Looking Back to Look Forward

It’s September 1998 and my brother Mike shows up in front of the house along with someone I’ve never met. He’s got no time for knocking on doors so he just calls from the sidewalk “Hey, let’s go”.

I make it outside. “Hey…go where?”

He introduces me to his friend first and then says:

“To Doc’s. Lets get our drink on”
-“It’s 11 in the morning”
“I know, were late… it’s been open for an hour.”

This seemed reasonable to me so we went to Doc’s which was really just a local Chinese food place with a surprisingly decent bar. There were two main draws to Doc’s, Doc himself and the relaxed attitude towards checking ID’s. While my brother and I were both of legal drinking age at this time we still stopped into Doc’s as a way of saying “Thanks for letting us drink here when we were still teenagers….that was pretty cool of you.”

On this day, my brother, his friend and I started with a late breakfast of gin and tonics before moving on to tequila mixed with Tabasco sauce and then said see you later just before I took a nap in the back seat of my car.

The “later” in “see you later” took eight years. . Last year we were in the same place for the first time since 1998 thanks to my father (details of that are here) and come mid September we will both be in New York*, thanks again to my dad. Now if you think we don’t see each other often, we speak on the phone even less so I was surprised yesterday when the phone rang and the voice on the other end belongs to my brother.

“Hey I have a question about T-Rex.”
– “The band or the dinosaur?”
“The band, if I wanted to know about the dinosaur I would have called Kenny”
– “OK, what do you want to know?”

He wanted to know what T-Rex’s other hit in the US was besides Get in On (Bang a Gong) was and the answer is none but that’s not the point. The point is that he had a question and he called me. That may not sound like much but I get very few chances to feel like an older brother because I’ve lived so far away for so long. I’ll take what I can get, even calls on about a 70’s, glam rock. In my mind when the T-Rex question came up my brother said “Only one man can answer this” and then he dusted off the red phone that he keeps hidden away; seconds later my phone rang.

Just humor me and say that this is what happened.

*The Slackmistress and I will be in New York for a family gathering, in mid Sept. Time will be limited but we hope we can see those of you in the area. If you’ll be around, let us know.

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