Monday, January 31, 2011

A Wedding Tribute

Ladies and Gentleman, welcome aboard Blended Family Airlines flight 115 with non-stop heart warming service to Salt Lake City.  Please turn your attention to the lovely couple here in the cock pit, Captain Keith and his new sweetheart and the stewardess for our flight, Ms Right Wright.  Please take notice that there are no safety instructions for this flight and no under seat floatation devices.  We like taking chances on this airline.  At some point however we may need to administer some oxygen to our pilot.  He is after all in his eighties.  In case of a lot of pressure yellow oxygen masks will deploy from the ceiling compartment located above you.  Please make sure to secure your own mask before assisting others.  Please make sure that your seatbelt is securely fastened at this time and that all carry-on emotional baggage is stored away as we may experience some turbulence.  Currently our outlook is sunny and the skies are clear.  Our fine Captian is most experienced although his head may be in the clouds today.  Ms Wright will be serving him beverages and pretzel packages for many years to come.  We have a triple feature for our inflight movie for this flight, starting with "Yours Mine and Ours", followed by "Yours, Mine, Ours and Hers," and finally "Yours, Mine, Ours, Hers, and Hers."  At the end of this flight please allow Captain Keith and Stewardess Thelma to exit the plane first as they have a connecting flight to get to.  We all wish them a bon voyage!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Brian

Today is Brian's Birthday and I am thinking about him.  This post will be a bit more challenging to write since Brian has not been on contact with the family for so long.  I love and miss our brother Brian.  I hope he has a great day on his birthday.  Here are some of the things I remember/like about my brother Brian...

Brian has several great qualities.  He is incredibly smart and motivated.  He sticks up for the underdog and he is loyal.  Brian has a sense of adventure and likes to try exciting things.  If you need someone on your side that will never waver, Brian is your man.  Look up the word determined in the dictionary and you will probably see a photo of our handsome brother Brian.

Brian has an eye for beautiful things.  He married the Lovely Dianne!  He has served in the US military and earned a couple degrees in Engineering.  He has 3 great kids who we all wish we could see more of.  I remember when he taught his very young daughter Rachel to say that her Dad was "32 and ancient."  I also remember that his daughter Rachel really really loved the primary song Once There Was a Snowman.  She would sing your name (or anyone's for that matter) to the tune of that song.  He has such sweet kids!

Things I can think of to share about Brian are that he stuck up for Rhonda when she was being disrespected at school.  As mentioned before on this blog someone got themselves beat up when they thought it would be funny to flip Rhonda's bra-strap.  Where was he when I was in middle school?  Probably on his mission.  Too far away to ask for help in that department. When I was quite young, he gave me a spelling lesson.  He taught me that there is a letter 'r' in the word 'shirt' once.  I had written it without one you see, and he wanted me to spell it right but not until he made me sound it out the way it was written.  I think that is where my swearing habit must have started.  He also helped teach me about the birds and the bees  by having me relate what my thoughts were and either 'confirming' or 'denying'  .  ...Thanks bro!

Well here's hoping we will get to see more of Brian in the future.  We love you and hope you have a great birthday.  If anyone cares to share a Brian memory feel free to comment or post.  I am sure Brian would appreciate hearing from you on his big day.  How old are you anyways?  '55 and ancient?'

Happy Birthday Brian!

Bro Brian on his BDay

Today is my brother Brian's Birthday and though I have not seen him much over the last number of years, I continue to talk to him somewhat regularly via phone and email. I remember lots of stories about my brother Brian, you can say lots of things about Brian but my relationship with my older brother has been nothing if not colorful. Brian is a dear brother that I love with all my heart who is as Kelly has said loyal and true to a fault! Following is a is a quick list of some memories that I have of my brother and of course these memories are from my memory so the reality may be slightly different, as both time and my memory may have morphed them somewhat.

My first memories are of a very tough brother who took on every bully on our street, several times all of them at once, because they were calling him and me Whatnot instead of our given name of Whatcott. Then helpful brother who taught me never, never, never to give up by holding me down and giving me chicken noodle soup on the chest until I cried uncle and then slugged me in the arm 50 times for giving up, I believe this treatment is what got me through engineering school. (Okay maybe it wasn't 50 times but I swear that arm still hurts when I think about it) The brother who with me tried the paper sack and cedar bark cigars rolled by our next door neighbor when we were 5 & 8 years old, let me tell you we inhaled deeply one time and we were coughing for a week, to my knowledge neither of us ever tried a smoke of any kind again ever.

This was my brother who cut a swath so wide a swath through Junior High and High School that often times it was hard for me to follow. I remember one time in 7th grade rounding a corner in Gym locker room and taking a punch in the stomach from a very large intimidating 9th grader and him saying thats for being Brian's brother. And yet on another occasion the largest kid in the 9th grade saying leave that kid alone he is Brian Whatcott's brother, in fact a number of the teachers in Math, Utah history, wrestling, & science didn't know my first name but just called me Brian's brother. Brian had been so good in Math, Science, Wrestling that he was a legend there in Farrer Junior High, Brian was so brilliant in math that he later placed in the national math contest in High School.

