Friday, April 5, 2013

tag along

My daughter Katie is six years older than her little sister Kelsey.  They are good friends and love each other dearly.  Sure big sister can be a little bossy at times, but she's a good sister.  I see a whole lot of love going on there.  I can see that they are going to be tight for life, friends forever.

Even though Kelsey is so much younger than her big sister, they like spending time together.   Every now and then Katie wants time to do teenage stuff which excludes Kelsey, but that's understandable. Recently Katie had a friend drop by the house and I found Kelsey alone in her room sad that she couldn't take part.   I can relate.  I remember.

When I look at Katie and Kelsey's relationship, I think of my childhood.

I was a middle child...maybe a little off center.  There were six of us in the Finlayson household...two boys and four girls.  Brook's the oldest.  I was the fourth one to come along.  I liked hanging around my big brother.  I know I was a goofy kid, but he didn't seem to mind me tagging along most of the time.  Even as a kid, I appreciated that.

I recall once him telling me to go home.  He was shooting B-B guns with Wesley Ellis down off Red Oak Road.  I didn't want to go home but I hadn't been invited.  I guess you can't have your little brother stalk you everywhere you go, so I walked home.

Brook for the most part would let me go places with him.  I don't recall him ever being mean or bossy to me.  I don't think I could say that about myself as a big brother.  Brook was always fun to hang around.  He could tell great stories, explain stuff, and make me laugh.  Who wouldn't want to hang around a guy like that? 

There would be days when Brook would take off with Chuck and Donnie to go jeep riding on old logging trails.  I couldn't go, but I sure wanted to.  I'd hear about the adventure stories later.  It only made me want to go more the next time.  I would never get to.  I can relate Kelsey.

I was invited on plenty of adventures though.  We'd take trips downtown on the old green city bus to see movies and check out all the five and dimes on Broad Street.  Things got even better when Brook started driving.  We'd go places in his old VW.  He'd aim for every oncoming puddle and pot hole.  I really enjoyed it when he had the MG...when it was running.  I was invited to tag along to see Hammer horror movies or Spaghetti Westerns at the Rebel Drive-In with Brook and Jamey Moore.  Jamey loved shooting homemade movies and I enjoyed being asked to be part of the gang in those productions.

When Brook started playing guitar and writing songs, I enjoyed going along.  I didn't even mind being the roadie.  It was Brook that gave me my first guitar lessons...and my first harmonica lesson. 
When I started writing, he was there to critique and teach me to compose a good song.  Brook was a teacher from the start.

When Brook picked up photography, he showed me the ropes and I enjoyed working with him in the dark room.  I remember riding in the passenger seat of Maggie (the MG) around tight mountain curves out on back roads on a Saturday afternoon.  It was a beautiful day and the top was down.  I was a teenager.  He had let me borrow one of his 35mm cameras to take pictures that day.  He'd bought black and white film earlier and had taught me how to roll my own.  That day we were looking for photo opportunities around the country side.  Brook handled the wheel and the stick like Steve McQueen around those mountain curves.  I sat in the passenger seat taking the moment in.  I remember peering through the lens, watching trees pass by in a blur.

I enjoyed going places with Brook, because where ever he went, things were happening or were going to happen.

Brook.  Thanks for letting me tag along.

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