As I mentioned in my About Me bio I was number six out of seven children. I had four brothers and two sisters. And contrary to what I inferred in my bio, my brothers and sisters were very helpful in my upbringing, cared greatly for me, and kept a good loving eye on me.
When I was eleven years old I noticed a couple of my older brothers were making money mowing lawns for our neighbors. I talked with my friend about it and we decided we would mow lawns to make some extra money as well. Just one problem. We didn’t have a lawnmower. However, there was an old mower at the house that didn’t run. I talked with my eldest brother Stuart about what my friend and I would like to do. We walked over to the lawnmower and looked it over. He said he thought we could get it running but it would take some work.
So Stuart took me under his wing and explained to me what needed to be done. The first thing is to take the mower completely apart and clean it. Just make sure you label the parts and the order they go back together or your project may get more interesting than you planned on.
Once you got past the accumulation of dirt and grease and grime and the dents and dings from years of use the mower seemed to be in good shape. Stuart thought that other than some tender loving care it probably just needed new points and a condenser. Turned out he was right and for good measure, I gave the mower a new paint job. White motor with a tan body from leftover paint in the utility room.
Arnold and I were in the lawn mowing business! We charged the going rate for the day, $1.50 for a regular lawn and $2.00 for a corner yard. Big money in those days. A Snickers or a Royal Palm soda cost a nickel back then and you could get into the movie theater for thirty-five cents. If there was edging or other work of that sort my brothers would take care of that. We were set.
“Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero” — Marc Brown
Certainly, my brothers and sisters were better than superheroes to me and I hope me, as well, to them. I think an advantage to having a lot of brothers and sisters is the bonds that form. When I talked with Stuart about wanting to mow lawns to make some extra money like my brothers were, he didn’t put me off, tell me he had his own stuff to do. Instead, he took me under his wing. Showed me the right way to fix something, but didn’t do the work himself. To this day I follow his formula and mentoring style. It wasn’t just about making an old lawnmower work again. It was about teaching a younger brother how to make life work. It was about helping someone else, about teamwork, about caring.
I have so many stories about my brothers and sisters to share with you. In many ways they have molded me into the person I am today. I could never ask for a better bunch of “better than superheroes” to be a part of my life.
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