Another trip around the sun - it's what my older brother always asks for on his birthday. That also means that the Christmas season is now officially upon us, since sundown on his birthday begins the holiday countdown. That is why I pause and reflect on this day of all days, upon the gifts that he has given me.
I got my first Pink Floyd album from him. He gave me "Wish You Were Here." I credit him with going past the simple, go-to of "Dark Side of the Moon." He opened my ears to a world of music that existed just beyond the three-minute pop song. Many years later, when I got my first CD player, he gave me the CD and I listened to it on repeat through my headphones as I fell asleep on Christmas eve.
I have many more musical memories of my older brother. I learned the bass lines of every Beatles song ever recorded by hearing them through the floor of my room, that was just above his in the basement. When "Yellow Submarine" was released in 1969, we burned up the phone lines to KIMN, requesting it to be played even more than the hourly turnaround it was getting. Later I was the lucky recipient of a number of his Apple recordings - which I subsequently surrendered in a fit of hormonal angst to my high-school sweetheart.
And I dropped the Toyota pickup he gave me into an Aspen grove at the top of Magnolia Road. I wasn't always careful with the gifts I received, alas. I didn't always realize what I was getting until I had used it up. I was younger, and I'm afraid, I didn't always appear grateful. He plowed the way through school ahead of me, alerting me of trouble and possibilities. He broke my parents in, making my way considerably easier. He gave up his room in the basement for me, where I played all those Beatles albums myself.
Happy birthday, and here's to another trip around the sun.