My Brother Howie

You know, they say you are not supposed to talk about your family so open In public, you never know what could happen. But see, as I said, I am one of you, and have told you I was going to bring some more people into this, and I said, I was being open about myself all along. And you see, to know me, you have to know my brother Howie. You see, Howie probably defined my life more than anyone, and man, you have got to hear about him. He was the craziest, but sanest person I have ever known. And to get to know him, I am going to tell you a series of stories. But unlike usually, I will say of them, these stories are real, and where all witnessed, each and every one. And as they say, truth is much crazier than anything we could ever make up, so I assure you, you will be far from unentertained.

The Bike race:
I’m already laughing as I get ready to tell you this story, but it really wasn’t a laughing matter. But if you knew my brother, and some of you reading did, and they have just chucked as well, you would be laughing too. You see, my brother Howie, in our youth, was the ultimate daredevil. And there was nothing that he could not, or hahaha would not ever do. And one day, we had the most ultimate conditions for the most ultimate ever known bike race It was straight downhill, and wait for it….gravel. That’s right gravel. Now that’s rocks for you people that don’t know hahahahaha. So now you would also think he would not want to wait for it to maybe, I don’t know…say like, not be so extremely windy. But Howie, as I said, was the most ultimate daredevil. And on this day, he thought it would be a good idea. And he sold it to me, and the rest of the neighborhood like this~ So, you say you are the best, then prove it! If you are the best, you will beat me down this hill, and in the worst imaginable conditions. If you are, that is, as you say, the best.

Well see, we could not turn down his challenge, because we all indeed thought that we were the best, each and every one of us. And let me teach a lesson here hahahahaha, tell your children about the dare, and you will probably save a few lives. Serious on that one!

So we got a starter kid to lead us off; On your marks, get ready, go. And off we went. Kid in the blue with a good start…but there is also that kid in white, I am going to have to step it up more than I had hoped. But hey, I got this, no problem, I always win these, I am the best. Wait, what…Howie??!! Where did he come from? I wasn’t even thinking about him, But there he was……he flew past us but I knew…see, I was the best hahahaha and he was going WAY to fast. He was going to crash…and he did. OH MY did he crash…hahahahahahahahaha
Oh…but the laughing stops there and the you have to pray for his life. No seriously, I am still holding back laughter only because this was the pattern he would follow his entire life up to this point. And the people who know him will back me up on that as well, and there is a cousin or two, who are probably still laughing about that as we speak. But, the crash. He was way out in front, and at first I had speeded up to try and catch him, but I wiggled, and backed it down a little. I had found my limit so to speak. And when I looked up to see where he was, I saw him wiggle…but he didn’t slow down, and he wiggled again, and lost it. And his front tire got turned and dug into the dirt, and he flipped, and then, he rolled end over end, all the way down the rest of the way. You see, he wouldn’t let go of the bike that he had just built, all the way down. And when we got to the bottom to him…he had rocks embedded in his face. UUNNGGH…It was terrible. So my oldest brother picked him up and carried him home running. And I had to roll all our bikes back to the house worried my mom was going to kill us, and not knowing really if he would be okay. But see guys, and this explains all the laughing, he always was. Now they had to pick and scrape his face to remove all the rocks, and it was terrible, but he was okay. Did not slow him down one bit.

