I am feeling blue because my older brother Ted is moving to Nevada. We have been sidekicks since my first conscious memories of life. I remember when he was about four and I was about two. For his birthday, my parents gave him a toy wooden train that you pulled around the floor with a string. There were several cars attached to an engine. It made a squawking noise and rang bells, I think, when you pulled it. My memory may be a little fuzzy after sixty years. Anyway, I wanted to play with it and Ted didn’t want me to, so we had a fight about it. I bawled my eyes out and he got in trouble. Mom made Ted let me play with his train and I enjoyed doing so, but had to live with the guilt later.
In a couple of years Ted and I were wearing red cowboy hats and patrolling our neighborhood with our trusty six-shooter cap guns, ready to do battle with any Indians or bandits who made the mistake of stumbling into our street in Clovis, New Mexico. However, the cowardly curs always stayed away. A wise decision.
A couple more years passed and we moved to Joplin, Missouri. Ted started first grade while I stayed home with my mom. I really hated that. The world had grabbed my brother by the butt and carried him off into a fearful unknown. He came home in the afternoons with wonderful stories to tell, tales of lunchrooms, playgrounds and obnoxious girls. There was also a corner store near school where you could buy colorful rings that turned your finger green. To me, Ted had become Marco Polo.
In the great events of life, Ted always took the lead. He was the older brother, so it was natural. I always wanted to follow him wherever he went, and that continued into adulthood. Once he moved to Arizona to be near our parents and I followed as soon as I could. The night I pulled up to my parents’ house trailer in Mesa with all my belongings packed in my VW bug, I immediately noticed a big yellow Ryder truck. I knew it was Ted’s. He left the next morning for California, moving back to San Jose with his family. I, however, had a very career-important job in Phoenix and had to stay there another two years before I could move back too.
More years passed. Ted moved to Texas. Before I could figure out a way to convince my wife to move, Ted moved back to San Jose.
Now Ted has sold his house in San Jose and is moving to Nevada to retire. I won’t follow him this time, as he has his family obligations and I have mine. But I don’t like it.