My youngest brother, Jim, turns 42 today. It's impossible. Seriously.
Look at him and you'd see a big barrel of a guy, with white-blond hair. I think he's about 6'4" or so. I may be exaggerating because I'm so short he looks like a giant.
Jim's been a tow-head all his life. The bits of gray don't really show because his hair is so light.
When I look at him, though, I see this little guy whining to go with me wherever I went. I'm the oldest of nine. As the youngest, Jim is spoiled beyond comprehension. He had glasses by age two. Those black frames against the pale face and white hair made him look adorable. He was cute enough by himself, but the glasses sealed the deal.
Our father was very ill when Jimmy was small. We gave in to his incessant whining, because Mom would say, "Don't let him wake up Daddy. Take him with you." That's why he was spoiled.
I mentioned whining twice. I'm done with it. Because there was (and is) so much more to Jimmy. He has always been hilarious, and smart. For some reason he didn't want to go to college, but he's done well despite that.
When John Candy died, it was like a member of the family passed away. Jim looks so much like John Candy that we always felt "connected" to the ill-fated comedian.
All the sibs live in the Quincy area except Jim and me. I plan on returning there after retirement. Jim will never live there again, because he's found a new family in Aurora IL. He married Karen, a lovely woman who is a sister to us. Her parents have adopted Jim (not legally, but emotionally), and I don't think he'll ever leave Aurora.
Luckily Jim and Karen do visit Quincy as often as they can. But I live two hours from them and they've never come to Wisconsin. What's up with that?
I just re-read what I wrote and I noticed this is sure a disjointed entry. Just bits and pieces about Jim, and nothing really connects them. Except one thing. I love him.
Happy birthday, "little" brother.
Jim is the little kid sitting on the floor. Someone just cut and pasted him in there. When this picture was taken, it was late 1961 and Jim wasn't born until 1964. This picture was in the Quincy Herald-Whig with a small article about all of our names starting with the letter J.