My brother Richard was a very gentle and considerate man. He was 4 1/2 years older than me, so he was in high school before my 10th birthday. He had different friends and a different social life, so my memories of him are necessarily "around the house" memories, rather than "around the town" memories.
My most enduring memory of him was his patience with me. I was a devil to him, always teasing him and messing up his hair. Yet he never got angry and he never struck back: he just took it and loved me.
When he was in high school, he had a vegetable garden every summer and he seemingly could make anything grow. Perhaps that's why he took a job at a nursery during those years: working with trees and plants was a natural thing for him to do.
Richard graduated from High School in 1960. His plans to go to college changed and he stayed at home for a few years working at a factory that made lamps and lighting fixtures. Those are the years when he introduced me to his hobby of coin collecting.
He joined the Navy in 1962. While in the Navy, he served aboard the USS Black, based in San Diego, and toured the Pacific theatre including a tour of duty in the South China Sea, off the coast of Viet Nam. He was discharged in 1967 and moved to NYC to work at IBM and to go to college at night.
Richard married in January 1969, and I was honored to be his best man. I don't remember his ever being sick, but it takes only one bad illness to really screw things up. In May of 1970 Richard was diagnosed with cancer, and - despite the best medical efforts of the time - he died on August 3rd. He was twenty eight years, one month, and thirteen days young.
It is said we are too soon old, and too late smart, and perhaps that's true. I don't remember ever telling Richard I loved him, and it's surely too late now. But I did love him, and this page is dedicated to his memory.
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