Are you an only child? Did you have a big brother? Although he is no longer with us he is still my big brother in my memories. As a matter of fact, I had two big brothers. If you did or not really isn’t important it was just a question I had. I was listening to Chuck Berry’s new album today and he has a song on it called “Big Brother.” It just set off all the synapses in my withered old brain.

I was never bullied in any school I went to. I did get in a butt whipping with a much older and stronger kid one time but the bully seemed a lot smaller as he got down on his knees and wouldn’t fight my older brother, Roger. It wasn’t on the school grounds although if it had been no one would have gotten in a lot of trouble. Maybe a couple of swats with a paddle that the principal kept in his office; you see, years ago family stood up for each other. There was not a doubt in anyone’s mind that the boy that hit me was in way more trouble than if he had been in the Principal’s office. The biggest mistake this poor soul made was to hit me with this big old ring that made a cut under my eye.

The scar is still there but at the time it just swole up and turned all the colors of pain. (I don’t know what the past tense is for swell.) By the way, not a single teacher asked me about it although the eye stayed shut for about three days.

Big brothers even today have a heavy burden taking care of their brothers and sisters. I don’t know whether it’s as common to get into a fight today as it was back then. But the burden they carry is not just as an enforcer. They have to set the example to their younger siblings about how life should be lived. You know, as a father or mother you can say and do all the right things but if your child has a big brother that’s the guy that can make all the difference in the life of a young child. I learned just about everything from my two big brothers. I don’t really need to list them for you but I’m sure you get the picture.

My boys have a big sister but she has her own children and once you get married and have children you become an adult and that takes the burden off your shoulder, which is a good thing because the older sibling is too busy with their own kids to worry about you anymore. I was in the eighth grade when my second older brother joined the Marines to be like his older brother. I probably would have been a Marine too but they both told me to go into the paratroopers because they got paid jump pay. It was $50.00 back then but $150.00 today. Well it was a long time ago.

My younger son has a big brother and since they are very close I know my older son looks after his little brother. Not that he has to do much as my young son is the friendliest young man you’ll ever meet. They both talked a lot about joining the military when they were old enough and I didn’t discourage either one. I told them both I would drive them to the recruiting office after they finish college. That was the one thing they had to do. While I was alive it was hoped. I think they have lost the desire which my beautiful bride does not feel bad about. If it were up to her they wouldn’t get within a 100 miles of a recruiting office. The older brother will set the stage for whatever happens because, well just because.

I read about young men that live in Gonzales that are joining up. My next door neighbor joined and doesn’t ever want to get out. I don’t know who talked the others into joining but I am sure their parents are so proud of them. Heck! I’m proud of them. I used to have to show them where they were supposed to run after they hit the ball in T-Ball.

I think and I have investigated this that I live in the best town in the world. I could do without all the California politicians. Our town politicians are the good ones leading our town along with the finest staff anywhere. Rene gives me a quarter every time I say that but he wouldn’t have to pay me at all. Everyone just keep doing what you are doing. Go out and do something for your town. It doesn’t have to be a big thing.

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