A Valentine for my brother
My dad sits in a chair in my cozy office as the sunshine glistens on his silver hair. His eyes are closed and he is sharing a memory with me. Not just a memory, but THE memory. A memory that I am certain he often plays over and over in his mind- it is what warms him on cold and lonesome days- those days when the ache for his younger brother Kurt seems impossible to fill.
When he speaks of his youth and his favorite time of life at the center are Logan, Utah and his brother Kurt. (shared from his point of view, but with my words)
"Winters in Logan were harsh in my boyhood years. Nearly always 10 to 20 degrees below freezing. The mountains were blanketed by thick white layers. The air was cold and brisk. In fact, so cold that if you had to relieve yourself your pee would freeze in mid air.
We dressed for the occasion as we had to walk up hills both ways to deliver papers. On Weekdays, Kurt and I would deliver 60 papers and on weekends 120. Thankfully, our grandfather Kimball always cleared the roads on our route first as he was over the city snow plows.
Our route took us all the way to the first dam. Our favorite street on the route was a neighborhood of college professors. Mr. Armstrong always treated us to a yummy treat. It however had one odd ball and of course he was not a professor but an attorney. Every neighborhood has to have one... this one was George Preston. He was adamant that his paper arrive no later than 7:30, and he and would notify our parents if it did not. On one particular morning, our father, MD, had received one too many phone calls from Mr. Preston and told him to quit his b.... and that his boys would have the paper delivered on time when Mr Preston saw to it that his sons were no longer late for my father's 9 am art class. It seems Mr. Preston quickly changed his tune after that. I believed Mrs. Preston concurred with our father on this one for she often had hot chocolate and a warm roll for us.
Dad was always good to us and made sure we were always prepared for the bad weather and nearly twice a week he would treat us to a Milk Way bar- they only cost a nickel.
The Logan dam was the center of our life as youngsters. It marked the end of our paper route and was also the playground for all of our childhood adventures. It was here we gathered with the Woodruffs, Le Beaus, and Rowley boys for seasonal sports-- ice hockey, ice skating, fishing, inner tube runs, and in the early morning hours- skinny dipping.
I miss my brother and my boyhood days in Logan."
My dad opens his eyes and comes back to me. He is wiping the mist out of his eyes and gives me a hug good bye.