I still can’t process that my brother is 74
I think I’ve permanently set his age somewhere in his mid 40’s in my mind. He has helped lock this image in my mind by being youthful and active throughout the years. Back in the early 1960’s, he could water ski on a canoe paddle which is a pretty good trick even today. He skied on the paddle with the handle up front which is about 20 times harder than with the blade up front.
So when I started this blog for well aged athletes, I thought my brother would be a great person to profile. I emailed him with a request to dig out the water skis and take some photos and if he had a chance maybe a photo or video of him jumping off a cliff into the lake. He has a house on the Lake of the Ozarks and there are a few areas, where if you are daring and don’t mind trespassing, you can climb up the rocks and jump off.
The response to my email request came a couple weeks later stating he his now enjoying a more sedentary lifestyle and had no immediate or long term plans to jump off any cliffs.
He went on to discuss family happenings and signed off with
“Read your blog. Hope you have a nice fall”
That sign off struck me funny. Did he mean “Fall” as in Autumn or “Fall” as in bang yourself up?
I sent back a reply asking for clarification.
“Have a nice fall” is like telling your brother “go jump off a cliff.”
Growing up, he inspired me to take up water skiing which eventually lead me to a career performing in water ski shows for a number of years. We have had only a few intermittent opportunities over the past 30 years to ski together and we both still tried to showboat a little with what we have left.
There was the time I’d taught my golden retriever to ride with me on skis. We visited my brother and showed him the stunt. The next thing I know is he’s in the water with his spaniel explaining the basics of water skiing to his faithful companion. We eventually got a shot of the 4 of us together on the water.
My brother has conducted his life in a positive, productive, responsible, caring, fun and adventurous manner. He worked hard, harder than I have by far but he is also reaping wonderful rewards for his efforts.
I stopped to imagine what the country would be like if others maintained personal standards to the same level as my brother. Here is what I think life would be like in the USA.
- Prisons and Jails would be empty as crime fades away.
- Teachers would be able to teach instead of trying to manage behavior problems.
- Families would be a solid foundation.
- Welfare would be almost non-existent and those who needed help would be given it gratefully knowing the assistance would be paid back when able.
- Health, well-being and financial security would flourish.
- Business would expand.
- Costs would go down and the opportunity to enjoy life would skyrocket.
- There would be smiles and laughter everywhere you went.
- Problems would be worked out peacefully.
- Cigarette butts wouldn’t pile up on the roadside. (personal pet peeve)
- No one would die from a DUI Driver.
- If your car is in an accident, the other driver would have insurance.
- Everyone would set aside several years in order to serve their country. Lain was an officer in the Navy for 4 years.
- Leisure industry would be swamped with active retirees looking for adventure.
It sounds like a fairy tale world which is kind of unfortunate because my brother is not the only person who manages to live their life responsibly. In fact most of the people in my circle of friends are responsible and caring people. Not that many put their dog on a pair of water skis but they are still good people.
Buffalo Tips learned from my brother
- Don’t take what isn’t yours
- Don’t have it until you can afford it, this also goes for having children
- You are going to wake up in the same body and hopefully beside the same woman the rest of your life so try to take care of each
- Work hard young so you can play hard old.
- Righty tighty lefty loosey
- The smaller the bed the better the marriage
- When in doubt, paint it green. Everyone likes green.
- Don’t dive off cliffs at 74 just because your brother asks you. (wait until you’re 75)
Happy 74th Birthday Dear Brother
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