Most of my childhood years were intertwined with my brother John.......
He was a few years older than I, but we shared so many experiences in our early lives . For many years we shared toys, bedrooms, shoes, food ,and house-hold chores. We shared in both the joys and the stressful moments of life on Stevens Blvd , school , and the Semancik farm .
We all have God given gifts. Johnnie had one noteworthy gift that I must reflect upon ..........
He had a heart that would always hold tight to the value of peace and non-agression. He was not capable of stirring any intimidating or aggressive behavior to others because such an act would hurt him deep inside. Johnnie could not hide his "hurts" very well and he would withdraw from play & other situations when this would happen. This part of his personality carried throught his life and had much to do with his pursuit of a simple - yet peaceful, life style.
He did not express, or impose selfish boast upon others. Nor did he try to use his voice to try and take over a conversation. When he played, he would do so as an entusiastic supporter.
Even as he got older , I could see his peaceful manner shine with his interactions with children . His nieces and nephews were very comfortable in his presence and voice and he expressed joy with the conversations he had with them.
Some of the most memroable moments I had with Johnnie took place when he was asleep. Yes, he was a big time sleep walker & talker.
There was one time when he was standing on his bed and looking out of the bedroom windows and yelling " hey you..... go away.....get away from the house.....go away !!!" . The sound of his voice woke me up. I listened to his words and then I started to call to him and ask him who he was talking to and if he was OK . He replied " they are outside in the trees and on the house and they won't go away ". I continued to ask him who was there. After a few inquiries he told me that there were monkeys in our backyard and they were bothering him.
Johhnie and I also had many hours together transforming mundane chores into entertainment..........
The best example of this was the weekly trash burning . Trash burning was a common practice in the 60's. Johnnie & I would often spend 1-2 hours on a saturday morning making small structures and effigies from the cardboard and paper in the trash. We would then proceed to plan and then initiate a fire ignite and control the flames to replicate what we saw in action and historical movies .
I will miss him dearly and I thank God that he is part of my life.