after high school graduation. The teenager grew into a young man graduating from college Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Electric Engineering in 4 short years while having and parenting a child his sophomore year.
In the next 6 years after college graduation, the young man had two more children and worked as an Electrical Engineer for a large firm. When he was a younger boy, he had shown he had a knack for being an entrepreneur when he arrived home from a store his family had recently discovered in the 80’s called Sam’s Club. He proudly showed his excited little sisters a canister of Double Bubble he had purchased. He bought the Double Bubble for $.02/piece and intended to sell it to his unassuming sisters for $.05/piece. However, he didn’t realize that his unassuming little sisters were, in fact, conniving, co-conspiring little thieves. He did, however, soon figure out how to better manage inventory when he constantly smelled Double Bubble on their breath. Taking into account this lesson learned, he took a huge risk just before his 3rd child was born and started his own company. After a couple of years, this company began to show signs of success and within a couple more years would thrive, making him financially secure and impossible to buy for.
Yes, the boy above is my brother, Kevin. Today is his birthday, born 5 years and 364 days before my little sister.
I have many other stories I could and should share about Kevin, but I will leave it at this for today because with two posts in two days, I am probably out of here for a while. You can chew on these last two for a while.
Happy Birthday, Kevin….
I love you.