Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Big Brother Jackie

This is my brother, Jackie, in his shop. From this place, magical things happen. He can build almost anything. He spent his career as an iron worker, so he built a lot of things over the years. He even worked on the St. Louis Arch at one point.

What he's building at the moment is a garden, and it's looking good.

He was out working in the garden regularly. We had fresh cucumbers, squash and green tomatoes while I was home and it was great to have them right out of the garden.

Jackie and I have similar personalities in many ways, although there's more than 20 years difference in our ages, and he was married with children before I was born. Nonetheless, genetics is at work I guess. We're both pretty outgoing and friendly, and have some similar ideas about how the world should work.

Unfortunately, I don't have his gift for building things or his mechanical abilities. He can fix anything.

And he's a very hard worker. Although he is retired now he still works hard at any number of things.

And he builds. The shop, house and garage you see in the background are examples of his handiwork. It must feel really amazing to live in a structure that you, yourself, built. It's quite incredible when you think about it - taking a pile of raw materials of boards and nails and turning it into a house.

He even built the martin bird houses you see in the background there.

Jackie is one of the most creative people I've ever met. He doesn't work with an artist's brush, but he is an artist. It's not unusual to find bits of paper lying about where he's drawing out what he wants to build next. He has invented so many things I can't even count them all. If we were more wise in the ways of business he would be a millionaire by now, but none of us know anything about patents and other necessities.

When he wants something - from a skeet thrower to a way to keep ants out of hummingbird feeders - he invents it. He's a thinker. Always thinking.

I affectionately call him "Big Brother." And I adore him.

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