He had red curly hair – a smile a mile wide and a laugh and giggle that you knew right away who it was.
He was my younger brother – we were like a second family for my parents –
Donna and Roger were 15 and 10 years older.
We had a sister who died at birth in between the two sets of kids.
We fought like cats and dogs do – but we also were close.
He instigated a lot of it and would scream bloody murder as loud as he could when I had enough.
I was the one who into trouble but mom always knew as she later told me.
He was just o darn likable with that hair and giggle.
We played all the time together – cowboys and Indian’s – running the neighborhood –
He was always hurting himself – one time he climbed up on top of a attached shed at a neighbors house.
He was going to ambush me but I saw him and pretended to shoot him.
I saw what he was going to do and I yelled STOP – but he did it anyway –
always acting real life he sort of collapsed and rolled off the shed to the ground as if dead.
But there was a stone bird bath under the shed roof and when he came down he hit his elbow on it!
Off to the doctors office we went and then in the ambulance to the hospital to have surgery on the elbow!
He had to have a pin put in and that elbow was off to the side -making his arm seem crooked.
A few years later – we were on the front porch – and he had climbed up onto the porch railing – I told him he had better get down before he fell.
Well – as always – he gave me that silly laugh and giggle – and I could not help but smile until he did fall.
At the end of the porch beneath that railing – a 2 x 10 stuck out – he came down and hit that board with his other elbow and we repeated the same thing all over again with another surgery – now he had two elbows exactly the same!
But -it seemed like it was a perfect solution for him as it perfected his golf swing and he had a lot of power and strength in those arms – one time I was with him – and this was way before anyone was hitting the ball 300 yards.
We were playing the old number one hole at Smethport – he was a Freshman – me just beginning my senior year –
He hit that ball and because of how his elbows were now shaped – he hit it straight with power. That hole was a gradual uphill some 305 yards!
His ball ended up past the hole and into the yard behind it! Some 50 or 60 yards past! Uphill!
If I had not been there to see it – I would not believe it!
Gene Fazio – who was a card member of the PGA and a premier golfer in the Pa. and NYS area –
told me – “IF I HAD MY SHORT GAME AND MIKE’S DRIVING – I WOULD GO ON THE PGA TOUR”!
Mike was a scratch golfer even with those elbows.
Mike ended up bigger than me – he was as tall as my father who was a little over six foot tall.
The brother’s – Roger – Mike and I got our curly hair from my dad – my grandfather was bald.
Mike ended up around 215 pounds and played football – but he could kick that ball just like he hit golf balls.
Far and straight – he became a field goal kicker way before that was common in H.S.
His kick offs were always through the end zone and he went on to college at Mansfield University of Pa.
Where he became the kicker for the college football team.
He graduated in Criminal Justice.
As I said before he was always doing something and getting hurt!
He was riding my bike one day and I told him to get off as he was not big enough to ride it!
His legs could barley touch the pedals – sure enough his foot slipped and he came down on the cross bar –
off to the hospital we went again – operation for a rupture!
My brother in law Bill nick named him JUICE!
I really do not know why other than he was like electric – energy running through him – always a live wire!
Then one day Bill and I were sitting on the front porch –
and he said “HERE COMES JUICE”!
And then Bill said “JESUS CHRIST”!
And Bill hollered at him – “JUICE- PUT THE ROPE DOWN”!
But too late!
Mike was walking up the street twirling a dog rope with a clasp on the end of it over his head like a cowboy!
He got it too low just after Bill yelled to put it down and it started to wind around his head lower and lower.
It came around and smacked him right on the mouth –
“KNOCKING OUT HIS FRONT TOOTH”!
Off to the dentist office we went – oral surgery to extract what remained in his mouth of that tooth.
THAT IN A NUTSHELL WAS MY BROTHER MIKE!
Red hair – bearded – always smiling and that silly laugh – giggle.
I MISS HIM as he passed away when I was 35.
My brother MIKE – loved – close as brothers are – gone way too young – but never forgotten.
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Our three oldest granddaughters – Maddy ( 22) Sarah ( 16) Ella ( 19 ) – we have watched them grow up – two in college – one in H.S. – it seems like only yesterday there they were at the top of the stairs – giggling – waiting for their parents to get up on Christmas morning – we lived life one day at a time back then and today we also still live life one day at a time!
Our life is to give what we can – one day at a time.
The dawn of a new day with the picture of Sherry – my life – forty years married – forty-two years together – living our life one day at a time – living life to the plus each and every day!
Together we walk – together we explore and together we live our lives to the plus one day at a time.
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Tough choice – made easier by the drop back in 2020 for our 401K –
but also the increase in the value of the housing market!
We decided to sell – our daughter and family had moved – not far away – about thirty minutes on a good day of traffic!
But – before they were a mile away – we would pick up the little ones from school and have the youngest sometimes also.
It was an easy walk to their home and we spent a lot of time with them.
But it was the 401K – losing 30 plus % – yet the house gained more than that!
Another door had opened – an adventure awaited – we disclosed our plans – and we said we would be within an easy days drive
6 to 8 hours – but someplace warm and near a beach!
We also wanted to golf – for far less expensive than it was in NVA!
After a couple months of searching – we found our beaches – Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach – one four miles and the other six miles away – we wanted to stay on the mainland – and not in a flood zone – we found Cameron Woods Community.
We built our home – six to eight hours from our NVA families – they have come to visit numerous times and we have been back the same.
We live right across the street from four 18-hole golf courses and are within 30 minutes of another twenty-five!
We have new friends and neighbors – and are close to dear friends we have had for 35 years.
Our life had changed – we went through that door – it was not easy –
now we are in the twilight of our years – but every day brings new adventures and experiences.
A new day begins – another day to explore and live the Carolina life – thanks for reading PAPA’S WORLD – OUR LIFE!
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We choose this lot because of the sunrise and sunset from our driveway!
You look right to the East and left to the West!
We have been here going on fifteen months – and have had numerous sunrise and sunset skies
that is absolutely beautiful!
We are in OIB but on the mainland side – six miles to Sunset Beach and four miles to OIB.
Our backyard borders a protected area – it can not be developed or cut down – the second reason we chose this lot to build our new home!
This is now our third harvest since early spring – and are going on our second harvest of cucumbers!
She finally talked me into purchasing a grill and we often grill out here – we have no gas and the house is all electric – and electric stove tops we have found are hard to keep clean – thus I grill! LOL
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Our family from WPA came to visit – driving some 16 hours – a very long trip!
First time for my two sons and their families to make the trip South.
We tried to work as much into the seven days as we could –
sometimes letting them go off on their own as we had other commitments
but we did sunrises and sunsets all together – beach time and places to eat out together.
Visiting the area and nature walks along with mini golf!
Our time together was priceless and I encouraged them to fly next time to be able to spend
more time on vacation and less time driving!
Shawn runs his own Energy Auditing business contracting with major energy companies for the states of Pa. and firms from NYS. Troy works for and runs the insulation side of the business for Shawn and government and state programs for the elderly.