Friday, December 18, 2009

My Brother Roger

For the past couple of days, my older brother Roger has been visiting. It's the best time we've had since he left for college all those decades ago. He's been living in California and I've been in Texas and that's the way it was. He's about seven years older than me and the impact he's had on my life is considerable.

One day, for no particular reason, he took his little brother to a movie. It was "Forbidden Planet". Definitely a formative experience for a science fiction writer. And in some ways, he has been the model for some of my YA book heroes. He built his own transistor radio from parts, housed in an old battery case. He ground his own telescope mirror and crafted a 6-inch Newtonian, complete with a tripod made of pipe fittings. I tried to swipe it from him until he reclaimed it after he left the Air Force. I was just the little brother who got in trouble for playing with his model airplanes.

By high school, when I looked into the school's trophy cabinets, I knew I was trying to follow in his footsteps. He was in the ROTC, so I signed up as well. He was a photographer for the school paper. I tried to join the paper as well, but they didn't appreciate my quirky writing style. He got his HAM radio license, I tried but I could never handle the Morse code requirements.

All this came to mind during his visit as we chatted about about the nuts and bolts of my writing work flow. He just has a mind that digs into any process until he understands it. He retired a couple of months ago. California has lost a valuable asset.

Now that he is thinking of traveling and has more free time, I hope I'll get to spend more time with him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Henry,
I enjoyed reading about you and your brother. I am sure you have spent many hours remembering long ago.
I have not seen my brother 1 year younger than me, in 6 years as he is a truck driver. He called me this week, we talked for an hour and a half I really miss him. Family really does mean a lot.
Jeanette