Brothers, 80s Style

My niece Ashley unearthed this picture of me (left) and my brother Bob, taken sometime in the 1980s, i.e., when he and I were young and still had hair. Bob was a surprise brother — my mother had him when she was very young and put him up for adoption (as teen mothers often did in the 60s) and so I went through the first twelve years of my life not aware that I actually had a brother at all. But these things have a way of coming out, and so I learned about him, and shortly thereafter Bob found us. As it turned out his mom and mine belonged to the same club, knew each other, and talked about their children to each other. Life, man. It’s a funny thing.

Also, for those who know of my non-alcohol drinking ways: That’s grape juice in that glass.

23 thoughts on “Brothers, 80s Style

  1. you were a teatotaler even as a kid? Damn. You must have been boring in college. I went to college in Chicago also (DePaul), there were bars all over the place. I am guessing you were the ‘non-drinking friend’ who went with everyone and played pool or darts.

    your brother definitely looks like the fun sibling…. wonder how much times he gave you a wedgy as a kid.

  2. I’m not a teetotaler, but when I’m in the presence of people who drink enough to have visible cognitive impairment, I don’t usually find them very interesting.

  3. I keep looking but not seeing you in that photo. Are you sure that’s you on the left?

  4. I find drinking to be a rather boring activity myself, and drinkers tend to be either boring or unpleasant. But to each their own for defining “fun.”

  5. I think no one should be held liable or mocked for their appearance before they turn 21. After that, you have to own it.

  6. Hey John, so you have a sister and the brother. Any other siblings we should or can know of?

  7. He looks like a totally fun maniac. So, you guys got that from your mother’s side?

    Hey, I still wear aviator glasses — only frames I’ve found that don’t cut off my field of vision too much. I’ve been mining my old frames, getting new lenses put in them, for years, ever since those stupid little square things got popular. Hopefully oversized frames will make a comeback before all my old frames fall apart!

  8. In the funny way that associations trigger things, the fact that it was the eighties and your older brother was named Bob — and that you have an occupation many people envy — triggered thoughts of this particular cover of a song, so here it is … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNg3DTBQGgk … may it worm your ear as thoroughly as it wormed mine …

  9. If it had to go that way, age 12 would be kind of a nice time to discover you had a big brother. Old enough to get past most of the bullshit (e.g. wedgies), still young enough to have the kind of close connection kids have and maybe get some help figuring out adolescence. And it’s just one picture, but Bob looks like a fun guy.

  10. Meh… might could be sparkling grape juice. I still find that or the cider variety tasty.

  11. My husband’s family is complex like that. A set of grandparents that had a couple of kids, got divorced, then both went on to have more kids. I have to draw out the whole pedigree just to properly tell family stories.

  12. That is a pleasant personal story. The son I gave up is very involved my life now, and I am glad that he gets to be the cool college aged brother to my young son. I like hearing how making that hard choice can work out well for everyone.

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