Brian has always been a great athlete and mountaineer, he has the ability to put physical pain behind him and thus has great endurance. Brian excelled at Wrestling at Provo High School where I believe his record as a Sophomore was 26 wins and only 2 losses. Brian participated as a scout in the 50 20 which was 50 miles in 20 hours, Brian started hours later than anyone else at about 2am because he had another activity to attend, but he ran when he got there until he passed everyone and once he was ahead a ways he laid down on the road and slept until the first group caught up to him when the found him the road the thought he was dead, they kicked him and he woke up. Brian got up and finished with the hike with first group, starting last and finishing first. In his older years Brian has been solo hiking the higest 50 peaks in the US in each state, despite his sometimes not being in the best shape Brian has already finished many of the higest peaks. Brian has incredible drive!!!

Brian was especially helpful with my dating life, I was a very shy backward kid who would rather talk to fish all day than talk to a girl for a second. When I was 14 & Brian was 17, Brian had somehow scored the key to a very, very cool cave up our local canyon (Rock Canyon) and he and his friends had made a rope ladder for the descent into a a huge room full of stalactites, soda straws, and stalagmites. He told me the only way he would allow me to go to this cave with him is if I got a date to go with me. After many agonizing hours, I finally called the 14 year old sister of Brian's girlfriend and asked her to go with me to the Cave. Mr. Losee whom I'm now sure must have been insane let his 14 and 17 year old daughters go up Rock Canyon and descend into a hole in the mountain at least 100's of feet at least 40 of them were vertical free swinging feet, on a rope ladder made of pine 2X2s and hemp rope, in Junior High School wood shop, with two Whatcott brothers 14 & 17. Due to Brian's great leadership and mountaineering experience we all had a great time and made it out just fine with the exception of one very smashed up lantern of my dad's. So thanks to a brother who encouraged me strongly to go on my first date, I pretty much figured it out from there.

For further help in the dating department Brian taught me how to drive his old beater car, when I was 15 by taking me out on Sundays and letting me drive from one of his girlfriends houses to the next as we made "Sunday Visits" to the beautiful and refined. Thanks to a brother willing to drag a chubby awkward brother along to see his girlfriends.

Then in college when I thought I wanted to go to Utah Technical College Brian took me up to BYU and showed me what Electrical Engineers did. I was very intimidated, Brian let me know just how hard it was, but also that I could do it! After all I was a Whatcott, and Whatcott's don't give up, and besides he would not let me fail!!! I didn't fail, I once again followed my Brother, this time through BYU and Electrical Engineering, I made it through despite my doubts and some very difficult and trying times. I don't think my brother Brian every doubted I would, though I did on a number of occasions!

Happy Birthday Bro!!!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Erico from Jerico

In my years of growing up at 1841 North there was something noteworthy in my big brother Eric's room. There on the perfectly dusted shelf sat a large white hero-sized bust of his head.  A childhood likeness.  Only two other busts ever made it through the door of the home.  They were the likenesses of Jesus and Joseph Smith (and they were not as white)....  I remember looking at Eric's childhood head and wondering what made Eric so special that he, and only he, had his head made into a statue like that.  Where was my big head?  Then Eric would do something great like clean and organize the entire garage without being asked, or wipe down the scumminess of the ski boat, and wash all the cars, and I had my question answered for me.  Eric was special.  He still is.

Eric was a much needed peacemaker in our home.    Eric was seminary president.  Eric got excellent grades.  Eric never disobeyed to my knowledge.  You'd think that would make him quite unlikeable but no, once again, all you had to do was spend some time around Eric and he'd suck you in with his lovable personality.  I remember hearing Mom once say that she thought maybe Eric was her gift from heaven for having such a loss in losing her first husband.  God knew she'd need some special kids to cushion the blow of George's death.  Eric was a big part of that I think.  Jerico must be where all the good eggs come from.  We can't all be perfect like Eric.  Some of us have to perform the task of making the great ones look that good by comparison.  You're welcome Eric!

Eric turned 50 on Dec 23rd and I am sure (since he is my perfect brother) that he will forgive me for posting this late.  I did call him in Mexico on his birthday though so that should count for something.  Eric is running a 50 mile run in the mountains this year to commemorate his 50 years of life.  I think when I turn 50 I will celebrate by sleeping in an extra 50 minutes.  I heard from a little bird that Jolynn, his perfect wife (it's true, she is also pretty perfect) really threw a great party in Mexico for his big day.  While Eric was away at the store, Shanelle and her husband Mike decorated the campsite.  Peter had been hard at work (for days I am sure) getting signatures from friends on the beach on multiple cards for Eric's birthday.  Eric's dental assistant Eileen had people sending him 50 things (anything from black ornaments to depends undergarments) to the office all day on his last day of work.  What fun!

Here's hoping that Eric will have another 50 great years ahead and that he won't be translated due to perfection any time soon because we would all miss him very much!

Happy Birthday Eric!