Thursday, January 6, 2022

Paul, My Brother

Memories of Paul

You won’t see memories like these in an obituary but this another perspective of my brother. It is mine. 

When growing up together I was the older sister by three years. He was three and I was six when our twin baby sisters arrived. I think that is when we bonded, and that bond lasted for 79 years. There were several times when we really disagreed but then re-connected just fine after the heat was dissipated.

He was an Eagle Boy Scout and I was a Golden Girl Scout.
We both developed skills that were similar. He was a sharp shooter and hunter. I never wanted anything to do with guns. I was musical he wasn’t except he loved to dance.  

When quite young, I remember us together pouring hot lead into soldier molds when sitting on the cellar floor. He was a bit stingy when it came to sharing his Lionel trains at Christmastime. I remember that there was once a snapping turtle that we caught and brought into the cellar to study. We put a dead box turtle in a water-filled hole in the garden to watch it rot so we could have the empty shell. We got poison ivy and all of the common childhood diseases at the same time. We purposely together, broke thermometers so we could play with the mercury, handing it back and forth with care because it wanted to roll away. We scratched drawings on the bedroom window glass with fingernails when it frosted. He had terrible earaches when a child, and I helped with the hot wet compresses until he went to sleep. We shared the same small bedroom until I married at age 19. 

We built card table tents in the living room and rocked on the upholstered armchair, always he on the left arm and me on the right. We built tree branch teepees in the woods. As we became older I was always both envious and fearful of his motorcycle daring acts, even when he went so far as to stand up on the seat when going down the road. I was never daring to that extent.

At the seashore he would fly his homemade kites for my kids and teach them how to create them. All of my offspring adored their Uncle Paul. Still do. He once dragged me out of a very strong ocean undertow. I almost drowned that time. 

When he was working for a tree business he would cut, climb, descend and was like a monkey on those trees. Many times when a tree fell, the mother bird, squirrel or raccoon would abandon the premises so he would bring the babies home to raise, bottle feed and eventually release back to nature. Often I filled in with the care of several. Many times he brought home baby crows, owls, sometimes finding other owls of all ages that had been struck by traffic and needed help to recuperate and survive. There were also times when even baby groundhogs and rabbits were brought home. The last one that he had when he visited me here as aging adults, was a baby opossum. It was tucked inside his vest and as it grew and thrived, he kept it in his garage.

My Husband and Paul got along very well.

He was a gardener, keeper of a chicken flock, maple syrup master and so much more. He grew and shared catnip with everyone. We always had dogs and cats when growing up and to the day he died he had a dog and a cat.

The last thing he did for me when he visited before Thanksgiving was to sharpen all of my knives. I sent him home with another jar of his favorite jelly. It made his eyes light up.

Yes, I’m rambling. As soon as I post this I know more memories will surface, but for now I am grateful that my memory has retained so much. They are my treasures. When life changes, you have to adapt. I’m trying. 

I have so many photos that are not scanned but I think these will do. 

Just tap on one to view larger


  1. I can say no more than...

  2. I am sorry for your loss, but you do have a WEALTH of WONDERFUL memories. And those, you can keep!

    And look at you! Gorgeous blond, in a lovely dress!!!!

    And how handsome he was.

    Lots and lots of hugs....

    ❄ ❄ ❄
    “Anne came dancing home
    in the purple winter twilight
    across the snowy places.”
    ❄ ❄ ❄

  3. I could read this over and over! How wonderful that you have so many memories to share. What a fantastic job you have done of recording them here. I just must say that I have never seen a prettier baby than he was. And those good looks stayed with him through the years. His younger sister was an absolute doll! Good looks runs in your family, for sure!

    1. My mother used to say, "Pretty is as pretty does."

    2. The expression means that good character and behavior are more important than good looks. So, if you are a kind, loving person, you are beautiful. However, even if you are very good looking but are not nice to others, then you are not truly a beautiful person.

  4. I am sorry for your loss, but oh, how I enjoyed reading this. I am the youngest of 8 children, and the ones closest to me in age is three brothers. They are all still living...but I still cherish my memories.

  5. I can assure you that I have heard, "Pretty is as pretty does," many a time from my own mother. But, no matter, you WERE very pretty.

  6. Very nice tribute, Gere! Very sorry this happened but I was so glad to get to meet him and see his beautiful art and help him with that project. Thinking of you all and the family.