My dear sweet niece Vicki sent me a copy of a picture of her Dad, and my brother, Jackie. Pictures of Jackie are scarce around here, so I appreciate this so much.
Jackie was in the Army and served three years in Germany in the early 1960's. Jackie and I were very close growing up because there was only 14 months difference in our ages. Jackie was my protector, especially so after our family moved to the country. Nights became eerie and scary for me. My bedroom was at the end of the hall. At night after everyone was in bed and the house was dark and quiet, I would lie there looking down that hall, wide awake, afraid to move. I imagined there was a big German Shepherd dog coming down the hall toward my bed and I was seriously afraid to close my eyes!!! With my heart racing and growing more frightened by the minute, I would somehow find the courage to get up and run into Jackie's room asking, "can I sleep with you", as I crawled to the back side of his bed against the wall. Jackie would answer a long, sleepy "yes"...Feeling safe, it was easy to fall asleep.
I remember the wallpaper in Jackie's room was a western design, brown and red, with saddles, bridles, boots, spurs, and cowboy hats. We each got to pick out the wallpaper for our rooms.. That was a fun time!!!
Back before Daddy had the small house on the farm remodeled, we would go spend weekends there just to be in the country. Aunt Agathel and Uncle Myron, and our cousins Pat and Geraldine went with us occasionally. I remember all us kids getting in a dark room and telling ghost stories. Shelby told some old scary story she called "will-o-the-wisp" that I think she was making up...and I was seriously afraid! Scarred for life, I was!! Shelby put fear in me many times...like the time I jumped off the back porch because she was chasing me with her hand drawn back, ready to hit!!! Of course, I deserved it...she said, "don't touch me", and I touched her!!! We were accustomed to the sounds of living in town. We were not used to the pitch black nights in the country, filled with the call of the whip-o-wills, the owls, the frogs...
Jackie and I were so close in age and size, people used to ask if we were twins. I, in fact, was a twin, but sadly my twin sister died shortly after we were born. I have always wished for my twin. Mid 1940's...
During the summer time in the 1950's we often packed a picnic lunch and spent the day at Aberdeen Lake. Let me tell you...Aberdeen Lake was the place to go!!! There was swimming of course, picnic tables, huge swing sets, monkey bars, see-saws, (I haven't thought of the word "see saw" in years)...a large grassy playground. There was a concession stand, juke box, and pavilion for dancing. This is mama, Jackie, and me. Some lovely cars parked in the background...I wonder which was ours??
Jackie was a sweet and lovable little boy, but there was not a bashful bone in his body. He would ask anybody anything!!!
A while back I posted about my Aunt Berlie and her daughter Virginia. Well, mama and daddy invited Virginia to come visit us in Robbins one weekend. They wanted her to meet Archie, a nice looking young man who lived around the block from us. Archie's dad worked with daddy, so our families became friends. Anyway Virginia was at our house and waiting for Archie to come over. The front door bell rang, Archie was invited in, and Jackie came running through the house and into the living room and said, "hey, are ya'll gunna get married?"
If Jackie ever decided there was something he wanted...a rope, a banjo, a Red Ryder bee bee rifle...whatever...he was relentless in his pursuit to get the item. He would beg and plead until daddy would pull a bill from his wallet and toss it to mama saying, "I want you to go get him that rope (or whatever the item) today"!! Jackie was very tenderhearted and loved animals...especially horses, and dogs!!! Jackie could leave for school wearing a new leather belt, but come home that same afternoon with no belt, but carrying a new pocket knife. He was always trading stuff. It drove mama crazy!!
I loved both my brothers and miss them every day.