The Gene Simmons:
Howie was the most ultimate daredevil. Ad he loved the rock band Kiss. So, he had to do the most dangerous thing associated with them. And see, the bassist of Kiss blows fire…and so of course…he HAD to do that. Now, this is not a story of him hurting himself on the first try, oh no, he got very good at it. Now see, that’s the thing about Howie. Me and my brothers would push each other to the very end of life, no lie, to see who was best. So, we kind of had that kind of mentality. And we approached everything like that, like that bike race. But Howie, he would be the toughest one. And he would take you to the limit. And he went to limit on this as well. And one day, and it was inevitable. He got to much alcohol I his mouth, and when he ran out of breath, the fire stayed lit, and he blew out again a little, knowing not to breath in. But as he blew it all out, it hit the air and blew up in his face. It burned his eyelashes, eyebrows, and his hair back about an inch or two. He looked funny, but it didn’t burn his skin. But look, on this one, I learned a lot of lessons. And it wasn’t really about how not to try a dangerous stunt, but more about his determination to still, always be the best at everything you do. Now I had respect for that. But that was how we were, me and my brothers. And I am telling you now, and I believe it, to be the truth. If it were not for money, he could have proved he was the ultimate daredevil and skillsman. Two examples~ The bikes- We learned how to strip down a bike, piece by piece. And he we had to learn to because we were poor. And Our parents could not afford bike parts, not alone new bikes. And so, we would look around for somebody’s junk pile and then ask them if it was okay if we had a few bike parts. They usually would. And we would get old bike frames and wheels, and we would strip the parts looking for the best bearings and spokes. And we would look especially hard for frames. And when we got the best one, the lightest but most durable. We would build us a new bike. And we would sand the frames down first, and give them the coolest paintjobs. And we got better and better at it. And then later we took a look at maybe racing professionally, and we knew instantly we would not be able to compete. I mea, they say it’s fair, but then tell you will need a sponsor, ad you must ride our approved models of bikes. Yeah, we won’t be able to sir. And you go back to racing in the streets. But still, we made quite a bit of money that way. The Slot cars: We really go into slot cars, and the first maker was Aurora. The first ones were a little bit clumsy feeling to control, but then they came out with the 442 GT series. And man, those things were awesome. They were fast, and they hugged the track. And furthermore, they came out with upgradable parts, and they were affordable. Well, ya know, cheap. But, they were good. And we got good at racing those little cars. And as well, knew how to strip down every piece of them. An so of course, we found ways to gut out the bodies to lighten and lower them to the track for that extra handle and speed, and got so good at painting and decaling them, that they truly did look like real race cars, down to the very last detail. And we saw were you could go race professionally, and we looked into it. But when they told us we had to have a sponsor, and gave us the rule book where we had to use their parts and advertise them. Well, we knew that we would not be able to do it. But still. We got our friends into it big, and raced them for money. And we racked up on that too hahahahaha.
And now Howie, after burning his hair off, but not his skin, went to school the next day. And he had to do a stand up speech on safety! Ahahahahahaha…you can’t script this stuff, I’m telling you, he has had that kind of life.

The Devil and Jesus:
One day, we went to a friend of my moms house, and stayed for a couple of days. And me and my brothers were young. Howie was 6 and I was seven, and my older brother was 11. We played outside their house a lot, and even ventured of course, out in the woods. And on the second day we noticed, Howie did not look so good. And we asked him if he was okay, and he said, fine. But then he passed out. So my older brother picked him up and carried him back to the house, and we all went to the hospital. Now back then, they had strict visiting rules, even for the family, and we could not spend the night there at the hospital, so after awhile we went home. And on the way home my mother started crying. And so I asked, ” is he that sick mom? ” And she said that he may not live. He had rocky mountain spotted fever, and at the time they had no cure. Only fluids, ice, and hope. And you know me now, I of course said a prayer every day. He was in a coma for 4 days, and they truly thought he was going to die. His fever was 104 the whole time, and he lost a lot of body fluid. But, he didn’t die. On the beginning of the fifth day, he woke up, and said,” man am I thirsty. Where is Jesus? ” And mom was like, what? And he said, ” Yeah momma, Jesus. I want to thank him for pulling up from the hole.” And she said, ” He did?” And he said,” Yeah, I was walking along and fell in this hole, and I held on for dear life. And it wasn’t easy because something reached up and started pulling me down too. And I looked down and it was the devil. I was scared and I held on long as I could. And just as I was about to have to let go, Jesus came walking by in blue jeans, and reached down and pulled me up. And I just want to give Him a hug and thank Him momma, is He still here? ”

Now I learned a lot form my brother Howie, and these are only a few of his stories of brushes with danger and death. Like I said, he was, and is, the craziest most sane person on earth. In him, I have seen the thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat. But I have never seen him give up. He has always strived to be the best at what ever he has wanted to do. He approaches life with bravery and courage, and though he may tempt fate, he has always had faith, and I have always had respect for how he approaches it. To you my brother, I love you, and thanks for being all that you have ever been.

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